Free Essay

It and Terrorism


Submitted By priyankana
Words 11580
Pages 47





|PRITISH S. ROONGTA |WRO 0279357 |09820456348 |
|RADHIKA R. PALKAR |WRO 0286747 |09833391122 |
|RUTU A. SHAH |WRO 0278759 |09819033996 |
|VINIT D. PATIL |WRO 0313142 |09819689616 |

BATCH TIMING: 05.00 PM TO 09.00 PM




|1. |Internet And Terrorism |5 |
|2. |Modern Terrorism And Internet |7 |
|3. |Issues of E – Terrorism in India |8 |
|4. |The Mumbai Attacks |10 |
|5. |Terrorist Codes |12 |
|6. |Terrorist Groups |14 |
|7. |Detections by American Agencies |17 |
|8. |Problems relating to Google Earth |19 |
|9. |Other Issues |21 |
|10. |Electronic Needs |23 |
|11. |Fundraising |29 |
|12. |Recruitment And Mobilization |31 |
|13. |Networking |33 |
|14. |Data mining |35 |
|15. |Publicity And propaganda |37 |
|16. |Psychological Warfare |39 |
|17. |Planning And Co ordination |41 |
|18. |Sharing Information |43 |
|19. |An Overview of Terrorist Websites |45 |
|20. |Content of Terrorist Sites |46 |
|21. |Conclusion |47 |
|22. |Bibliography |49 |
|23. |Thanks Giving |49 |

The Internet and Terrorism

The great virtues of the Internet—ease of access, lack of regulation, vast potential audiences, and fast flow of information, among others—have been turned to the advantage of groups committed to terrorizing societies to achieve their goals. Today, all active terrorist groups have established their presence on the Internet. A scan of the Internet in 2003–04 revealed hundreds of websites serving terrorists and their supporters. Terrorism on the Internet is a very dynamic phenomenon: websites suddenly emerge, frequently modify their formats, and then swiftly disappear—or, in many cases, seem to disappear by changing their online address but retaining much the same content.

Computers and different forms of technology have came under attack for possibly being used in terrorist attacks in Mumbai. These different forms of technology and security considered by investigators or the news media should not be the only concern of Information Technology departments. With Botnets, viruses, malware, and hacking being some of the most critical worries in Information Technology, terrorism comes into play. It is widely known that countries have used cyberwarfare to attack other countries.

Terrorism or possible terrorism should be considered on all levels of business. Hackers are not just script kiddies or people who deface websites.

These groups of malicious hackers could damage databases, steal assets or use platforms to launch attacks.

Technologies that are available today that include online mapping, smartphones, GPS and websites that present current technology can update or inform groups of individuals wanting to do harm. This type of malicious intent has to be taken into consideration.

CIOs, Information Technology managers and leaders in information technology need to analyze the security of their individual networks and every node on the network.

With antivirus technology solutions and end point security software readily available, these leaders in information technology have to protect not only their network but all mobile devices and nodes in their inventory.Regardless of the operating systems being used in businesses; updates are critical. These businesses also have to examine and update any add on software, browser add ons, third party software and any software being used. Security doesn't stop in today's world with any device.

The policies requiring the maintenance and updates of all computers including security reviews must be in place. Reviews of logs and the changing of passwords along with the 'rights and permissions' enforcement must be enforced.

The sophistication of any node on your network cannot be overlooked. These hardware devices regardless if they are wireless access points, printers, routers, firewalls or any computer related node must be updated with software or firmware.

Security worries don't end at the typical traditional threats IT managers have faced in the past. The internet has become a tool for terrorist and terrorism. Is the defacement of a website a form of terrorism? Investigations show websites, online applications and the new technology of today can be used for carrying out attacks.

Modern Terrorism and the Internet

Paradoxically, the much decentralized network of communication that the U.S. security services created out of fear of the Soviet Union now serves the interests of the greatest foe of the West’s security services since the end of the Cold War: international terror. The roots of the modern Internet are to be found in the early 1970s, during the days of the Cold War, when the U.S. Department of Defense was concerned about reducing the vulnerability of its communication networks to nuclear attack. The Defense Department decided to decentralize the whole system by creating an interconnected web of computer networks.

After twenty years of development and use by academic researchers, the Internet quickly expanded and changed its character when it was opened up to commercial users in the late 1980s. By the mid-1990s, the Internet connected more than 18,000 private, public, and national networks, with the number increasing daily. Hooked into those networks were about 3.2 million host computers and perhaps as many as 60 million users spread across all seven continents. The estimated number of users in the early years of the twenty-first century is over a billion.

As it burgeoned, the Internet was hailed as an integrator of cultures and a medium for businesses, consumers, and governments to communicate with one another. It appeared to offer unparalleled opportunities for the creation of a forum in which the “global village” could meet and exchange ideas, stimulating and sustaining democracy throughout the world. However, with the enormous growth in the size and use of the network, utopian visions of the promise of the Internet were challenged by the proliferation of pornographic and violent content on the web and by the use of the Internet by extremist organizations of various kinds. Groups with very different political goals but united in their readiness to employ terrorist tactics started using the network to distribute their propaganda, to communicate with their supporters, to foster public awareness of and sympathy for their causes, and even to execute operations. By its very nature, the Internet is in many ways an ideal arena for activity by terrorist organizations.

Issues of e-terrorists in India

Mumbai Companies can truly add terrorism to their list of threats. Risk Management has a new 'risk' added to the consideration list of how assets can be lost or how a company's computers can be used as a tool for terrorists. The Mumbai, India, police have launched their previously announced plan to secure Wi-Fi networks. A team of police is using a battery of devices to systematically identify and eliminate unsecured Wi-Fi networks in the wake of last year's attacks, where terrorists used the Internet and other communications networks.

An 80-member team of police officers has been outfitted with Wi-Fi scanners, software, laptops and Internet-enabled mobile phones. Starting in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, a business hub in the west-central city suburb, the Wi-Fi cops will spread out through nearby residential areas. The goal is to scan for Wi-Fi signals, identify those that are unsecured, then either shut them down or have business and residential users take steps to protect them from unauthorized access.

The story is being reported by Cybermedia India Online Limited (CIOL), an Indian Web site focused on information technology. The story quotes Sanjay Mohite, Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Police: "It's an awareness campaign, where the police officials will educate the users about security aspect of Wi-Fi networks. And the officer's team will visit homes, schools, colleges and offices to check unsecured networks." The project, apparently unprecedented in its scale, was originally announced last September.

Terrorists in India used Wi-Fi networks and Internet services in a number of attacks last year, including the Ahmedabad serial blasts last July and the recent Mumbai attacks, according to the report. Investigations of the blasts found that terrorists hacked a computer belonging to Kenneth Haywood, a U.S. citizen living in a Mumbai suburb, and used it to send e-mail shortly before the Ahmedabad bombs detonated.

Last September, an unsecured Wi-Fi network at Kamran Powers Control Private Limited was used by terrorists for e-mails following the bomb explosions in New Delhi.

Another unsecured Wi-Fi connection, this one at Mumbai's Khalsa College, was used by terrorists to send e-mails to a media outlet, and to threaten police officers involved in the investigation, CIOL reports. Making people aware of their unsecured wireless LAN (WLAN) is a start, but without some kind of technical help — or at least the threat of sanctions — many unskilled users are likely to find it difficult to figure out how to protect their connection.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks linked with broadband Internet connections appear to be the rule rather than the exception, as repeated studies have found. And while illicit use is not quite as common as the unsecured networks themselves, it's significant. A study last April by Accenture found that 12% of survey respondents, from the U.S. and U.K., said they logged into someone else's unsecured WLAN. Last August, a group of researchers raised a balloon loaded with scanning gear 150 feet over Las Vegas. In 20 minutes, they identified 700 Wi-Fi signals, 30% of them unsecured, according to one account.

TERROR ATTACK on Mumbai has reaffirmed the argument that uncontrolled use of advanced technologies is helping the cause of terrorists and those who want to spread mayhem in the world. In the recent Mumbai attacks on December 26, it has been discovered that Google Earth, a web based service, Internet telephony, satellite phones and online data were used to execute the deadly terror attack. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in a Mumbai court demanding a ban on the Google Earth service. The petitioner has alleged that the service provided by Google helps the terrorists in identifying and selecting targets to be attacked.


The terrorists who attacked various locations in southern Mumbai used digital maps from Google Earth to learn their way around, according to officials investigating the attacks. Investigations by the Mumbai police, including the interrogation of one captured terrorist, suggest that the terrorists were highly trained and used technologies such as satellite phones and the Global Positioning System (GPS), according to police. Google Earth has previously come in for criticism in India, including from the country's former president, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Kalam warned in a 2005 lecture that the easy availability online of detailed maps of countries from services such as Google Earth could be misused by terrorists. A Google spokeswoman said in an e-mail today that Google Earth's imagery is available through commercial and public sources. Google Earth has also been used by aid agencies for relief operations, which outweighs abusive uses, she said. Indian security agencies have complained that Google Earth exposed Indian defense and other sensitive installations. Other nations, including China, have made similar complaints regarding military locations.

The locations included two hotels, a restaurant, a residential complex and a railway station.UK police have claimed that the rising popularity of VoIP could be abused by terrorist organisations, reports Sky News.Concerns have recently been raised regarding the security risks of VoIP and this new comment will add further significance to the debate.Peter Sommer, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, said that terrorists could use VoIP to avoid traditional phone-tapping methods."The problem for law enforcement is you can issue a warrant but you may not be able to enforce it against the company because the company is overseas.

"If you can enforce it, you have still got no idea where the person is who is making the call - if you get hold of the content, it is going to be encrypted and you are not going to be able to decrypt it."


Terrorist Codes

Hidden in the X-rated pictures on several web sites and the posted comments on sports chat rooms may lie the encrypted blueprints of the next terrorist attack against the United States or its allies. It sounds farfetched, but U.S. officials and experts say it's the latest method of communication being used by Osama bin Laden and his associates to outfox law enforcement.

Bin Laden, indicted in the bombing in 1998 of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, and others are hiding maps and photographs of terrorist targets and posting instructions for terrorist activities on sports chat rooms, pornographic bulletin boards and other Web sites, U.S. and foreign officials say.

"Uncrackable encryption is allowing terrorists — Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida and others — to communicate about their criminal intentions without fear of outside intrusion," FBI Director Louis Freeh said last March during closed-door testimony on terrorism before a Senate panel. "They're thwarting the efforts of law enforcement to detect, prevent and investigate illegal activities."

Once the exclusive domain of the National Security Agency, the super-secret U.S. agency responsible for developing and cracking electronic codes, encryption has become the everyday tool of Muslim extremists in Afghanistan, Albania, Britain, Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Syria, the USA, the West Bank and Gaza and Yemen, U.S. officials say.


Terrorist Groups

It's become so fundamental to the operations of these groups that bin Laden and other extremists are teaching it at their camps in Afghanistan and Sudan, they add.

"There is a tendency out there to envision a stereotypical Muslim fighter standing with an AK-47 in barren Afghanistan," says Ben Venzke, director of special intelligence projects for iDEFENSE, a cyberintelligence and risk management company based in Fairfax, Va.

"But Hamas, Hezbollah and bin Laden's groups have very sophisticated, well-educated people. Their technical equipment is good, and they have the bright, young minds to operate them," he said.

U.S. officials say bin Laden's organization, al-Qaida, uses money from Muslim sympathizers to purchase computers from stores or by mail. Bin Laden's followers download easy-to-use encryption programs from the Web, officials say, and have used the programs to help plan or carry out three of their most recent plots:

Wadih El Hage, one of the suspects in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, sent encrypted e-mails under various names, including "Norman" and "Abdus Sabbur," to "associates in al Qaida," according to the Oct. 25, 1998, U.S. indictment against him. Hage went on trial Monday in federal court in New York.

Khalil Deek, an alleged terrorist arrested in Pakistan in 1999, used encrypted computer files to plot bombings in Jordan at the turn of the millennium, U.S. officials say. Authorities found Deek's computer at his Peshawar, Pakistan, home and flew it to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md. Mathematicians, using supercomputers, decoded the files, enabling the FBI to foil the plot. Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, used encrypted files to hide details of a plot to destroy 11 U.S. airliners. Philippines officials found the computer in Yousef's Manila apartment in 1995. U.S. officials broke the encryption and foiled the plot. Two of the files, FBI officials say, took more than a year to decrypt.

"All the Islamists and terrorist groups are now using the Internet to spread their messages," says Reuven Paz, academic director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, an independent Israeli think tank.

U.S. officials and militant Muslim groups say terrorists began using encryption — which scrambles data and then hides the data in existing images — about five years ago.

But the groups recently increased its use after U.S. law enforcement authorities revealed they were tapping bin Laden's satellite telephone calls from his base in Afghanistan and tracking his activities.

"It's brilliant," says Ahmed Jabril, spokesman for the militant group Hezbollah in London. "Now it's possible to send a verse from the Koran, an appeal for charity and even a call for jihad and know it will not be seen by anyone hostile to our faith, like the Americans."

Extremist groups are not only using encryption to disguise their e-mails but their voices, too, Attorney General Janet Reno told a presidential panel on terrorism last year, headed by former CIA director John Deutsch. Encryption programs also can scramble telephone conversations when the phones are plugged into a computer.

"In the future, we may tap a conversation in which the terrorist discusses the location of a bomb soon to go off, but we will be unable to prevent the terrorist act when we cannot understand the conversation," Reno said.

Here's how it works: Each image, whether a picture or a map, is created by a series of dots. Inside the dots are a string of letters and numbers that computers read to create the image. A coded message or another image can be hidden in those letters and numbers.They're hidden using free encryption Internet programs set up by privacy advocacy groups. The programs scramble the messages or pictures into existing images. The images can only be unlocked using a "private key," or code, selected by the recipient, experts add. Otherwise, they're impossible to see or read.

"You very well could have a photograph and image with the time and information of an attack sitting on your computer, and you would never know it," Venzke says. "It will look no different than a photograph exchanged between two friends or family members."

U.S. officials concede it's difficult to intercept, let alone find, encrypted messages and images on the Internet's estimated 28 billion images and 2 billion Web sites. Even if they find it, the encrypted message or image is impossible to read without cracking the encryption's code. A senior Defense Department mathematician says cracking a code often requires lots of time and the use of a government supercomputer.

It's no wonder the FBI wants all encryption programs to file what amounts to a "master key" with a federal authority that would allow them, with a judge's permission, to decrypt a code in a case of national security. But civil liberties groups, which offer encryption programs on the Web to further privacy, have vowed to fight it.

Officials say the Internet has become the modern version of the "dead drop," a slang term describing the location where Cold War-era spies left maps, pictures and other information.But unlike the "dead drop," the Internet, U.S. officials say, is proving to be a much more secure way to conduct clandestine warfare.

"Who ever thought that sending encrypted streams of data across the Internet could produce a map on the other end saying 'this is where your target is' or 'here's how to kill them'?" says Paul Beaver, spokesman for Jane's Defense Weekly in London, which reports on defense and cyber terrorism issues. "And who ever thought it could be done with near perfect security? The Internet has proven to be a boon for terrorists.

Detection by American Agencies

What's more unsettling is that American computer users may assist in this growth phase for Al Qaeda. The appeal of the Internet for those engaged in any sort of crime is twofold. First, it's possible to conduct business in near complete anonymity provided you can divert pursuers by routing your activity through neutral networks and computers to cover your tracks. And second, most people running those networks and using those PCs are so completely naive about this technology that for the sophisticated criminal, hijacking the hardware is child's play.The average American computer user comprehends only a minor fraction of what his or her machine can do. Word processing, Web surfing, and burning the odd CD hardly exhaust a computer's capabilities, and consumers who shell out $2,000 every couple of years to purchase a new computer for these purposes are a little like the bourgeois urbanites who use a Viking range to boil water and reheat takeout. But a computer is connected to the outside world—and that makes the naive owner of a networked PC vulnerable. A few years ago a computer-savvy New York identity theft ring stole the credit histories of more than 30,000 people, and used them to empty bank accounts, take out false loans, and run up credit card bills. In 2003 over a thousand people had them hijacked by a group of hackers representing porn sites, who secretly used the computers as portals through which to transmit material onto the Web. The programs didn't harm the computers, and wouldn't show up unless users were looking for them. "Here people are sort of involved in the porno business and don't even know it," said Richard M. Smith, the computer researcher who first noticed the problem. Another security analyst believed the ring could be traced to the Mafia-connected computer underground in Russia—but couldn't say for sure.Terrorists have become experts at identifying unguarded server space from which to upload material. Jihad videos were recently discovered on the servers of George Washington University and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Some of the more sophisticated terrorist sites migrate from one server to another, often several times a day, in order to evade the authorities. "Reverse proxy servers" allow a user to cloak his identity behind a "front" computer, by transmitting material through that computer onto the Internet while making it appear that the front computer is in fact the server.However, the news network reported that the new national e-crime unit was expected to devote much of its time to overcoming the difficulties of tracing VoIP-using terror groups.


Problems relating Google Earth

Even prior to the Mumbai attacks, Google Earth service had come under the scanner in a number of countries. In the past, South Korea had expressed concern over the images of presidential palace and other military installations made available by Google online.

Maroc Telecom, Morocco’s main Internet service provider has blocked Google Earth since 2006. Even Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has expressed concern over the availability of pictures of sensitive Indian installations and locations, which pose a security threat. Increasingly, questions are being raised by security experts over the presence of high resolution pictures of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in Mumbai, in the Google service.

British army was forced to take up this issue with the company, when it found that Iraqi insurgents were using Google Earth to plot an attack on sensitive installations in Basra. It asked the company to replace the pictures and similar demands are now being made by security agencies across the world to ensure safety.

It is not only Google though, which is giving sleepless nights to the governments across the world but a whole lot of gizmos and services are also helping the terrorists. Experts have expressed the possibility that Twitter, a popular online tool used to update blogs, could be used by terrorists to coordinate terror attacks.

While the terrorists are making full use of the available technologies to achieve their goals, governments are also equally responsible for spreading the culture of cyber wars.


Other issues

Cyber terrorists are attacking banking and financial systems by using Internet as a weapon. The objective of the terrorists is to cripple the financial, military and communication capabilities of the enemy. Pertinent to mention that computer systems can be hacked, blasted with email bombs and hit with denial of service attacks by cyber terrorists. When these abilities are complemented on the ground with an equally motivated terror army, the results can be very lethal as seen in Mumbai.

The terrorists in Mumbai used global positioning satellites system, satellite phones, voice over Internet protocol telephony and online services to a deadly effect. In the aftermath of this attack, the Indian security forces have been left shocked by the Mumbai carnage. They are now looking for answers. In the previous installment of this series, we collected, safeguarded, and transported physical evidence. In this post, we'll begin the process of processing the data contained in the suspect's computer.After photographing the target computer at the scene, the next step is to decide whether to perform a live or a dead analysis. A live analysis is performed when it's believed that information crucial to the investigation might be contained in volatile storage. The system is not powered off until this information is retrieved. In all other cases, the target system is shut down and usually transported to the investigator's lab for analysis. A lab analysis isn't absolutely necessary, but the investigator has more control over the process and the integrity of the evidence when in the lab. Once the decision is made to power down the computer, care must be taken to ensure the normal power off sequence doesn't alter any data on nonvolatile storage. If accessing a Microsoft Windows system, for example, performing the normal shutdown process writes information to the hard drive. The best way to prevent a graceful shutdown — and this is one time you DO want to prevent it — is to simply pull the power cord from the wall outlet. This leaves the nonvolatile storage in the state it was in when the scene was secured. The computer should then be tagged and transported to the investigator's lab.

Once in the lab, the investigator prepares to analyze the computer's storage devices. He or she starts by gathering information about the computer and the way it's set up. This begins by booting the system and entering BIOS setup. Be sure the system DOES NOT boot from any internal devices. If the investigator is unsure about whether he or she can enter BIOS setup without accidentally passing to the operating system boot process, he or she should disconnect internal drives before powering up the target system. Getting to the BIOS setup is accomplished in various ways, depending on the computer's manufacturer. I use a Dell XPS M140.

The best way to document this information is by photographing the various screens as they're displayed on the target system. Before leaving setup, the investigator must consider whether to change the boot sequence. If he or she plans to use the target computer for analysis, it's critical that the system be prevented from booting from storage devices that are to be analyzed. This might result in changes to data relevant to the investigation. The best approach is to use a system set up specifically for forensics analysis. In the next installment of this series, I'll examine how to deal with a system BIOS setup protected by a password and how to prepare for the actual acquisition of data from the target system's drives.

Intelligence efforts have kicked into high gear since two planes leveled the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center and a third airliner slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. FBI agents have since seized several notebook computers and personal computers from suspected terrorists and are decoding the machines’ encrypted files in hopes of uncovering evidence that could lead to the capture of terrorist operatives—and maybe even the leader of al Qaeda himself, Osama bin Laden.For years, top-secret intelligence efforts and covert maneuvers combined with military might have served as the most commonly used weapons for tracking terrorists. But according to Michael R. Anderson, president and CEO of New Technologies, Inc., a computer forensics consulting company in Gresham, OR, a new tool is being increasingly used in the fight against terrorism: the forensic study of computers by IT and law enforcement professionals.Anderson, a retired special agent with the U.S. Treasury who was responsible for creating early computer evidence processing procedures, is an expert on computer forensics and cybercrime. I’ll share with you his thoughts, as well as another security expert’s, on how forensics is being used to find criminal leads and who might be best suited for a career in computer forensics.


Computer forensics is the science of preserving computer data as evidence to use as leads for unearthing criminal activity around the globe. And while many of us might think that the efforts of international terrorism would be more sophisticated, it may surprise you to know that the bad guys, according to Anderson, are communicating on what he calls “Bill Gates’ stuff.”Anderson says that forensics often involves decoding encrypted files and ambient data, which is often found on popular off-the-shelf software files. “Microsoft Word was never designed to be secure, which means that residue in background, temporary, or swap files can be found even if it’s deleted,” he said Swapping is a technique that enables a computer to execute programs and manipulate data files larger than main memory. “Windows is so dirty, from a security standpoint, that the stuff is probably spread over an entire computer,” Anderson said.

Forensics also involves following a “digital trail,” as Anderson calls it, by tracing e-mails as they shuttle from one ISP to another. After the World Trade Center attack, all government computer forensics efforts were focused on gathering information leading up to the event: identifying who the terrorists talked to and finding the plans outlining the logistics of the attack.

A career in computer forensics So who’s cut out to be a cybersleuth? The most likely candidates are geeks who have been experimenting with computers since they were kids, according to Steve Halligan, a security specialist employed by the Geek Squad, a computer support and repair company in Minneapolis.

“They have a curiosity and passion to learn all they can,” he explains. “Ninety-nine percent of the people working in security and forensics are self-taught. Many are former teenage hackers. But they all have a level of knowledge that can’t be taught in a classroom. They understand programming and have a deep knowledge of network administration and infrastructure. Simply, they know how networks are designed and how to make them run.”

Anderson said that being successful at computer detective work takes a burning desire to be a fact finder. “The ones who really shine are cops who know a little about computers,” he said.If you’re interested in breaking into computer forensics, Anderson suggests getting experience working with security for a corporation—especially financial institutions, where security is a top priority.“Companies have instant response teams that solve security emergencies as they occur,” he said. “Usually, there is one forensics person on a team. It’s great experience because you learn about the different security problems and how to react quickly.”

Halligan, on the other hand, believes that the best way to learn about forensics is on your own: “Learn the language, plug into the security networks, attend conferences, and follow the serious security sites where the pros hang out,” he said. Halligan’s favorites are SecurityFocus and Honeynet Project. These sites track the newest trends in security technology, and you can also find out about the techniques used by the best security gurus in action today.

If you’re already an experienced security pro, government computer security positions abound, especially in agencies like the FBI, CIA, and Treasury Department.

Does your company have a chief security officer?

Do you have a team within your organization that addresses security attacks when they occur, or do you have one person dedicated to security? Have the recent terrorist attacks changed your thinking on this issue? Tell us how your company manages the security of your network and data.

Al Qaeda-linked militants have rolled out improved security software that provides above-military-grade encryption for terrorists communicating online.

A copy of the software, Mujahideen Secrets 2, was obtained by INTELWIRE and forwarded to Paul A. Henry, Vice President for Technology Evangelism at Secure Computing (, for analysis.

According to Henry, the software is a significant upgrade to an earlier version program used by jihadists. The new software can be used to encrypt chat sessions, as well as e-mail, Web forum postings and electronic communications.

The software can easily be loaded on a USB stick, according to Henry, allowing militants to encrypt communications from otherwise insecure locations such as Internet cafes. The software is extremely easy to use, Henry said. This is a significant factor, since the computer skills (and general intelligence) of al Qaeda operatives run the gamut from highly advanced to embarrassingly inadequate.

On the higher end of that spectrum, Al Qaeda has traditionally employed fairly sophisticated computer techniques, but until recently, its implementation has generally lagged industry standards.

During the early and mid-1990s, terrorists were early adopters of laptop computers, PDAs, online publishing and digital file archiving. But while their computer habits were savvy, they were usually less than professional-level.

For instance, a laptop computer recovered from Ramzi Yousef in 1995 contained deleted files that were able to be recovered by forensic analysis. Yousef was sophisticated enough to use passwords, but not strong encryption. He removed old and sensitive files, but he didn't know to run a file shredder.

With the new software, Yousef's hard drive would have been a much tougher nut to crack. In addition to its 2,048-bit encryption, Mujahideen Secrets 2 includes a shredder and file and folder encryption. The move to stronger encryption may have been prompted by security breaches on jihadist Web sites back in September, when the U.S. government and counterterrorism analysts obtained copies of an Osama bin Laden video release before it was widely introduced on the Web. At the time, several key jihadist sites temporarily suspended operations to address the breach.

However, it's unlikely the bulk of those security issues will be solved by strong encryption. While the debut of the software represents a significant and dangerous new development for counterterrorism officials, encryption and straight-up network security do not appear to have been the key factors in earlier breaches. The best encryption in the world won't help if you give away your passwords and encryption keys.

Mujahideen Secrets 2 appears to have been assembled and compiled from both open-source and copyrighted material, according to Henry. The software may be detectable when operating over networks or on targeted machines. This could be useful for counterterrorism professionals tracking terrorist and militant Web usage.

Terrorist websites target three different audiences

1) Current and potential supporters

2) International public opinion

3) Enemy publics.

The mass media, policymakers, and even security agencies have tended to focus on the exaggerated threat of cyber terrorism and paid insufficient attention to the more routine uses made of the Internet. Those uses are numerous and, from the terrorists’ perspective, invaluable.

There are eight different ways in which contemporary terrorists use the Internet, ranging from psychological warfare and propaganda to highly instrumental uses such as fundraising, recruitment, data mining, and coordination of actions. While we must better defend our societies against cyber terrorism and Internet-savvy terrorists, we should also consider the costs of applying counterterrorism measures to the Internet. Such measures can hand authoritarian governments and agencies with little public accountability tools with which to violate privacy, curtail the free flow of information, and restrict freedom of expression, thus adding a heavy price in terms of diminished civil liberties to the high toll exacted by terrorism itself.

Terrorists fight their wars in cyberspace as well as on the ground. However, while politicians and the media have hotly debated the dangers that cyber terrorism poses to the Internet, surprisingly little is known about the threat posed by terrorists’ use of the Internet. Today, as this report makes plain, terrorist

organizations and their supporters maintain hundreds of websites, exploiting the unregulated, anonymous, and easily accessible nature of the Internet to target an array of messages to a variety of audiences. Gabriel Weimann identifies no fewer than eight different ways in which terrorists are using the Internet to advance their cause, ranging from psychological warfare to recruitment, networking to fundraising. In each case, the report not only analyzes how the Internet can facilitate terrorist operations but also illustrates the point with examples culled from an extensive exploration of the World Wide Web. Gabriel Weimann is a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and professor of communication at Haifa University, Israel. He has written widely on modern terrorism, political campaigns, and the mass media. This report distills some of the findings from an ongoing, six-year study of terrorists’ use of the Internet.

The story of the presence of terrorist groups in cyberspace has barely begun to be told. In 1998, around half of the thirty organizations designated as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” under the U.S. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 maintained websites; by 2000, virtually all terrorist groups had established their presence on the Internet.

Our scan of the Internet in 2003–04 revealed hundreds of websites serving terrorists and their supporters. And yet, despite this growing terrorist presence, when policymakers, journalists, and academics have discussed the combination of terrorism and the Internet, they have focused on the overrated threat posed by cyber terrorism or cyber warfare (i.e., attacks on computer networks, including those on the Internet) and largely ignored the numerous uses that terrorists make of the Internet every day. In this report we turn the spotlight on these latter activities, identifying, analyzing, and illustrating ways in which terrorist organizations are exploiting the unique attributes of the Internet.

The material presented here is drawn from an ongoing study (now in its sixth year) of the phenomenon, during which we have witnessed a growing and increasingly sophisticated terrorist presence on the World Wide Web. Terrorism on the Internet, as we have discovered, is a very dynamic phenomenon: websites suddenly emerge, frequently modify their formats, and then swiftly disappear—or, in many cases, seem to disappear by changing their online address but retaining much the same content.

To locate the terrorists’ sites, we have conducted numerous systematic scans of the Internet, feeding an enormous variety of names and terms into search engines, entering chat rooms and forums of supporters and sympathizers, and surveying the links on other organizations’ websites to create and update our own lists of sites. This is often Herculean effort, especially because in some cases (e.g., al Qaeda’s websites) locations and contents change almost daily.

The report begins by sketching the origins of the Internet, the characteristics of the new medium that make it so attractive to political extremists, the range of terrorist organizations active in cyberspace, and their target audiences. The heart of the report is an analysis of eight different uses that terrorists make of the Internet. These range from conducting psychological warfare to gathering information, from training to fundraising, from propagandizing to recruiting, and from networking to planning and coordinating terrorist acts. In each instance, we offer concrete examples drawn from our own research, from cases reported in the media, and from contacts with Western intelligence organizations.

Although the bulk of the report amounts to a strong argument for the political, intelligence, and academic communities to pay much more attention to the dangers posed by terrorists’ use of the Internet, the report concludes with a plea to those same communities not to overreact. The Internet may be attractive to political extremists, but it also symbolizes and supports the freedom of thought and expression that helps distinguish democracies from their enemies. Effective counterterrorist campaigns do not require, and may be undermined by, draconian measures to restrict Internet access.


Like many other political organizations, terrorist groups use the Internet to raise funds.

Al Qaeda, for instance, has always depended heavily on donations, and its global fundraising network is built upon a foundation of charities, nongovernmental organizations, and other financial institutions that use websites and Internet-based chat rooms and forums. The Sunni extremist group Hizb al-Tahrir uses an integrated web of Internet sites, stretching from Europe to Africa, which asks supporters to assist the effort by giving money and encouraging others to donate to the cause of jihad. Banking information including the numbers of accounts into which donations can be deposited, is provided on a site based in Germany. The fighters in the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya have likewise used the Internet to publicize the numbers of bank accounts to which sympathizers can contribute. (One of these Chechen bank accounts is located in Sacramento, California.) The IRA’s website contains a page on which visitors can make credit card donations.

Internet user demographics (culled, for instance, from personal information entered in online questionnaires and order forms) allow terrorists to identify users with sympathy for a particular cause or issue. These individuals are then asked to make donations, typically through e-mails sent by a front group (i.e., an organization broadly supportive of the terrorists’ aims but operating publicly and legally and usually having no direct ties to the terrorist organization). For instance, money benefiting Hamas has been collected via the website of a Texas-based charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The U.S. government seized the assets of HLF in December 2001 because of its ties to Hamas. The U.S. government has also frozen the assets of three seemingly legitimate charities that use the Internet to raise money—the Benevolence International Foundation, the Global Relief Foundation, and the Al-Haramain Foundation—because of evidence that those charities have funneled money to al Qaeda.

In another example, in January 2004, a federal grand jury in Idaho charged a Saudi graduate student with conspiring to help terrorist organizations wage jihad by using the Internet to raise funds, field recruits, and locate prospective U.S. targets—military and civilian—in the Middle East. Sami Omar Hussayen, a doctoral candidate in computer science in a University of Idaho program sponsored—ironically—by the National Security Agency, was accused of creating websites and an e-mail group that disseminated messages from him and two radical clerics in Saudi Arabia that supported jihad.


Recruitment and Mobilization

The Internet can be used not only to solicit donations from sympathizers but also to recruit and mobilize supporters to play a more active role in support of terrorist activities or causes. In addition to seeking converts by using the full panoply of website technologies (audio, digital video, etc.) to enhance the presentation of their message, terrorist organizations capture information about the users who browse their websites. Users who seem most interested in the organization’s cause or well suited to carrying out its work are then contacted. Recruiters may also use more interactive Internet technology to roam online chat rooms and cybercafes, looking for receptive members of the public, particularly young people. Electronic bulletin boards and user nets (issue-specific chat rooms and bulletins) can also serve as vehicles for reaching out to potential recruits.

