Let’s not fool ourselves. Whatever threat the real Afghanistan poses to U.S. national security, the “Virtual Afghanistan” now poses just as big a threat. The Virtual Afghanistan is the network of hundreds of jihadist Web sites that inspire, train, educate and recruit young Muslims to engage in jihad against America and the West. Whatever surge we do in the real Afghanistan has no chance of being a self-sustaining success, unless there is a parallel surge — by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders — against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan.
Paul, where ya been all this time? Since 9/11 these sites have existed. Much more so post our going into Iraq to squash Saddam and thus giving the dispossessed and disgruntled more of a reason to Jihad.
Pre 9/11 the internet was used in planning and implementing. Now it has become a tool for not only that, but also recruitment and propaganda. As Sahab has been slower lately in putting out videos (74+- as opposed to last years 99+-) but they are recruiting hard and the videos are even propagating out to Youtube.
So what’s new here really?
I have been monitoring these sites since 2002 or thereabouts and let me tell you the Jihadis have taken to the Internet rather well. They are using it to the maximum that they can AND they are not unsophisticated as one might believe. In fact, if you surf on over to the “Danger Room” you can see just how poorly the US military has been lacking in forward thinking in this arena. Basically, the UAV flights have been compromised by a 26 dollar COTS product and a little know how by the insurgents. What’s worse? We have known about the lack of crypto on those UAV transmissions since Bosnia.
WHA WHA WHAT?
I shit you not.
Back to the Jihadi.com thing though. I know from experience and what I have seen in the trending lately online that we are just seeing the beginning of the “home grown” jihadi. Since the web is so prevalent now with free wifi everywhere etc, we are seeing more and more traffic, new jihadi phbb sites, and a slew of comm’s traffic that should be being monitored. The sheer volume though, with a signal to noise ratio alone makes it incredibly hard to do properly.
So what do we need? We need more digital boots on the ground so to speak. We need more agent provocateurs going to these sites. Signing up for their boards and being the de facto “CI’s” to get inside these groups. The bulk of the incidents lately with the boys going to Pakistan etc, have all been young men being invited, inculcated, and trained to Jihad. All or most of this happening online.
So where are these CI’s?
I have no idea. What I do know is this. All too often the Feds are too interested in petty turf wars as to where a collar will happen as opposed to taking the bigger picture into account. If a Jihadist is not within their borders and they can’t make a collar because then it would have to be transferred to another field office, then they don’t seem to care as much.
Just an opinion…
I have yet to see if this applies to the JTTF LEO’s out there…
In the end, Krugman is right albeit behind the times. As well I think are the feds on this. Krugman I understand, he is an economics guy not a JTTF LEO. The other guys? I just don’t get. However, given the nature of our cyber security stance in this country perhaps I shouldn’t even ponder the question huh?