Syria Cyber/Information Warfare Intelligence Memo Leak

Leaked documents obtained by @AlkhaleejOnline reveal how a Syrian Intelligence branch in Beirut started conducting sessions to train and recruit young men and women from the Syrian community in Lebanon and members of Hezbollah's Islamic Resistance to carry out cyber/information warfare and disinformation campaigns. In a memo titled "Training Course for Internet and Social Media Activists" sent to the Major General head of the General Intelligence Directorate by Branch 279 in Beirut, Lebanon, the following is revealed.

The memo describes the implementation of instruction number 03457 dated 26/02/2012 to increase activities on the Internet and social media sites to deal with the conspiracies launched against Syria. The Syrian Intelligence station in Beirut invited a number of Syrian activists in Lebanon in addition to a number of Lebanese that are sympathetic to the cause and are supportive of the regional command to a 3-day training course. The memo states that most of the Lebanese who attended included members of Hezbollah's Islamic Resistance who were keen to accept the request sent by the station to Hezbollah command.

The training session according to the memo highlighted the importance of an intense effort required to defend Syria, its leadership and its people from the conspiracies it was facing and provided a comprehensive and complete overview of the methods, variations and importance of cyber warfare.

The action plan agreed included but not limited to the following:

1- Focusing on campaigns to weaken the Syria opposition on Twitter and Facebook and creating strife between them.
2- Focusing on campaigns against "conspiring" countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Turkey and providing support to and defending opposition members who oppose those regimes.
3- Creating Jihadi social media accounts in the names of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to claim responsibility for criminal activities & incite Jihad in Syria.
4- Intensive defense of terrorists and terrorist groups from anyone that criticizes them including religious Sheiks, politicians and activists on the Internet.
5- Inciting and encouraging the Arab youth especially Saudis and Qataris to join insurgents in Syria as that serves the regime's counter terrorism strategy.
6- Establishing an "Electronic Army" to infiltrate Syrian activist's computers, websites and Internet accounts and attempt to use hacked personal information against them.
7- Spreading rumors and creating scandalous media content (photos/videos) to compromise insurgents in any way possible using if necessary unknown Syrian actors from across the globe.
8- Mass creation of social media accounts that encourage terrorism in Syria in foreign languages & circulating "hashtags".
9- Setting up pro-government & pro-opposition Paltalk chat rooms to gather intelligence.
10- Launching attacks against opposition social media accounts to create secular & religious strife between them.
11- Setting up opposition social media accounts to spread false information and make accusations and counter-accusations to create conflict between opposition members in and out of Syria.
12- The use of "girls" to entrap opposition members and activists using all means necessary including social media sites such Skype and Facebook.

Upon completion of the course the participants were awarded honorary certificates and paid $500 each. Officials from the Iranian & Iraqi embassies in Beirut who were present applauded the effort and agreed to expand the training programme to their levels.