60 Minutes did a segment last night on the use of the internet by our enemies. One of the few fair and balanced stories you will see on that show so it’s worth the 15 minutes to watch it. They interview many people, one being Aaron from Internet Haganah. Here he puts a few myths to rest:
This brings us to myth number 1.
Myth Number 1: jihadi web sites were primitive ‘back in the day’ but now they are oh so sophisticated, and the jihadists who operate those sites are likewise more adept.
He then shows us examples of sites from years back and today. No big difference. Neither is technically sophisticated.
This brings us to the 2nd myth.
Myth Number 2: you can get sites shut down, but they will just pop back up again.
Aaron then shows us that over 80% of the sites he helped to shut down are still dead.
Myth Number 3: maybe you can get sites shut down, but many more will magically pop up to replace them.
I’ll let Aaron answer that one himself:
This ‘myth’ is perhaps more properly termed an ‘excuse for inaction’.
Memri had an article last week which is a perfect compliment to the 60 minute segment:
Alongside military jihad, which has been gaining momentum and extracting an ever growing price from many countries around the globe, Islamists have been developing a new form of warfare, termed "electronic jihad," which is waged on the Internet. This new form of jihad was launched in recent years and is still in its early stages of development. However, as this paper will show, Islamists are fully aware of its destructive potential, and persistently strive to realize this potential.
Electronic jihad is a phenomenon whereby mujahideen use the Internet to wage economic and ideological warfare against their enemies. Unlike other hackers, those engaged in electronic jihad are united by a common strategy and ideology which are still in a process of formation.[…]Mission statements posted on the websites of electronic jihad groups reveal that just like the mujahideen on the military front, the mujahideen operating on the Internet are motivated by profound ideological conviction. They despise hackers who "engage in purposeless and meaningless sabotage" or are motivated by desire for publicity or by any other worldly objective. They perceive themselves as jihad-fighters who assist Islam and promote tawhid(Monotheism) via the Internet. More importantly, they view cyberspace as a virtual battlefield in which the mujahideen can effectively defeat the West.
That the mujahideen operating in cyberspace are motivated by ideology, in contrast to many hackers, is illustrated by the following example. Recently, a participant on an Islamist forum posted instructions for breaking into a UK-based commercial website and stealing the customers’ credit card information in order to inflict financial damage on the "unbelievers" (i.e. on the non-Muslims customers and retailers). His initiative sparked a fierce debate among the forum participants, the dominant opinion being that this initiative falls outside the boundaries of legitimate cyber-jihad. One forum participant wrote: "Oh brother, we do not steal… We attack racist, American and Shi’ite [websites] and all corrupt websites." Another participant reminded the forum members that stealing from unbelievers is forbidden.
The article ends with an ominous note:
The evidence presented here shows that electronic jihad is a form of cyber-warfare with ideological underpinnings and defined goals, which manifests in well-coordinated cyber-attacks. Examination of the websites reveals that the Islamist hackers maintain constant communication among themselves, share software and expertise and conduct debates on strategy and legitimate targets. There is also evidence of increasingly efficient coordination of attacks. The mujahideen’s own statements show that they mean to position themselves as a formidable electronic attack force which is capable of inflicting severe damage – greater even than the damage caused by conventional terrorist attacks.
But with all this evidence that the internet jihad used by our enemy is a real and dangerous threat what do we get from the left? Check out KOS for the answer:
Okay – this story goes into the "You’re Fucking Kidding Me" file. Sorry for the profanity, but you’ll have to live with it.
The lead story on 60 Minutes tonight filed by Scott Pelley is about how the internet is responsible for the attempt on Vice President Dick Cheney’s life when he was in Afghanistan last week.
The story IGNORES the fact that the Bush Administration has completely ignored Al Qaeda since they invaded Iraq. He is at this moment suggesting that – gasp – horrors – "posting videos" is contributing to terrorism.
Pelley claims that the immediacy of the internets is compromising national security.[…]Here we go on the next assault on free speech. This one the media will heartily support so as to kill their competition – that would be "us" by the way.
My God. This country is totally screwed up. I thought we had a chance to bring it back, but I am not at all hopeful anymore.
Yes, it’s one big conspiracy to take away the internet:
It’s obvious, to the eye trained in modern media/government symbiosis, that this is the "shot across the bow", warning that unless we do something about this NOW, that the "jihadis" will spill over from the internet, across Afghanistan and Iraq, and straight to our shores. There is nothing innocent about it.
As they said in the final scene, "It’s a different type of warfare. It’s a battle of perceptions, and al Queda understands it, and America needs to understand it."
How do you win a battle of perceptions without controlling how those perceptions are formed and distributed?
They want to control the internet like China and Iran, but they want us to believe that any controls they put in place are to "protect our freedoms". There is nothing innocent about a story like this, it is just a way to familiarize you with the storyline that will be pushed in the near future, which is, "If you don’t support controlling the internet, you’re for the terrorists winning."
But not too worry young lefties. 60 minutes will be back next week with their regularly scheduled segments of misinformation. But until then have a look at the show that caused all the furor: