Qaeda and the Internet:
From Parameters, Spring 2003, pp. 112-23. (.pdf
We can say with some certainty, al
Qaeda loves the Internet. When the latter first appeared, it 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 “global village.” Today the Internet
still offers that promise, but it also has proven in some respects to
be a digital menace. Its use by al Qaeda is only one example. It also
has provided a virtual battlefield for peacetime hostilities between Taiwan
and China, Israel and Palestine, Pakistan and India, and China and the
United States (during both the war over Kosovo and in the aftermath of
the collision between the Navy EP-3 aircraft and Chinese MiG). In times
of actual conflict, the Internet was used as a virtual battleground between
NATO’s coalition forces and elements of the Serbian population. These
real tensions from a virtual interface involved not only nation-states
but also non-state individuals and groups either aligned with one side
or the other, or acting independently.
strongly suggests that terrorists used the Internet to plan their operations
for 9/11. Computers seized in Afghanistan reportedly revealed that al Qaeda
was collecting intelligence on targets and sending encrypted messages
via the Internet. As recently as 16 September 2002, al Qaeda cells operating
in America reportedly were using Internet-based phone services to communicate
with cells overseas. These incidents indicate that the Internet is being
used as a “cyberplanning” tool for terrorists. It provides terrorists
with anonymity, command and control resources, and a host of other measures
to coordinate and integrate attack options.
may be a more important terrorist Internet tool than the much touted and
feared cyberterrorism option—attacks against information and systems resulting
in violence against noncombatant targets. The Naval Postgrad-
(NPS) has defined cyberterrorism as the unlawful destruction or disruption
of digital property to intimidate or coerce people.1 Cyberplanning, not defined by NPS
or any other source, refers to the digital coordination of an integrated
plan stretching across geographical boundaries that may or may not result
in bloodshed. It can include cyberterrorism as part of the overall plan.
Since 9/11, US sources have monitored several websites linked to al Qaeda
that appear to contain elements of cyberplanning:
alneda.com, which US officials said
contained encrypted information to direct al Qaeda members to more
secure sites, featured international news on al Qaeda, and published
articles, fatwas (decisions on applying Muslim law), and books.
assam.com, believed to be linked
to al Qaeda (originally hosted by the Scranton company BurstNET Technologies,
Inc.), served as a mouthpiece for jihad in Afghanistan, Chechnya,
almuhrajiroun.com, an al Qaeda site
which urged sympathizers to assassinate Pakistani President Musharraf.
qassam.net, reportedly linked to
jihadunspun.net, which offered a 36-minute video of Osama bin Laden.2
which aimed to teach visitors how to conduct computer attacks.3
which featured quotes from bin Laden tapes, religious legal rulings
that “justified” the terrorist attacks, and support for the al Qaeda
drasat.com, run by the Islamic Studies
and Research Center (which some allege is a fake center), and reported
to be the most credible of dozens of Islamist sites posting al Qaeda
jehad.net, alsaha.com, and islammemo.com,
alleged to have posted al Qaeda statements on their websites.
and aljehad.online, alleged to have flashed political-religious songs,
with pictures of persecuted Muslims, to denounce US policy and Arab
leaders, notably Saudi.5
is prudent to tally the Internet cyberplanning applications that support
terrorists, it must be underscored that few if any of these measures are
really anything new. Any hacker or legitimate web user can employ many
for their own purposes, for business, or even for advertising endeavors.
The difference, of course, is that most of the people on the net, even
if they have the capabilities, do not harbor the intent to do harm as
does a terrorist or al Qaeda member.
several of the more important applications may help attract attention
to terrorist methodologies and enable law enforcement agencies to recognize
where and what to look for on the net. Sixteen measures are listed below
for consideration. More could be added.
. The Internet
can be used to put together profiles. Internet user demographics allow
terrorists to target users with sympathy toward a cause or issue, and
to solicit donations if the right “profile” is found. Usually a front
group will perform the fundraising for the terrorist, often unwittingly.
