Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jihadis Search for Intelligence Penetration on Jihadi Website Forums

Via Jamestown Foundation (Global Terrorism Analysis) -

Periodically jihadi internet gatherings raise concerns about scrutiny of their forums by security services. Investigations into the identity of forum members and their promotion and initiation of sensitive jihadi issues trigger these concerns. A recent posting entitled “The top seven Arab countries that intrude on or penetrate the Forums” accused some Western security services of monitoring jihadi forums and suggested ways to identify security agents who may be active in the forums (muslm.net, July 29-August 3).

A forum participant, nicknamed al-Taer al-Maymoon, warns that the secret services of seven Arab countries have a permanent presence in jihadi forums in general and in muslm.net in particular. Some of these intelligence agents are prominent members of the forums and specialists in Shari’a. The countries intruding on jihadi forums, alleges al-Maymoon, are Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and the Palestinian National Authority – where the latter is accused of selling the information obtained from the forums to the Zionists. Further, al-Maymoon said various Arab nations monitor jihadi forums either to collect intelligence for preventive purposes or to exchange intelligence with Western countries “waging war on Islam.”


According to Qotoz, there are two techniques used by security agencies to hunt down jihadis. First is the technical method. This includes stealing an email address and monitoring all incoming and outgoing emails; planting Trojans in the target’s computer; using the target’s nickname in the forums by posting subjects under his name and hacking into the target’s computer.

The second technique for hunting jihadis on the internet is comprised of “human methods”:

• Posting subjects designed to attract the targeted jihadi. Consequently, relations will be established with the subject before luring him into a face to face meeting.

• Expressing opinions diametrically opposed to those found acceptable by Salafi-Jihadis, thus drawing them out as they rebuke or criticize the posting.

• Security agents, having established a connection with the target, will enhance the relationship in the forums by supporting the target’s postings and by sending him private emails.

• Through such relationships, the agents will obtain the names of other jihadis from the target.

• Building trust with the target by pretending to help the cause.

All these methods and more, says Qotoz, are part of a bigger security plan to hunt down jihadi forum members and create dissension among supporters of jihad. Jihadis must be aware of intelligence officers in the forums tasked with distorting the jihadi image. The electronic plan of the intelligence services includes setting up dummy cells in the jihadi forums to disseminate misleading jihadi statements. Qotoz ends his posting by alleging that there is other information he can’t discuss in the forum, an insinuation of the presence of security agents in the forum.


Terrorism Monitor - Volume VII, Issue 25 (August 13th, 2009)

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