Some would-be recruits, it may be noted, use the Internet to advertise themselves to terrorist organizations. In 1995, as reported by Verton in Black Ice, Ziyad Khalil enrolled as a computer science major at Columbia College in Missouri. He also became a Muslim activist on the campus, developing links to several radical groups and operating a website that supported Hamas. Thanks in large part to his Internet activities; he came to the attention of bin Laden and his lieutenants. Khalil became al Qaeda’s procurement officer in the United States, arranging purchases of satellite telephones, computers, and other electronic surveillance technologies and helping bin Laden communicate with his followers and officers.

More typically, however, terrorist organizations go looking for recruits rather than waiting for them to present themselves. The SITE Institute, a Washington, D.C.–based terrorism research group that monitors al Qaeda’s Internet communications, has provided chilling details of a high-tech recruitment drive launched in 2003 to recruit fighters to travel to Iraq and attack U.S. and coalition forces there. Potential recruits are bombarded with religious decrees and anti-American propaganda, provided with training manuals on how to be a terrorist, and—as they are led through a maze of secret chat rooms—given specific instructions on how to make the journey to Iraq. In one particularly graphic exchange in a secret al Qaeda chat room in early September 2003 an unknown Islamic fanatic, with the user name “Redemption Is Close,” writes, “Brothers, how do I go to Iraq for Jihad? Are there any army camps and is there someone who commands there?” Four days later he gets a reply from “Merciless Terrorist.” “Dear Brother, the road is wide open for you—there are many groups, go look for someone you trust, join him, he will be the protector of the Iraqi regions and with the help of Allah you will become one of the Mujahidin.” “Redemption Is Close” then presses for more specific information on how he can wage jihad in Iraq. “Merciless Terrorist” sends him a propaganda video and instructs him to download software called Pal Talk, which enables users to speak to each other on the Internet without fear of being monitored.

Many terrorist websites stop short of enlisting recruits for violent action but they do encourage supporters to show their commitment to the cause in other tangible ways.

“How can I help the struggle: A few suggestions,” runs a heading on the Kahane Lives website; “Action alert: What you can do” is a feature on the Shining Path’s website. The power of the Internet to mobilize activists is illustrated by the response to the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdish terrorist group the PKK. When Turkish forces arrested Ocalan, tens of thousands of Kurds around the world responded with demonstration within a matter of hours—thanks to sympathetic websites urging supporters to protest.



Many terrorist groups, among them Hamas and al Qaeda, have undergone a transformation from strictly hierarchical organizations with designated leaders to affiliations of semi-independent cells that have no single commanding hierarchy. Through the use of the Internet, these loosely interconnected groups are able to maintain contact with one another—and with members of other terrorist groups.

In the future, terrorists are increasingly likely to be organized in a more decentralized manner, with arrays of transnational groups linked by the Internet and communicating and coordinating horizontally rather than vertically.

Several reasons explain why modern communication technologies, especially computermediated communications, are so useful for terrorists in establishing and maintaining networks. First, new technologies have greatly reduced transmission time, enabling dispersed organizational actors to communicate swiftly and to coordinate effectively.

Second, new technologies have significantly reduced the cost of communication. Third by integrating computing with communications, they have substantially increased the variety and complexity of the information that can be shared.

The Internet connects not only members of the same terrorist organizations but also members of different groups. For instance, dozens of sites exist that express support for terrorism conducted in the name of jihad.

These sites and related forums permit terrorists in places such as Chechnya, Palestine, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Lebanon to exchange not only ideas and suggestions but also practical information about how to build bombs, establish terror cells, and carry out attacks.


Data Mining

The Internet may be viewed as a vast digital library. The World Wide Web alone offers about a billion pages of information, much of it free—and much of it of interest to terrorist organizations. Terrorists, for instance, can learn from the Internet a wide variety of details about targets such as transportation facilities, nuclear power plants, public buildings, airports, and ports, and even about counterterrorism measures. Dan Verton, in his book Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyberterrorism (2003), explains that “al-Qaeda cells now operate with the assistance of large databases containing details of potential targets in the U.S. They use the Internet to collect intelligence on those targets, especially critical economic nodes, and modern software enables them to study structural weaknesses in facilities as well as predict the cascading failure effect of attacking certain systems.”

According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking on January 15, 2003, an al Qaeda training manual recovered in Afghanistan tells its readers, “Using public source openly and without resorting to illegal means, it is possible to gather at least 80 percent of all information required about the enemy.”

The website operated by the Hackers Club (a group that U.S. security agencies believe aims to develop software tools with which to launch cyberattacks) has featured links to U.S. sites that purport to disclose sensitive information such as code names and radio frequencies used by the U.S. Secret Service. The same website offers tutorials in creating and spreading viruses, devising hacking stratagems, sabotaging networks, and developing codes; it also provides links to other militant Islamic and terrorist web addresses.

Specific targets that al Qaeda–related websites have discussed include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta; FedWire, the money-movement clearing system maintained by the Federal Reserve Board; and facilities controlling the flow of information over the Internet. Like many other Internet users, terrorists have access not only to maps and diagrams of potential targets but also to imaging data on those same facilities and networks that may reveal counterterrorist activities at a target site.

One captured al Qaeda computer contained engineering and structural features of a dam, which had been downloaded from the Internet and which would enable al Qaeda engineers and planners to simulate catastrophic failures. In other captured computers,

U.S. investigators found evidence that al Qaeda operators spent time on sites that offer software and programming instructions for the digital switches that run power, water, transportation, and communications grids.

Numerous tools are available to facilitate such data collection, including search engines, e-mail distribution lists, and chat rooms and discussion groups. Many websites offer their own search tools for extracting information from databases on their sites. Word searches of online newspapers and journals can likewise generate information of use to terrorists; some of this information may also be available in the traditional media, but online searching capabilities allow terrorists to capture it anonymously and with very little effort or expense.

Publicity and Propaganda

The Internet has significantly expanded the opportunities for terrorists to secure publicity. Until the advent of the Internet, terrorists’ hopes of winning publicity for their causes and activities depended on attracting the attention of television, radio, or the print media. These traditional media have “selection thresholds” (multistage processes of editorial selection) that terrorists often cannot reach. No such thresholds, of course, exist on the terrorists’ own websites. The fact that many terrorists now have direct control over the content of their message offers further opportunities to shape how they are perceived by different target audiences and to manipulate their own image and the image of their enemies.

As noted earlier, most terrorist sites do not celebrate their violent activities. Instead, regardless of the terrorists’ agendas, motives, and location, most sites emphasize two issues: the restrictions placed on freedom of expression and the plight of comrades who are now political prisoners. These issues resonate powerfully with their own supporters and are also calculated to elicit sympathy from Western audiences that cherish freedom of expression and frown on measures to silence political opposition.

Enemy publics, too, may be targets for these complaints in so far as the terrorists, by emphasizing the antidemocratic nature of the steps taken against them, try to create feelings of unease and shame among their foes. The terrorists’ protest at being muzzled, it may be noted, is particularly well suited to the Internet, which for many users is the symbol of free, unfettered, and uncensored communication.

Terrorist sites commonly employ three rhetorical structures all used to justify their reliance on violence. The first one is the claim that the terrorists have no choice other than to turn to violence. Violence is presented as a necessity foisted upon the weak as the only means with which to respond to an oppressive enemy. While the sites avoid mentioning how the terrorists victimize others, the forceful actions of the governments and regimes that combat the terrorists are heavily emphasized and characterized with terms such as “slaughter,” “murder,” and “genocide.”

The terrorist organization is depicted as constantly persecuted, its leaders subject to assassination attempts and its supporters massacred, its freedom of expression curtailed, and its adherents arrested. This tactic, which portrays the organization as small, weak, and hunted down by a strong power or a strong state, turns the terrorists into the underdog.A second rhetorical structure related to the legitimacy of the use of violence is the demonizing and delegitimization of the enemy. The members of the movement or organization are presented as freedom fighters, forced against their will to use violence because a ruthless enemy is crushing the rights and dignity of their people or group.

The enemy of the movement or the organization is the real terrorist, many sites insist: “Our violence is tiny in comparison to his aggression” is a common argument. Terrorist rhetoric tries to shift the responsibility for violence from the terrorist to the adversary, which is accused of displaying its brutality, inhumanity, and immorality.

