In the absence of any physical or other leads to the boys’ whereabouts, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and cyber experts point to some important aids for supporting the hunt.
One is to identify the cellphones carried by the missing boys, at least one of which may have remained active after their disappearance. This would enable the searchers to map the route and timeline of their movements, after contact was lost at 9:30-10:00 pm Thursday night.
Depending on the types of cellphones, there may be a record of an area of hundreds of square meters on which to home in by GPS – even though the hilly terrain of the Gush Etzion area does not offer the best conditions for cellular contact
The military, security and intelligence agencies are no doubt engaged in an intensive effort by Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to scan Arab public and social media for the slightest clues. OSINT has become a valuable source of intelligence data for all the world’s security services.
Even taking into account that terrorist organizations like Hamas will use open media for psychological warfare and for planting red herrings, precious information can still be gleaned from Facebook and Twitter, and the chats, rumors and comments racing through smartphones, a mode of communication which has caught on with the Palestinians in a big way, especially among youngsters.