April 6, 2012

WINNING THE WoT:

Who is Waging Cyberwar Against the Jihadi Networks? (LISA ABEND, Apr. 05, 2012, TIME)

"The enemies of Allah who boast of their freedoms have not spared any effort to eradicate our blessed media." After two weeks of silence, the jihadist forum Shamukh al Islam came back online yesterday with a gloat: an apparent cyberattack against Shamukh and four similar sites had failed to shut it down permanently. But terrorism analysts see the event in a different light. As they investigate the mystery of who caused the outage and why, most can't help but see in the blackout one more piece of evidence that al-Qaeda is in disarray.

Websites like Shamukh al Islam perform a critical function in jihadist circles. Loaded with videos that depict alleged Western atrocities against Muslims, they recruit supporters, while their chatrooms and forums allow jihadists around the globe to communicate with one another and to exchange information, including instructions on bomb construction and chemical warfare.

So when Shamukh al Islam, perhaps the most prominent of jihadist forums, suddenly fell silent on March 22 or 23, terrorism analysts took notice. That interest only grew over the next few days as four other sites went down and, with one exception, stayed that way. "For four of these sites to be offline for two weeks is unprecedented," says Aaron Zelin, a researcher at Brandeis University. "We've seen other cyberattacks on these sites before, but they've never managed to keep them down for that long."



Posted by at April 6, 2012 5:56 AM
  

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