E-mail fundraising has the potential to significantly assist a terrorist’s
publicity objectives and finances simultaneously.6
of online newspapers and journals allow a terrorist to construct a profile
of the means designed to counter his actions, or a profile of admitted
vulnerabilities in our systems. For example, recent articles reported
on attempts to slip contraband items through security checkpoints. One
report noted that at Cincinnati’s airport, contraband slipped through
over 50 percent of the time. A simple Internet search by a terrorist would
uncover this shortcoming, and offer the terrorist an embarkation point
to consider for his or her next operation. A 16 September report noted
that US law enforcement agencies were tracing calls made overseas to al
Qaeda cells from phone cards, cell phones, phone booths, or Internet-based
phone services. Exposing the targeting techniques of law enforcement agencies
allows the terrorist to alter his or her operating procedures. The use
of profiles by terrorists to uncover such material greatly assists their
command and control of operations. The implication is that in a free society
such as the United States, you can publish too much information, and while
the information might not be sensitive to us, it might be very useful
to a terrorist.
. Internet access can be controlled
or its use directed according to the server configuration, thus creating
a true ideological weapon. In the past, if some report was offensive
to a government, the content of the report could be censored or filtered.
Governments cannot control the Internet to the same degree they could
control newspapers and TV. In fact, the Internet can serve as a terrorist’s
TV or radio station, or his international newspaper or journal. The web
allows an uncensored and unfiltered version of events to be broadcast
worldwide. Chat rooms, websites, and bulletin boards are largely uncontrolled,
with few filters in place. This climate is perfect for an underfunded
group to explain its actions or to offset both internal and international
condemnation, especially when using specific servers. The Internet can
target fence-sitters as well as true believers with different messages,
oriented to the target audience.
In the aftermath
of the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda operatives used the Internet to fight for
the hearts and minds of the Islamic faithful worldwide. Sev-
recognized and respected Muslims who questioned the attacks were described
as hypocrites by al Qaeda. Al Qaeda ran two websites, alneda.com and drasat.com,
to discuss the legality of the attacks on 9/11. Al Qaeda stated that Islam
shares no fundamental values with the West and that Muslims are committed
to spread Islam by the sword. As a result of such commentary, several
Muslim critics of al Qaeda’s policies withdrew their prior condemnation.7 Ideological warfare worked.
. The Internet
can be used anonymously, or as a shell game to hide identities. Terrorists
have access to Internet tools to create anonymity or disguise their identities.
Online encryption services offer encryption keys for some services that
are very difficult to break. The website spammimic.com offers tools that
hide text in “spam,” unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail. Speech compression
technology allows users to convert a computer into a secure phone device.
Network accounts can be deleted or changed as required. For example, Internet
users can create Internet accounts with national firms such as America
Online (AOL), or can even create an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account
on a short-term basis. In addition, anonymous logins are possible for
many of the thousands of chat rooms on the net. If desired, the user can
access cyber cafes, university and library computers, or additional
external resources to further hide the source of the messages.8 An al Qaeda laptop found
in Afghanistan had linked with the French Anonymous Society on several
occasions. The site offers a two-volume Sabotage Handbook online.
are anonymous methods available for the people who use the Internet, but
at times Internet service providers (ISPs) unwittingly participate in
serving people or groups for purposes other than legitimate ones. The
al Qaeda web site www.alneda.com was originally located in Malaysia until
13 May. It reappeared in Texas at http://184.108.40.206/ until 13 June,
and then reappeared on 21 June at www.drasat.com in Michigan. It was shut
down on 25 June 2002. The ISPs hosting it apparently knew nothing about
the content of the site or even the fact that it was housed on their servers.9 This shell game with
their website enabled the al Qaeda web to remain functional in spite of
repeated efforts to shut it down. Cyber deception campaigns will remain
a problem for law enforcement personnel for years to come.
. The Internet
produces an atmosphere of virtual fear or virtual life. People are
afraid of things that are invisible and things they don’t understand.
The virtual threat of computer attacks appears to be one of those things.
Cyber-fear is generated by the fact that what a computer attack could
do (bring down airliners, ruin critical infrastructure, destroy the stock
market, reveal Pentagon planning secrets, etc.) is too often associated
with what will happen. News reports would lead one to believe that
hundreds or thousands of people are still active in the al Qaeda network
on a daily basis just because al Qaeda says so. It is clear that
the Internet empowers small groups and makes them appear much more capable
than they might actually be, even turning bluster into a type of
virtual fear. The net allows terrorists
to amplify the consequences of their activities with follow-on messages
and threats directly to the population at large, even though the terrorist
group may be totally impotent. In effect, the Internet allows a person
or group to appear to be larger or more important or threatening than
they really are.
can be used to spread disinformation, frightening personal messages, or
horrific images of recent activities (one is reminded of the use of the
net to replay the murder of reporter Daniel Pearl by his Pakistani captors).
Virtually, it appears as though attacks are well planned and controlled,
and capabilities are genuine. Messages are usually one-sided, however,
and reflect a particular political slant. There is often little chance
to check the story and find out if it is mere bravado or fact. The Internet
can thus spread rumors and false reports that many people, until further
examination, regard as facts.
the Arab TV station al-Jazeera has played tape recordings of bin Laden’s
speeches and displayed a note purportedly signed by him praising attacks
on an oil tanker near Yemen, and on US soldiers participating in a war
game in Kuwait. These messages were picked up and spread around the Internet,
offering virtual proof that bin Laden was alive. Most likely bin Laden
was seriously injured (which is why we haven’t seen him in over a year),
but his image can be manipulated through radio or Internet broadcasts
so that he appears confident, even healthy.
. The Internet
can help a poorly funded group to raise money. Al Qaeda has used
Islamic humanitarian “charities” to raise money for jihad against the
perceived enemies of Islam. Analysts found al Qaeda and humanitarian relief
agencies using the same bank account numbers on numerous occasions. As
a result, several US-based Islamic charities were shut down.10 The Sunni extremist group Hizb al-Tahrir uses an integrated
web of Internet sites from Europe to Africa to call for the return
of an Islamic caliphate. The website states that it desires to do
so by peaceful means. Supporters are encouraged to assist the effort by monetary
support, scholarly verdicts, and encouraging others to support jihad. Bank
information, including account numbers, is provided on a German
site, www.explizit-islam.de.11 Portals specializing in the anonymous transfer of money,
or portals providing services popular with terrorists (such as the issue
of new identities and official passports) are also available.12
in the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya have used the Internet to
publicize banks and bank account numbers to which sympathizers can contribute.
One of these Chechen bank accounts is located in Sacramento, California,
according to a Chechen website known as amina.com.
there are other ways to obtain money for a cause via the Internet. One
of the most common ways is credit card fraud. Jean-Francois Ricard, one
of France’s top anti-terrorism investigators, noted that many Islamist
terror plots in Europe and North America were financed through such criminal
. The Internet is an outstanding
command and control mechanism. Command and control, from a US military
point of view, involves the exercise of authority and direction by a properly
designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment
of the mission. Personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and
procedures accomplish command and control by assisting in planning, directing,
coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment
of a mission.
and control on the Internet is not hindered by geographical distance,
or by lack of sophisticated communications equipment. Antigovernment groups
present at the G8 conference in Cologne used the Internet to attack computers
of financial centers and to coordinate protests from locations as distant
as Indonesia and Canada. Terrorists can use their front organizations
to coordinate such attacks, to flood a key institution’s e-mail service
(sometimes as a diversionary tactic for another attack), or to send hidden
messages that coordinate and plan future operations.