A third rhetorical device is to make extensive use of the language of nonviolence in an attempt to counter the terrorists’ violent image. Although these are violent organizations, many of their sites claim that they seek peaceful solutions, that their ultimate aim is a diplomatic settlement achieved through negotiation and international pressure on a repressive government.


Psychological Warfare

Terrorism has often been conceptualized as a form of psychological warfare, and certainly terrorists have sought to wage such a campaign through the Internet. There are several ways for terrorists to do so. For instance, they can use the Internet to spread disinformation, to deliver threats intended to distill fear and helplessness, and to disseminate horrific images of recent actions, such as the brutal murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl by his captors, a videotape of which was replayed on several terrorist websites. Terrorists can also launch psychological attacks through cyber terrorism, or, more accurately, through creating the fear of cyber terrorism. “Cyber fear” is generated when concern about what a computer attack could do (for example, bringing down airliners by disabling air traffic control systems, or disrupting national economies by wrecking the computerized systems that regulate stock markets) is amplified until the public believes that an attack will happen. The Internet—an uncensored medium that carries stories, pictures, threats, or messages regardless of their validity or potential impact—is peculiarly well suited to allowing even a small group to amplify its message and exaggerate its importance and the threat it poses.

Al Qaeda combines multimedia propaganda and advanced communication technologies to create a very sophisticated form of psychological warfare. Osama bin Laden and his followers concentrate their propaganda efforts on the Internet, where visitors to al Qaeda’s numerous websites and to the sites of sympathetic, aboveground organizations can access prerecorded videotapes and audiotapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, photographs, and announcements. Despite the massive on slaught it has sustained in recent years—the arrests and deaths of many of its members, the dismantling of its operational bases and training camps in Afghanistan, and the smashing of its bases in the Far East—alQaeda has been able to conduct an impressive scare campaign.

Since September 11, 2001, the organization has festooned its websites with a string of announcements of an impending “large attack” on U.S. targets. These warnings have received considerable media coverage, which has helped to generate a widespread sense of dread and insecurity among audiences throughout the world and especially within the United States. Interestingly, al Qaeda has consistently claimed on its websites that the destruction of the World Trade Center has inflicted psychological damage, as well as concrete damage, on the U.S. economy. The attacks on the Twin Towers are depicted as an assault on the trademark of the U.S. economy, and evidence of their effectiveness is seen in the weakening of the dollar, the decline of the U.S. stock market after 9/11, and a supposed loss of confidence in the U. S. economy both within the United States and elsewhere. Parallels are drawn with the decline and ultimate demise of the Soviet Union. One of bin Laden’s recent publications, posted on the web, declared that “America is in retreat by the Grace of Almighty” and economic attrition is continuing up to today.


Planning and Coordination

Terrorists use the Internet not only to learn how to build bombs but also to plan and coordinate specific attacks. Al Qaeda operatives relied heavily on the Internet in planning and coordinating the September 11 attacks. Thousands of encrypted messages that had been posted in a password-protected area of a website were found by federal officials on the computer of arrested al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah, who reportedly masterminded the September 11 attacks. The first messages found on Zubaydah’s computer were dated May 2001 and the last were sent on September 9, 2001. The frequency of the messages was highest in August 2001. To preserve their anonymity, the al Qaeda terrorists used the Internet in public places and sent messages via public e-mail. Some of the September 11 hijackers communicated using free web-based e-mail accounts. Hamas activists in the Middle East, for example, use chat rooms to plan operations and operatives exchange e-mail to coordinate actions across Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Israel. Instructions in the form of maps, photographs, directions, and technical details of how to use explosives are often disguised by means of steganography, which involves hiding messages inside graphic files. Sometimes, however, instructions are delivered concealed in only the simplest of codes. Mohammed Atta’s final message to the other eighteen terrorists who carried out the attacks of 9/11 is reported to have read:

“The semester begins in three more weeks. We’ve obtained 19 confirmations for studies in the faculty of law, the faculty of urban planning, the faculty of fine arts, and the faculty of engineering.” (The reference to the various faculties was apparently the code for the buildings targeted in the attacks.) Since 9/11, U.S. security agencies have monitored a number of websites that they believe are linked to al Qaeda and appear to contain elements of cyber planning (e.g., directions for operatives, information for supporters and activists, calls for action, threats, and links to other websites):

1), which, until it was closed down in 2002, is said by U.S. officials to have contained encrypted information to direct al Qaeda members to more secure sites, featured international news about al Qaeda, and published a variety of articles, books, and fatwas (the latter typically declaring war on the United States, Christianity, or Judaism);

2), which served as a mouthpiece for jihad in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Palestine;

3), which in the late 1990s and early 2000s urged sympathizers to assassinate Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf;

4), a site that U.S. officials claim is linked not only to al Qaeda but also to Hamas;

5), which offered a thirty-six-minute video of Osama bin Laden lecturing, preaching, and making threats;

6), which aimed to teach visitors how to hack into Internet networks and

how to infect government and corporate websites with “worms” and viruses;

7), which featured quotations from bin Laden and religious legal rulings justifying

the attacks of 9/11 and other assaults on the West;

8), run (some experts suspect) by a fictional institution called the Islamic

Studies and Research Center and reported to be the most credible of dozens of Islamist sites posting al Qaeda news.

Sharing Information

The World Wide Web is home to dozens of sites that provide information on how to build chemical and explosive weapons. Many of these sites post The Terrorist’s Handbook and The Anarchist Cookbook, two well-known manuals that offer detailed instructions on how to construct a wide range of bombs. Another manual, The Mujahadeen Poisons Handbook, written by Abdel-Aziz in 1996 and “published” on the official Hamas website, details in twenty-three pages how to prepare various homemade poisons, poisonous gases, and other deadly materials for use in terrorist attacks. A much larger manual, nicknamed “The Encyclopedia of Jihad” and prepared by al Qaeda, runs to thousands of pages; distributed through the Internet, it offers detailed instructions on how to establish an underground organization and execute attacks. One al Qaeda laptop found in Afghanistan had been used to make multiple visits to a French site run by the Société Anonyme (a self-described “fluctuating group of artists and theoreticians who work specifically on the relations between critical thinking and artistic practices”), which offers a two volume Sabotage Handbook with sections on topics such as planning an assassination and antisurveillance methods.

This kind of information is sought out not just by sophisticated terrorist organizations but also by disaffected individuals prepared to use terrorist tactics to advance their idiosyncratic agendas. In 1999, for instance, a young man by the name of David Copeland planted nail bombs in three different areas of London: multiracial Brixton, the largely Bangladeshi community of Brick Lane, and the gay quarter in Soho. Over the course of three weeks, he killed 3 people and injured 139. At his trial, he revealed that he had learned his deadly techniques from the Internet, downloading The Terrorist’s Handbook and How to Make Bombs: Book Two. Both titles are still easily accessible. A search for the keywords “terrorist” and “handbook” on the Google search engine found nearly four thousand matches that included references to guidebooks and manuals. One site gives instructions on how to acquire ammonium nitrate, Copeland’s “first choice” of explosive material.

In Finland in 2002, a brilliant chemistry student who called himself “RC” discussed bomb-making techniques with other enthusiasts on a Finnish Internet website devoted to bombs and explosives. Sometimes he posted queries on topics such as manufacturing nerve gas at home. Often he traded information with the site’s moderator, whose messages carried a picture of his own face superimposed on Osama bin Laden’s body, complete with turban and beard. Then RC set off a bomb that killed seven people, including himself, in a crowded shopping mall. The website frequented by RC, known as the Home Chemistry Forum, was shut down by its sponsor, a computer magazine. But a backup copy was immediately posted again on a read-only basis.

Most notably, it offers

1) Easy access;

2) Little or no regulation, censorship, or other forms of government control;

3) Potentially huge audiences spread throughout the world;

4) Anonymity of communication;

5) Fast flow of information;

6) Inexpensive development and maintenance of a web presence;

7) A multimedia environment (the ability to combine text, graphics, audio, and video and to allow users to download films, songs, books, posters, and so forth); and

8) The ability to shape coverage in the traditional mass media, which increasingly use the Internet as a source for stories.

An Overview of Terrorist Websites

These advantages have not gone unnoticed by terrorist organizations, no matter what their political orientation. Islamists and Marxists, nationalists and separatists, racists and anarchists: all find the Internet alluring. Today, almost all active terrorist organizations (which number more than forty) maintain websites, and many maintain more than one website and use several different languages.

