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Several popular online forums and web sites used by Al-Qaeda have been removed from the Internet

Several popular online resources for Al-Qaeda terrorists and their allies remain offline more than one month after abruptly being taken down by unknown sources.

Al-Qaeda routinely uses the internet so cell leaders can communicate; distribute propaganda, and audio or video clips from Osama Bin Laden and other high-ranking Al-Qaeda officials.

The terrorist group expected to post a new video prior to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but the site where the video should have been posted stopped operating 24 hours prior to September 11.  "Await Sept. 11!" a post on the Al-Fajr forums said, promptly before the forums mysteriously vanished off the Internet.

"These sites are the equivalent of pentagon.mil, whitehouse.gov, att.com," said Evan Kohlmann, who serves as a security adviser to the FBI and other organizations.  Only one or two web sites "has left Al-Qaeda's propaganda strategy hanging by a very narrow thread."

Hesbah is the only original site still working, although a new one, Faloja, has popped up in recent weeks, security experts said.  The lost Sept. 11 video was posted on the Hesbah forums.  

An Islamic extremist support group created by Al Qaeda released a statement late last night stating the forums were down for "technical reasons" and extremists should not trust any new look-alike web sites.

Al-Qaeda has become a popular target among hackers, but the sites typically reappear after being down a few days.  Even though the United States has a command force monitoring extremists online, intelligence officials have been mum when asked if the continued downtime is due to U.S. or ally-supported hackers.

In 2006, former defense chief Donald Rumsfeld warned the United States was losing the internet propaganda war with Al-Qaeda and other internet extremists.  

The lack of an organized communication system also makes it more difficult for Al-Qaeda to recruit new members and inspire attacks on coalition-led forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.



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Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By adrift02 on 10/20/2008 11:27:19 AM , Rating: 5
Ruh roh, time to play devils advocate.

Considering the way the net is going these days (getting capped, losing privacy, net neutrality blah blah), the first thing this made me think of is freedom of speech.

Now lets take a hypothetical situation where we had an overreaching government that through an escalating war and consequential civil unrest, had the nation on lock down (had declared martial law) with many of our constitutional rights stripped and our weapons taken away (I know, seems far fetched...). Groups of civilians formed together to try and fight back for their civil liberties, were immediately branded terrorists (which was propagated through the media), and any form of communication (i.e website) was either monitored for future raids or shut down.

I know I have quite an imagination =). Believe me, I think the acts committed by Al-qaeda are sick and deserve just punishment. However, I think we should always be aware of the impact of those things we condone (and give up) for peace of mind...agree or disagree, that's fine. But, think about it.




RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By TOAOCyrus on 10/20/2008 1:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
So should we take away all military power from the government just in case we have to overthrow them is the future? I agree we cant allow the government the legal right to infringe on our personal freedoms as guaranteed by the constitution but taking down website's and communications networks of foreign enemies doesn't really fall in that category.


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By TomZ on 10/20/2008 2:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Considering the way the net is going these days (getting capped, losing privacy, net neutrality blah blah), the first thing this made me think of is freedom of speech.

It is an interesting approach to try to defend the civil liberties of someone who wants to kill you. Good luck with that approach. :o)


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By Garreye on 10/21/2008 10:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, but they might not want to kill us if we let them have their civil liberties...


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By Reclaimer77 on 10/21/2008 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ya, but they might not want to kill us if we let them have their civil liberties...


I can't stand it anymore. Do you actually think, for ONE second, that we somehow took away " liberties " of Muslims and thats why they hate us ?

Do I have to point out to you that Muslim extremism started before the US was even a country !?

/headache


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By Emryse on 10/21/2008 7:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
Um.

Yes, they might.

Or better yet:

Yes, they still would.


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By Ringold on 10/20/2008 6:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know I have quite an imagination =).


Perhaps, but we've done it before. Lincoln had no problem trying to silence political opponents, crushing riots with the Army, and throwing the printing presses of newspapers in to the river. Sure, 1860 was a little while ago now, but the precedent exists. Anything can happen or get public support with sufficient amounts of fear.

I don't mind them taking down these sites, but you raise a point. We're giving something up in the process. I think it's worth it, in this case, but history will judge, I guess.


RE: Urr Unnpatriawdic!!
By Reclaimer77 on 10/21/2008 2:40:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Perhaps, but we've done it before. Lincoln had no problem trying to silence political opponents, crushing riots with the Army, and throwing the printing presses of newspapers in to the river. Sure, 1860 was a little while ago now, but the precedent exists. Anything can happen or get public support with sufficient amounts of fear.


You are a complete moron. Goddamn, what are they teaching you kids in school these days !??

Lincoln did what he did because the country was literally tearing - itself - apart !! The entire nation could have ceased to exist as we know it if it wasn't for Lincolns actions.

Get a clue. Please.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007











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