Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Beyond the Barrel of a Gun

NYTimes article that's very relevant to Munz's recent post and ensuing discussion. A snippet:

Terrorists hold little or no terrain, except on the Web. “Al Qaeda and other terrorists’ center of gravity lies in the information domain, and it is there that we must engage it,” said Dell L. Dailey, the State Department’s counterterrorism chief.

Some of the government’s most secretive counterterrorism efforts involve disrupting terrorists’ cyberoperations. In Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, specially trained teams have recovered computer hard drives used by terrorists and are turning the terrorists’ tools against them.

Addendum:

Via Dancho Danchev: A plethora of information on the subject of Cyber Jihadists, specifically an analysis of the conflicting interests brought about when dealing with their online collectives (websites, forums, etc.) Including a smart look at three possible scenarios; shutting them down, censoring them or utilizing them as an unwitting tool for intelligence through monitoring. Even more pertinent to the above mentioned post and commentary. It also includes a lengthy list of Danchev's previous posts on the relationship between terror networks and the internet.

5 comments:

M├╝nzenberg said...

hey soob, also check out dancho danchev's blog here: http://ddanchev.blogspot.com/2008/03/terror-on-internet-conflict-of-interest.html

I missed this, he posted it a few days back. Brilliant analysis at a technical level of what happens when terrorist websites get shut down. you can add it to this post if you wanted too.

subadei said...

I really should make it a point to read him daily. Great resource and perfectly timed given the discourse below. I've added to the original post.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

From Dancho:

Now, picture the situation where an intelligence agency is shutting down cyber jihadist sites on a large scale not believing in the value that the intelligence data they they could provide, another one given a mandate to censor cyber jihadist communities compiling reports stating that someone's shutting them down before they could even censor them, and a third one who would have to again play cat and mouse game the locate them once they've shut down by the first intel agency already. Ironic or not, different mandates and empowerment is where the contradiction begins.

IO fratricide amongst disparate OGA's either gets tolerated and worked around or it gets deconflicted. They would likely either tolerate or attempt to deconflict with Irregulars in much the same way.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Now picture a situation in which an anti-Islamist virtual militia is leaving comments all over the dextrosphere begging people not to mess with [insert target jihadi website here]. The comments don't explain why this site should be left alone, but passionately pleads for patriot forebearance while hinting that patience will be well rewarded.

Make 'em so paranoid they shut themselves down.

M├╝nzenberg said...

cannonneer that'd be a good strategy. Imagine sites that are hard to get down, that'd be open to propaganda where the site could be considered a honeypot or OGA front and the jihadis would stay away from it.