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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,,," 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 rudolphna on 10/21/2008 9:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know where your getting your information, but your grossly misinformed. They want us all dead, because they are islamic extremists. There are 3 kinds of islam. ones that dont mind westerners, ones that beleive all non-islams should die, but are happy to let nature take its course... and then there are those who beleive it is their duty to send us to hell. Hence people like Osama. Its a religious thing, kind of like when christains tried to spread christianity, forcing other people to change their beliefs, only more extreme.

RE: Is this the best move?
By rudolphna on 10/21/2008 9:10:16 AM , Rating: 2
I also forgot to say, they consider us unholy infidels, allowing women out in public without covering their faces, letting women work, and other such things. To them, americans especially, are materialistic and we should all die. (extremists) Now mind, I have nothing against islam. Freedom of religion.

RE: Is this the best move?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/21/2008 3:13:31 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah. Of course. You have nothing against Islam. Why should you? You evidently know nothing about it. How can you have something against a religion you know nothing about?

Seriously. There are way more kinds of Islam than three. There are about a billion Muslims who like 'the West'. Not only that, but your groupings group people together who wouldn't be caught dead together - like Ahmadinejad and Bin Ladin, for example.

Mind you, just because Muslims like the West doesn't mean it's for them. I like London, but I'm not moving there. I like gay people, but I'm not gay. But it would be a misstatement to say that I only 'don't mind' London or gay people. Not only that, but when it comes to those Muslims who fall into your three categories, the things that we as Americans do that vex them are the same things that many Americans have problems with about ourselves. Excessively sexual imagery that our children are exposed to in advertising, violence, greed, superficiality, immorality, drug use, gluttony, abortion, etc., etc.... Chances are at least half of that list are things you worry about about our society. The things many Muslims are concerned about when it comes to the West are the same social issues Conservatives in America rail against.

Anyway, on the main article: It's good these sites are down. I trust the American government to be able to monitor the real terrorists 'secure' communications. Let's face it, the terrorists are smart enough to practice Operational Security, and they aren't going to put anything of real value up on these sites. They are just propaganda mouthpieces.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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