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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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RE: Is this the best move?
By alifbaa on 10/20/2008 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 4
Another way to look at what you said is to say Bush forced the fence-sitters to choose sides.

Don't forget the US is spending the better part of a trillion dollars for the stated goal of rebuilding their country and establishing a stable democracy. Whatever your views of the war or US motivations, that is an indisputable fact.

Another fact is that certain segments of the world's Islamic population are so committed to the repression of others that they are willing to fight against those efforts. I'm no fan of Bush, but I am very sure Bush is not the root of their evil.


RE: Is this the best move?
By dreddly on 10/20/2008 4:09:02 PM , Rating: 4
While the US has spent that money, do not confuse defense spending operations with rebuilding efforts. More often than not, the contractors, sub-contractors and resources are coming from the US and being paid by for by US debt.

This is not the same as spending on the domestic economy and ensuring that Iraq is a new economic engine for the region. Moreover, as the long tradition of democracy-building has shown, the level of commitment required to develop the domestic institutions to support democracy can require decades to take hold.

I think it is naive to assume because the US has recycled a massive amount of money through the country, that we can say that those groups should be grateful (see the last sequence of 'Chalie Wilson's War' for an example). Evil people are rarely defeated through consensus, voting and negotiation, and we should not be naive about where that money is being spent.


RE: Is this the best move?
By alifbaa on 10/20/2008 6:28:34 PM , Rating: 3
So... money spent on US troops to fight against those who oppose the establishment of a Democratically elected government isn't money being spent on the establishment of said government?

Also, while you're warning everyone else to not be naive... I have to disagree with you when you say that societal oppression isn't defeated by "consensus, voting and negotiation." I would submit to you that every nation to become a democracy over the last 200+ years has done precisely that.

Where we as Americans get it wrong is in not recognizing the fact that societies must take responsibility for securing their own freedom. We can give them a start, but the rest will follow quickly if the society truly wants it.

How many years did it take Eastern Europe to stabilize after the fall of the Soviet Union? With the exception of Yugoslavia, the transition was largely painless and very fast because the societies had reached a democratic consensus through voting and negotiation. Those responsible for past crimes were prosecuted, citizens took responsibility for their freedom, and the nations began life in the free world.

If we have to start making arguments for the US to be "committed for the long term," it's a good indicator that the society doesn't truly want the responsibility of fighting for their own freedom.


RE: Is this the best move?
By Treckin on 10/21/2008 2:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
Someone's drinkin the Kool Aid


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