Al-Qaeda Also Uses MySpace

Posted on March 10, 2006

An ABC News article says that the Al-Qaeda terror organization learned to switch from using websites to social networking sites such as Orkut and MySpace. An earlier article on the same subject had singled out Orkut as a favorite for Osama Bin Laden fan clubs.
After relying heavily on fixed � and thus vulnerable � Web sites until early 2002, al Qaeda quickly switched to hiding its online operations within more legitimate bulletin boards and Internet sites offering free upload services or connecting through such popular social network sites as Orkut and MySpace.
Once Al-qaeda was scrambled and "on the run" they turned to the Internet where they could easily communicate without physical meetings using free email (the article mentions Hotmail), websites and the social networks.
Now on the run, bin Laden's organization is even more virtual, which often means more dependent on the World Wide Web to spread propaganda and plot operations.

It is also one of the main reasons why, despite the many blows that it received since 9/11, many analysts believe the organization's operational capabilities have not truly diminished.
They do still use websites to spread hate propaganda.
Law enforcement officials in Europe report that the number of such Web sites went from a dozen on Sept. 10, 2001, to close to 5,000 today.

While only a handful are currently operated by al Qaeda officials or militants, they serve a crucial purpose by "spreading activation" and nourishing the outrage or the global Muslim community, therefore laying the groundwork for al Qaeda's fundraising and recruitment activities.
People use social networks to communicate and share contacts and resources. Unfortunately, terrorists find them useful as well as they build anonymous communities for their own nefarious purposes.
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