As the following illustrative list shows, these organizations and groups come from all corners of the globe. (This geographical categorization, it should be noted, reveals the geographical diversity but obscures the fact that many groups are truly transnational, and even Tran regional, in character.)

1) From the Middle East, Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement), the Lebanese Hezbollah(Party of God), the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah Tanzim, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Kahane Lives movement, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI—Mujahedin-e Khalq), the Kurdish Workers’ Party(PKK), and the Turkish-based Popular Democratic Liberation Front Party (DHKP/C) and Great East Islamic Raiders Front (IBDA-C).

2) From Europe, the Basque ETA movement, Armata Corsa (the Corsican Army), and the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

3) From Latin America, Peru’s Tupak-Amaru (MRTA) and Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN-Colombia), and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).

4) From Asia, al Qaeda, the Japanese Supreme Truth (Aum Shinrikyo), Ansar al Islam (Supporters of Islam) in Iraq, the Japanese Red Army (JRA), Hizb-ul Mujehideen in Kashmir, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU),the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Philippines, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the rebel movement in Chechnya.

Content of Terrorist sites

What is the content of terrorist sites? Typically, a site will provide a history of the organization and its activities, a detailed review of its social and political background, accounts of its notable exploits, biographies of its leaders, founders, and heroes, information on its political and ideological aims, fierce criticism of its enemies, and up-to-date news. Nationalist and separatist organizations generally display maps of the areas in dispute: the Hamas site shows a map of Palestine, the FARC site shows a map of Colombia, the LTTE site presents a map of Sri Lanka, and so forth.

Despite the ever-present vocabulary of “the armed struggle” and “resistance,” what most sides do not feature is a detailed description of their violent activities. Even if they expound at length on the moral and legal basis of the legitimacy of the use of violence, most sites refrain from referring to the terrorists’ violent actions or their fatal consequences—this reticence is presumably inspired by propagandist and image-building considerations. Two exceptions to this rule are Hezbollah and Hamas, whose sites feature updated statistical reports of their actions (“daily operations”) and tallies of both “dead martyrs” and “Israeli enemies” and “collaborators” killed.


In a briefing given in late September 2001, Ronald Dick, assistant director of the FBI and head of the United States National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), told reporters that the hijackers of 9/11 had used the Internet, and “used it well.” Since 9/11, terrorists have only sharpened their Internet skills and increased their web presence. Today, terrorists of very different ideological persuasions—Islamist, Marxist, nationalist, separatist, racist—have learned many of the same lessons about how to make the most of the Internet.

The great virtues of the Internet—ease of access, lack of regulation, vast potential audiences, fast flow of information, and so forth—have been turned to the advantage of groups committed to terrorizing societies to achieve their goals. How should those societies respond? This is not the place to attempt anything like a definitive answer, but two things seem clear. First, we must become better informed about the uses to which terrorists put the Internet and better able to monitor their activities. As noted at the outset of this report, journalists, scholars, policymakers, and even security agencies have tended to focus on the exaggerated threat of cyber terrorism and paid insufficient attention to the more routine uses made of the Internet. Those uses are numerous and, from the terrorists’ perspective, invaluable. Hence, it is imperative that security agencies continue to improve their ability to study and monitor terrorist activities on the Internet and explore measures to limit the usability of this medium by modern terrorists.

Second, while we must thus better defend our societies against terrorism, we must not in the process erode the very qualities and values that make our societies worth defending. The Internet is in many ways an almost perfect embodiment of the democratic ideals of free speech and open communication; it is a marketplace of ideas unlike any that has existed before. Unfortunately, as this report has shown, the freedom offered by the Internet is vulnerable to abuse from groups that, paradoxically, are themselves often hostile to uncensored thought and expression.

But if, fearful of further terrorist attacks, we circumscribe our own freedom to use the Internet, then we hand the terrorists a victory and deal democracy a blow. We must not forget that the fear that terrorism inflicts has in the past been manipulated by politicians to pass legislation that undermines individual rights and liberties. The use of advanced techniques to monitor, search, track, and analyze. Although such technologies might prove very helpful in the fight against cyber terrorism and Internet-savvy terrorists, they would also hand participating governments, especially authoritarian governments and agencies with little public accountability, tools with which to violate civil liberties domestically and abroad. It does take much imagination to recognize that the long-term implications could be profound and damaging for democracies and their values, adding a heavy price in terms of diminished civil liberties to the high toll exacted by terrorism itself.







Thanks Giving

We would like to thank the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) for providing such

a good opportunity for getting acquainted with Information Technology (IT). We would also like

to show appreciation towards the Professors for coaching us in such a way that learning was

pleasure. We certainly cannot forget to also thank the support staff for their help.



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...Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence by a person or group. The goal is to intimidate or coerce societies or governments in an effort to promote political or ideological beliefs. These attacks can take many forms, and could happen at any time in any place. Terrorists typically exploit weaknesses, and may use technology, hazardous materials, biological agents or other methods to create devastating disruptions to the community. Terrorism thrives on fear. By planning how to respond to a terrorist attack, you can greatly improve your chances of survival. You can also lessen the impact of the attack by reducing the fear in the aftermath. Community Involvement As Chief of River City, my first priority would be to protect the citizens of River City. Attacks can be expected to provide maximum negative effect on the following levels: emotional, food, water, health, financial, infrastructure, leadership and the very function of society. Because it is impossible to know in advance which of these areas will be impacted most heavily in the event of a terrorist event, the best course of action is to make individual preparation in the areas where you are able to do so. For example, a supply of food that is easily stored means you aren't dependent upon stores that may or may not be available at the local supermarket. The same thing is true of a water supply. The citizens would be encouraged to stock up on bottled water. The Supply of bottled water could be crucial in the event...

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...RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS AND AMERICA’S FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM SECURITY MEASURES [pic] By Latisha Gant Table of Contents I. Introduction A. How has America’s Attitude toward terrorism changed after September 11, 20011 B. What are people and Government reactions to terrorism after 911? C. Why was America’s Protection Agency Homeland Security Formed? II. Balancing American Civil rights and Against Terrorism A. What is American Census and Attitude towards Terrorist Security Measures? B. What is the political thought of American’s civil right attitudes after 911? C. What is the impact of Post 911 terrorist event and Iraq War on civil rights and Terrorism? III. Recent Trends in Americans Excepting New Security Measures as a Way of Life A. What is the impact of terrorism on American and global way of Life? B. What are the disadvantages and advantages of heightened Homeland Security Measures? C. What do people fear terrorist attacks or civil rights infringements the most? V. Conclusion THESIS STATEMENT This research paper will focus on the balancing of the relationship between American civil rights and America’s fight against terrorism. Terrorism has changed the way we use public transportation, travel in airports and train stations, eat in hotels and restaurants see movies, almost everything we do can be attacked by terrorist in America today. Terrorism by terrorist like Bin Laden and Al-Quada have influenced American...

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...Terrorism in Pakistan Full Essay: Terrorism is not just word but ideology that suffered this world a lot. There are many countries of the world that are facing this threat in their parts. Important thing is that all countries are trying to counter it but terrorism increased. Pakistan is also the victim of this terrorism. In fact it is suffering a lot than any other country. The reason of that it’s big functional boundary which is associated with big countries of the world like India, Iran, Afghanistanand China. In last UN Convention in which all heads of States were present, PM India Man Mohan Singh said Pakistan is the Epicenter of Terrorism” and all people that were sit in that convention endorsed his statement without considering that Pakistan gave lot of lives in this fight of terrorism, army men and also public. Today, bomb blast or suicide bombing is normal thing for the citizens of Pakistan. Many Pakistanis are dying these blasts but they are facing it by bravery. But the whole world is continuously pointing to us as terrorist state. What a shame? There is no govt. official that can say truth to the world and to the citizens of Pakistan that are still seeing towards leadership. This is happening with us because of our slavery and corrupt leadership that made such decisions and policies through we are reached at the edge of another partition. Our Establishment launched Jihad to rescue the people of Afghanistan against USSR. We defeated USSR badly with the help of USA...

