ISIS fanatics plot secret terror attacks on Olympics and Wembley using UK firm's tech

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Usain Bolt at 2016 Rio Olympics

The Olympic Games in Paris are classified as "high risk" (Image: Getty)

Isis fanatics are using a UK firm's internet network to encourage drone terror attacks on major sporting events such as the Champions League Final at Wembley.

Hate-filled messages in secretive online chat rooms created using the Matrix.org network show ISIS supporters urging others to “prepare your weapon, devise your plan and then lure them in”.

Followers are encouraged to target major events including the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley stadium on June 1, the Olympic Games in Paris, the Euros in Germany this summer and next month’s T20 World Cup cricket tournament in the West Indies and USA.

The sickening messages also advise lone-wolf attackers to target Jews with "knives, guns and vehicles". The vile exchanges took place on an internet communications network run by West London-based company Matrix.org.

Pro-ISIS groups took advantage of its decentralised system to share tactics for terrorist outrages. The extremists used it to set up an online forum and share blood-thirsty videos of ISIS fighters executing civilians and burning churches in Africa as well as scoreboards counting the deaths of infidels.

Champions League final

The Champions League could be a prime target for ISIS fanatics (Image: Getty)

There were also extensive discussions on the forum as to how the terror group should use drones laden with explosives to murder civilians at major sporting events across Europe. The high profile Champions League football final at Wembley featured in the extremists’ discussions.

In one message, artwork depicting a homemade explosive drone above Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu football stadium was captioned: "If they constrict and oppress you on the ground then strike them from the sky.”

Another stadium mentioned as a possible target in the ISIS propaganda messaging was Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in North London. A shared image shows a picture of the stadium with blood spots splattered over it.

Another image shows Jihadi fighters in front of Athletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitana stadium with the slogan: “If both teams aim to win the game, then you shall aim to win Jannah [Islamic paradise] by killing them and killing their fans.”

Professor Dr. Christian Kaunert, Chair of Policing and Security at University of South Wales, said: “I would imagine this is a very, very high risk summer with a number of high profile events happening from the European Football Championships to the Olympic Games in Paris.

England cricket match

ISIS followers are being encouraged to target next months T20 cricket tournament (Image: Getty)

“The current anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli climate makes a much more fruitful environment for ISIS to radicalise people as they try to outdo Hamas.”

Chat room members who shared the stadium threats listed their terror skills, including firing AK47 rifles, and discussed sums of money in pound Sterling, suggesting some might be based in Britain.

The Express made Matrix.com aware of the ISIS messages being spread on its network and It immediately closed down the chatrooms concerned. The content has also been flagged to the police and security services though the messages are not yet believed to have resulted in a detailed, planned attack.

Unlike centralised internet giants such as Facebook and Google, the networks hosted by companies like Matrix.com hold their information in multiple, user-controlled servers – making them more difficult for authorities to monitor.

Matrix was founded by Cambridge University graduate Matthew Hodgson and a colleague Amandine Le Pape to help people create their own platforms to communicate on the internet securely. Its services have been used by the French government and German Military to build private online communication networks.

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Founder Mr Hodgson told the Express: "Just like the web, 99% of Matrix usage is for positive or benign reasons. It’s really sickening when we see a tiny minority of people use Matrix with ill-intent.

“The Matrix.org Foundation utterly abhors terrorism, and we explicitly forbid it on the Matrix servers that we operate. We also coordinate with the authorities as required by UK law.”

The abuse of Matrix.org to promote hateful material is part of a growing trend for Islamic State propaganda channels switching from encrypted messaging services such as Telegram to decentralised systems.

Sarah Atherton MP, member of the Defence Select Committee, said tougher regulation is needed.

She said: “Decentralised, highly encrypted technology is a step forward for personal and state privacy. However it doesn’t taken a genius to see this technology could be used for nefarious purposes, including terrorism.

“Governments need to coordinate on modernised legal frameworks to provide moral boundaries, whilst firms and ‘non-profits’ developing these technologies need to be mandated to implement strategies, reporting and investigative techniques to ensure their product becomes a force for good, not for evil.

“This is an illustration of evil and pure hate, and has no place in our society, decentralised or otherwise.”

Tobias Ellwood MP said: “We are increasingly focused on Russian state aggression but non state dangers have not disappeared [and] indeed [groups] are taking advantage of how distracted we are to find ever cleverer ways of recruiting and indoctrinating UK nationals right under our noses.

“ISIS is clearly accessing online sites to spread their extremist message and potentially encourage further violent attacks."

Former Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois added: “Under the Online Harms Act, OFCOM have strong powers to investigate potential internet misuse, including against young people, who might be radicalised by such vile activity. OFCOM should now be asked to get to the bottom of this - and the sooner the better.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “There should be no safe spaces for terrorists to promote or share their extreme views and we continue to work closely with the tech sector, law enforcement and our international partners to suppress terrorist exploitation of the internet.”

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