citizen, the antigovernment protester, and the terrorist now have access
to command and control means, limited though they may be, to coordinate
and plan attacks. Further, there are “cracking” tools available to detect
security flaws in systems and try to exploit them. Attaining access to
a site allows the hacker or planner to command and control assets (forces
or electrons) that are not his. The Internet’s potential for command and
control can vastly improve an organization’s effectiveness if it does
not have a dedicated command and control establishment, especially in
the propaganda and internal coordination areas. Finally, command and control
can be accomplished via the Internet’s chat rooms. One website, alneda.com,
has supported al Qaeda’s effort to disperse its forces and enable them
to operate independently, providing leadership via strategic guidance,
theological arguments, and moral inspiration. The site also published
a list of the names and home phone numbers of 84 al Qaeda fighters captured
in Pakistan after escaping from Afghanistan. The aim presumably was to
allow sympathizers to contact their families and let them know they were
. The Internet
is a recruiting tool. The web allows the user complete control over
content, and eliminates the need to rely on journalists for publicity.
with sympathy for a cause can be converted by the images and messages
of terrorist organizations, and the addition of digital video has reinforced
this ability. Images and video clips are tools of empowerment for terrorists.
More important, net access to such products provides contact points for
men and women to enroll in the cause, whatever it may be.15 Additionally,
versions of web browsers, including Netscape and Internet Explorer,
language is set as the default for a particular client’s computer. Hence,
a browser set to use English as the default language can be redirected
to a site optimized for publicity aimed at Western audiences, while
one set to use Arabic as the default can be redirected to a different
site tailored toward Arab or Muslim sensibilities.16
recruiting to be audience- and language-specific, enabling the web to
serve as a recruiter of talent for a terrorist cause. Recently, the Chechen
website qoqaz.net, which used to be aimed strictly against Russian forces
operating in Chechnya, changed its address to assam.com, and now includes
links to Jihad in Afghanistan, Jihad in Palestine, and Jihad in Chechnya.
Such sites give the impression that the entire Islamic world is uniting
against the West, when in fact the site may be the work of just a few
. The Internet
is used to gather information on potential targets. The website operated
by the Muslim Hackers Club reportedly featured links to US sites that
purport to disclose sensitive information like code names and radio frequencies
used by the US Secret Service. The same website offers tutorials in viruses,
hacking stratagems, network “phreaking” and secret codes, as well as links
to other militant Islamic and cyberprankster web addresses.17 Recent targets that terrorists 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.18 Attacks on critical
infrastructure control systems would be particularly harmful, especially
on a system such as the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
system. Thus any information on insecure network architectures or non-enforceable
security protocols is potentially very damaging.
have access, like many Americans, to imaging data on potential targets,
as well as maps, diagrams, and other crucial data on important facilities
or networks. Imaging data can also allow terrorists to view counterterrorist
activities at a target site. One captured al Qaeda computer contained
engineering and structural architecture features of a dam, enabling al
Qaeda engineers and planners to simulate catastrophic failures.19
to gathering information through the Internet, on 15 January 2003 Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld observed that an al Qaeda training manual recovered
in Afghanistan said, “Using public sources openly and without resorting
to illegal means, it is possible to gather at least 80 percent of all
information required about the enemy.”20
. The Internet puts distance between
those planning the attack and their targets. Terrorists planning attacks
on the United States can do so abroad with limited risk, especially if
their command and control sites are located in countries other than their
own. Tracing the route of their activity is particularly difficult. The
net provides terrorists a place to plan without the risks normally associated
with cell or satellite phones.
