US gets creative in online battle against Al-Qaeda

US officials championing freedom and democracy are well aware that they cannot try to silence Islamist militants by censoring or blocking the growing number of Al-Qaeda related web sites. Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, said the Internet has created a "largely borderless world. Internet chat rooms are now supplementing and replacing mosques, community centers and coffee shops as venues for recruitment and radicalization by terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." To fight that, Cilluffo noted that "it is possible that an intelligence officer posing as a sympathizer could infiltrate an online extremist community. Seeds of confusion, doubt and distrust could then be planted in order to chip away at the ties that bind individual extremists into a cohesive and dangerous group."

Other tactics he proposed included "deepen(ing) our understanding of the process of radicalization." Cilluffo also lamented the lack of Arabic-speakers in US intelligence services. "The ability to speak, understand and translate Arabic is crucial to prevention and response efforts, yet US government capacities in that regard are much weaker than they should be."

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Felter, director of the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States military academy at West Point, concurred that attempts to close down the sites have proven futile. "An open society in the information age offers opportunities for asymmetric warfare that cannot be taken away, only countered. Know your enemy -- read what the terrorists are telling us online. We can monitor them ... follow the networks and assess their operational capacity. We can sabotage them by infiltrating their networks and flooding the web with bogus information. And we can anticipate their attacks by reading their strategic literature and following trends on their web forums and discussion boards," Felter said.

News source: Physorg

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i think this is a good idea... using the internet is going to be the terrorists' weakness, for one thing all you need is like a decent translator software and quick reflexes in a chatroom ... the lack of people who blend in physically wont be a problem anymore, but that might sound abit discriminatory because terrorists and extremists are from all over the world ,from many different cultures , races and religions, not just the people that the CIA is finding a hard time blending in with...

Islam != "group of terrorists calling themselves Muslims";

Islam is a thing ... and those "so-called" muslims is another very different thing ...

Abulfares, I think you misunderstood maybe.

!= mean "not"

sLm4ever is saying Islam is not a bunch of terrorists and that the terrorists who are muslim are different then what Islam is about. At least thats what I think he is saying!?

Ash said,
Abulfares, I think you misunderstood maybe.

!= mean "not"

sLm4ever is saying Islam is not a bunch of terrorists and that the terrorists who are muslim are different then what Islam is about. At least thats what I think he is saying!?

if that is the case, then I really appologize.

I did not know "!" means "not".

again sorry and I agree with sLm4ever completely. It just that there are many "online" ppl who talk against Islam without solid knowledge.

abulfares ,,, I know what how you feel
and sorry for writing "not" that way ... but I think it's because I'm doing lots of programming lately ^^;

and exactly as Ash said ... I meant that Islam is not a bunch of terrorists.

about that there are many online people talking about Islam ... well, that was about sometime ago ... but I think that now people are beginning to understand the truth =)

Wow, American politics really pushing creativity to the next level, real-time persona faking on the internet. :blink:

Isn't this the same thing they charge pedophiles for doing ?

solardog said,
No. We're trying to kill Al-Qaeda, not have sex with thier children.

The bad thing is about generalization and about the so undefined idea of "potential" dangerous groups... it becomes unreasonable to infiltrate and mess with privacy and freedom of people just because of "potential danger".

Other tactics he proposed included "deepen(ing) our understanding of the process of radicalization.

An understanding of how the unsolicited and unjustified invasion and occupation of Islamic countries creates the "...ties that bind individual extremists into a cohesive and dangerous group" would go a long way toward preventing the establishment and growth of these organizations in the first place.

So Iraq is an 'Islamic country' then?

What was it before Islam was invented?

Iraq is supposed to be secular.

It was under Saddam Hussain.

I personally think if these extremists want a punch up on the battlefield , then bring it on.

They will lose.

As for allowing them all to meet on-line and recruit on-line, let em, they are better monitored that way.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Persia.

And if you go back to about 4000 BC, you arrive at Mesopotamia, the cradle of Western civilization.

While my ancestors in Europe were living in caves and fighting each other with rocks and sticks and teeth, the early Mesopotamians were doing things like inventing writing and mathematics and astronomy.

TRC said,
That is true. Too bad they went backwards while the rest of the world was going forward.

So the US invading countries for oil (like Iraq / Afghanistan) and manipulating politics in others (Palestine / Cuba / Iran) is forward progress? So financing Israel and destabilising the entire Middle East is forward progress? So having a government hugely influenced by big business is forward progress? So refusing to take responsibility for emissions (this applies to the Europe as well) is forward progress? For as many thing as we've improved we have also slipped back in many others.

I never said that other countries were perfect, but as a society overall much of the rest of the world has advanced far ahead of the third world countries in the middle east and their religious wars. Do you honestly think that the middle east has advanced since the days of the Mesopotamians? Dragging modern politics and nutjob conspiracy theories (invaded them for oil) doesn't change the fact that they have gone backwards. From inventing writing, mathematics and so on to what they are today.

TRC said,
Dragging modern politics and nutjob conspiracy theories (invaded them for oil)

Afghanistan had and has absolutely no political value, except for the huge oil pipeline that they want to build running through it. Iraq obviously controls a lot of oil. Bush is funded by the oil industry, as are many of his closest appointees. How is it a nutjob theory? It's not like the US tries to help the people of every country with an oppressive government, otherwise they would have targeted Zimbabwe, Sudan or any other countless countries... oh yeah, they don't have oil.

TRC said,
From inventing writing, mathematics and so on to what they are today.

I think the US is a pretty big factor in how messed up the Middle East is - it's been one big mess since the US recognised Israel as a sovereign state. I don't think giving Israel the technology to make nuclear weapons is particularly helpful either... actually, it's down right ridiculous.

However, your point is correct. Considering it was the foundation of modern society and intellectual thinking the situation there today is quite ironic.

what's even better is that if the infiltrators get caught, they won't be beheaded! :D

and they can't ban the IP, because there could be real american islamic fanatics that want to access the site.
why didn't they think of this earlier?