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...What is Terrorism? By: James Morris Terrorism Terrorism is political phenomenon by which offenders threaten or use violence on civilians with the intent of exploiting fear. It can be defined as substitute classification of political violence. A quote by Sloan (2006) states “Terrorism is intentional violent acts carried out by nonstate actors against noncombatants with the purpose of effecting a political response.” In our society, the term terrorism is a method or strategy to effect political change in an area. Terrorism can be seen as crime, exploitation of fear, and a form of warfare (Lutz, 2005). Since the 1700’s, history has always kept record of the different types of violence our world has faced. And with terrorism it comes with consequences. (Sloan, 2006). A quote by Moghaddam & Marsella (2004) says “It is usually perpetrated by groups utilizing warfare, due to the fact that they are unable to gain advantage while using conventional methods.” Terrorism as Crime The relationship between the terrorism and crime are both equally considered as wrong doing. Traditionally, within the legal system of the United States, domestic terrorism is treated as a criminal act (Bender & Leone, 1986). It is directed toward civilians for the purpose of inducing fear, dread, and terror. Lutz states (2005) “The focus would be on collection of evidence that would be used in court to prosecute those accused of threats or acts of terrorism.” In a sense, all terrorism can be...

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...getting involved in fights • Inability to tolerate boredom • Disregard for right and wrong • Poor or abusive relationships • Irresponsible work behavior • Disregard for safety Background of World Anti-Terrorism Day: Terrorist activities have increased multi-fold over the last decade. A global initiative uniting all nations is required to combat terrorism. After the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S, terrorism has become the primary cause of concern for nations. History of World Anti-Terrorism Day: The concept of World Anti-Terrorism Day was initiated because thousands of youth are lured into the folds of terrorist camps and organizations each year. May 21 is observed as Anti-terrorism day every year. Purpose of World Anti-Terrorism Day: The Purpose of observing World Anti-Terrorism Day is to: Spread the message of global peace and non-violence. Deter vulnerable youth from following cult practices and being misguided. Commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who battled against terrorism. Pay homage to the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks. Device ways and hold awareness programs to protect the future generations from radical influence. Important Features of World Anti-Terrorism Day: Features on...

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Terrorism "The Devils," a novel portraying the multifarious political climate of 19th century Russia. This often-overlooked period, which presaged the Communist Revolution, saw Russia experiencing unprecedented levels of terrorism by an assortment of groups such as anarchists, nihilists, populists and socialists. The discussion of this tumultuous and critical period is among the most engaging passages in "The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda," edited by Gérard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin. The book, which includes essays by the editors as well as other scholars, provides a useful and levelheaded survey of a subject that is regularly understood and often manipulated. The very term "terrorism" is complex and takes on widely varying meanings depending on one's viewpoint. Accordingly, the book begins with a rigorous chapter by political scientist Ariel Merari that provides both a typology of terrorist acts and thoughtful insights on what distinguishes terrorism from other forms of violence. Although many definitions of terrorism exist, Merari discerns three common elements in these definitions: "(1) the use of violence; (2) political objectives; and (3) the intention of sowing fear in a target population." These common elements recur in the book's survey of terrorism, which begins with the ancient Jewish sect known as the Zealots, who rebelled against the Roman Empire, and an extremist Muslim group called the Assassins, who terrorized European crusaders. Chaliand and Blin make...

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...James Janosz Political Science 495 Terrorism December 14th, 2009 The Changing Look of Terrorism The purpose of this paper is to study and look at how terrorism has changed from pre 9/11, to post 9/11, to the current and future times. The United States is currently fighting the war on terror. But who is the enemy to the war? Can terrorism actually be considered an enemy? The answers to these questions are difficult to answer and defend, depending on the circumstances. But the key constant to the question is, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear/terror, are perpetrated for an ideological/political goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of civilian targets. The first section of this paper will deal with both views of the changing face of terrorism from pre 9/11, to post 9/11, and to the present day. The next section of this paper will discuss the variables of why terrorism has changed. In conclusion this paper will summarize the study of the changing face in terrorism. Throughout this paper there will be historical facts, evidence, theories, and analysis to support my argument how terrorism has changed over time. The language of terrorism that we, as Americans read it as, on September 11, 2001, two American airplanes flew into the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon, while yet another suspiciously crashed in a deserted Pennsylvania...

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...Why has it been so difficult to define the concept of "terrorism?" 1 Why has it been so difficult to define the concept of "terrorism?" 2 Arriving at a consensual definition of terrorism has been particularly difficult. Although it is not a new phenomenon, finding a universally accepted definition that fits every terrorist event has not been achieved with any measure of success.1(Spindlove & Simonsen, 2010) Terrorism is an ideological and political concept.2 (Mahan & Griset, 2007) Some concepts and definitions are either too specific or too vague. The difficulty in assigning a truly comprehensive definition to terrorism lies in the fact that, not only is it challenging to be specific when motives, targets and methods differ so broadly from case-to-case, but the complexity of untangling the overlaps within each of these categories makes the task virtually impossible. In assessing the different perceptions, concepts and definitions of terrorism, it appears that the most disparity lies within the description of terrorist motivations. It is vital to be comprehensive in the categorization of motivations because the methods and targets selected by terrorists are often reflected by their purpose. This paper will examine contrasting perceptions regarding an event some call terrorism. Its nearly three years after the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, an event some call "terrorism". Major Nidal Hasan, American-born an Muslim, currently faces the death penalty if convicted...

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...How has terrorism been redefined since 9/11? There is neither an academic nor an international legal consensus regarding the proper definition of the word "terrorism" however overtime some thinkers have tried to distinguish between ‘old’ and ‘new’ terrorism. This is the basis for the re-think over the term ‘terrorism’. Terrorism has changed significantly since the 1960’s. The rise of religious fundamentalism, the end of the Cold War, the new global banking network and the telecommunications revolution has all changed the motives and techniques of terrorism. Until the 1980’s, terrorism was not seen, as a significant threat to national security, but it was the large nation states such as Russia and china that were seen as the major players in international politics. During the 1990’s, there were signs of development within the terrorists actions and methodology due to the fact that not only were targets becoming more substantial and more noticeable, there techniques were becoming more and more radical. However, it was not until September 11th 2001 that the world finally realized the new threat that terrorists posed. The threat that is posed is not from nation states, but individuals within that state who feel their interests have been ignored. An example that this is true for is not only for Islamic fundamentalists but also for Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for a truck bomb that killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in 1995. This was an act of terrorism in that he inflicted...

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...TERROR GROUPS AROUND THE GLOBE- HOW TO ELIMINATE THEM Terrorism is a problem which the country has been continuously facing for more than two-three decades but now has emerged as a global problem against which an internationally united battle has to be fought constantly. Violent behaviour in order to create an atmosphere of fear in the society or a part of it for political ends is generally termed as Terrorism. A terrorist is a person who creates fear panic among the organization to which he belongs. Terrorists resort to various ways to accomplish these goals like planting crude home-made bombs, hand-grenades or other explosives in a shopping centre or a crowded place like a railway-station or a bus stand or even a bus, train or aeroplane, kidnapping, assassination or hijacking. Different terrorist activities all over the world may have different aims, but a few goals, common to all may be underlined. It may be because they want a regime to react or they intend to mobilize a mass support through fear, to eliminate opponents or enemies or to magnify their cause. Terrorist groups are the biggest threat to any civilian of any country. Here is the list of terrorist groups from the ones who are not very well known and whose terror attacks are not much recorded to the ones who terrorize the whole world and cause severe catastrophe. 10. Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA) With an endeavor to overrule the Algerian government, this terrorist group was founded in July 1992 and became...

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...Terrorism and Homeland Security: The Impacts on Preventative Measures Abstract This paper explores four different topics on homeland security and anti-terrorism policies. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security or (HDS). What policies had to be implemented and what did the creation of a new agency affected or benefit. The impact that international terrorism has caused the United States of America and how this policies and changes help build a stronger defense against them. The implementation of local enforcement agencies and the community in the fight to deter terrorist attacks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or (FEMA) and how organizational bureaucracy hindered cooperation and communication among local and federal agencies. This paper will address what measures have been and can be taken in the future to improve inter-agency cooperation and communication. Table of Content Terrorism and Homeland Security: The Impacts on Preventative Measures Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………2 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..4 Terrorism and the creation of the DHS………................................................................................4 USA PATRIOT ACT……………………………………………………………………………...5 Appropriate roles of agencies and community………………………………………………….5-6 Preventative plans…………………………………………………………………………………6 Community Emergency Response………………………………………………………………...6 FEMA……………………………………………………………………………………………..7 National Response Plan…………………………………………………………………………...

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