October 17, 2005

US Seizes al-Qaeda Webmaster, Hacks al-Qaeda Website

Hatched by Sachi

The US military captured Abu Dijana, a top propaganda agent for Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Abu Dijana was the Webmaster of a "members-only" website called Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He was responsible for blogging the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda, such as bombing American convoys, Iraqi police, or citizens exiting from a mosque.

Abu Dijana was so efficient that, within minutes of some brutal act of terrorism, Al-Qaeda in Iraq would take credit on the website, posting video clips and triumphant boast-posts. Intelligence officers and major American media regularly used the site to make official determinations of responsibility.

In one typical case, just three hours after an attack, the site showed video of a man identified as the suicide bomber Abu Musab al-Iraqi, who says, "I have dreamed about this moment. I am sure if my family is watching this they will be more proud of me."

Musab's words are followed by a video of a car he is said to be driving, blowing up in the midst of an American convoy. The incident is replayed again and again with more of Musab's speech superimposed over the ball of flames and smoke rising above the U.S. convoy. "Thank God this day I went to kill many crusaders." His declaration ends, "Today I will be in heaven."

Not only are the attacks themselves coordinated, so is the recording of them. Abu Dijana gathered information of impending attacks and provided equipment to his cell members to record attacks. After each attack, the collected photographs and video were swiftly uploaded to the website.

The most obvious purpose of the website is to webcast terrorist attacks as a propaganda tool, but al-Qaeda also uses the site to recruit volunteers for more suicide bombings and intimidate local citizens. Al-Qaeda members use the site as a communication system as well, to coordinate attacks, train the recruits, and just to report the daily dish for jihadists. It's so popular, it's a wonder they don't have SiteMeter and a listing in the TTLB Ecosystem.

That's why the "al-Qaida in Iraq" site, available to members only, features highly detailed tutorials on bomb-making, strategy for assassinations, and even a workshop on hacking into secret American government Web sites. The Web site claims it has 4,000 members.

For reasons of security, each new member of the site must be approved by a committee of existing members. "It's full of intelligence information and the enemy might use it against us," one member said. With as many as 1,500 members logging on in a single day, the Web site is also an effective security tool for al-Qaida. When its operatives get word of an impending U.S. raid, it puts out flash security warnings to fighters who might be targets.

Evidently this precaution was not sufficient: the webmaster, Abu Dijana himself, was caught in just such a raid.

There are more unsecured websites in Iraq. Americans are closely monitoring such sites and hacking them for information gathering. Not only are we winning the war on land, sea, and air, we're beating them like a dozen eggs in the blogosphere, as well!

Hatched by Sachi on this day, October 17, 2005, at the time of 9:26 PM

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» One more: AQ in Iraq's webmaster deleted from The Jawa Report
Good news on the cyberwar front: top Al Qaeda in Iraq web talent gets taken down in a US raid--which may be why the referendum weekend was so quiet. Big Lizards got the story. Jawa Report Value Added: BigLiz links... [Read More]

Tracked on October 18, 2005 1:48 PM

» One more: AQ in Iraq's webmaster deleted--UPDATE from The Jawa Report
Good news on the cyberwar front: top Al Qaeda in Iraq web talent gets taken down in a US raid--which may be why the referendum weekend was so quiet. Big Lizards got the story. Jawa Report Value Added: BigLiz links... [Read More]

Tracked on October 18, 2005 4:17 PM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

I guess there are some blogrolls you just don't want to be on. Thanks, but no thanks.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 17, 2005 10:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: harkyman

I'm an IT Manager. My analysis of this from an IT perspective and response to your post got way too long for the comments section.

steelcitycowboy.harkyman.com

The above hissed in response by: harkyman [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 10:44 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico

Well, those of us who are struggling for publicity for our own websites want blogroll listings wherever we can get them!

And maybe they ought to try for the TTLB ecosystem; if your figure of 1,500 a day is correct, that would make them Mortal Humans, number 26 in the ecosystem, ahead of such luminaries like Real Clear Politics, Wonkette, Oliver Willis, our own wonderful host and Sister Toldjah (all Large Mammals), and way ahead of poor Marauding Marsupials such as myself.

Well, it's good to know that Powerline beats al Qaeda . . . but so does The Daily Kos!

The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 5:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico

Speaking of which, you said:

I'm a Large Mammal in the TTLB Ecosystem

...Now isn't that an embarassssssing admissssion?

One would think that you'd much more naturally be a Slithering Reptile, so you're simply going to have to cut your readership down!

The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 5:41 PM

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