. The Internet
can be used to steal information or manipulate data. Ronald Dick,
Director of the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center, considers
the theft or manipulation of data by terrorist groups as his worst nightmare,
especially if the attacks are integrated with a physical attack such as
on a US power grid.21
Richard Clark, Chairman of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection
Board, said the problem of cybersecurity and data protection had its own
9/11 on 18 September 2001 when the Nimda virus spread through Internet-connected
computers around the world, causing billions of dollars of damage. Nimda’s
creator has never been identified. This virus, hardly noticed in the wake
of the airliner attacks and anthrax scares, set off a chain reaction among
software companies (including Microsoft) to get very serious about plugging
In the fall of 2001 a number of unexplained intrusions began occurring
against Silicon Valley computers. An FBI investigation traced the intrusions
to telecommunication switches in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
While none was directly linked to al Qaeda, there remain strong suspicions
that the group was somehow involved.23
. The Internet can be used to send
hidden messages. The practice of steganography, which involves hiding
messages inside graphic files, is a widespread art among criminal and
terrorist elements. Hidden pages or nonsensical phrases can be coded instructions
for al Qaeda operatives and supporters. One recent report noted,
uses prearranged phrases and symbols to direct its agents. An icon of
an AK-47 can appear next to a photo of Osama bin Laden facing one
direction one day, and another direction the next. The color of icons
can change as well. Messages can be hidden on pages inside sites with
no links to them, or placed openly in chat rooms.24
it is possible to buy encryption software for less than $15. Cyberplanners
gain an advantage in hiding their messages via encryption. Sometimes the
messages are not even hidden in a sophisticated manner. Al-Jazeera television
reported that Mohammed Atta’s final message (another advantage of the
Internet—the impossibility of checking sources) to direct the attacks
on the Twin Towers was simple and open. The message purportedly said,
“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.”25 The reference to the
various faculties was apparently the code for the buildings targeted in
. The Internet allows groups with
few resources to offset even some huge propaganda machines in advanced
countries. The web is an attractive device to those looking for a
way to attack major powers via the mass media. The “always on” status
of the web allows these individuals not only to access sites day and night
but also to scold major powers and treat them with disdain in a public
forum. The web can be used to counter facts and logic with the logic of
the terrorist. There is no need for the terrorist organization to worry
about “the truth,” because ignoring facts is a standard operating procedure.
uses polemics on the net not only to offset Western reporting, but also
to counter Muslims who don’t toe the party line. It defends the conduct
of its war against the West and encourages violence. The web is important
to al Qaeda because it can be used to enrage people and neutralize
moderate opinion. The website of the Center for Islamic Studies and Research
(according to one source, a made-up name), for example, has 11 sections,
including reports on fighting in Afghanistan, world media coverage of
the conflict, books on jihad theology, videos of hijackers’ testaments,
information about prisoners held in Pakistan and Guantanamo Bay, and jihad
not pay for any major power to lie, as facts can be easily used against
them. Even in the war in Chechnya, there were times when the Chechens
would report a successful ambush of a Russian convoy, and the Russians
would deny the event ever happened. To prove their point, the Chechens
would show video footage of the ambush on the Internet, thus offsetting
the credibility of the Russian official media and undercutting the power
of their massive propaganda machine. Al Qaeda officials are waiting to
do the same to Western media reporting if the opportunity presents itself.
. The Internet
can be used to disrupt business. This tactic requires precise timing and intimate knowledge of the business
climate in the target country. It attempts to harm businesses by accusing
them of guilt by association.
for example, has outlined a strategy to cripple Israeli government, military,
and business sites with the aim of disrupting normal economic and societal
operations. Phase one might be to disable official Israeli government
sites; phase two might focus on crashing financial sites such as those
on the Israeli stock exchange; phase three might involve knocking out
the main Israeli internet servers; and phase four might blitz Israeli
e-commerce sites to ensure the loss of hundreds of transactions.27
A final phase could be to accuse companies that do business with a target
government as guilty by association and call for a boycott of the firm’s
products. Arab terrorists attacked Lucent Technologies in a round of Israeli-Arab
cyber skirmishes, for example.28 All of
these plans require insider knowledge in order to carry out the operation
in a timely and accurate manner.
. The Internet
can mobilize a group or diaspora, or other hackers to action. Websites
are not only used to disseminate information and propaganda. They also
are used to create solidarity and brotherhood among groups. In the case
terrorist organizations, the Internet substitutes for the loss of bases
and territory. In this respect the most important sites are alneda.com,
jehad.net, drasat.com, and aloswa.org, which feature quotes from bin Laden
tapes, religious legal rulings that justify the terrorist attacks, and
support for the al Qaeda cause.29
In addition, website operators have established a site that is “a kind
of database or encyclopedia for the dissemination of computer viruses.”30 The site is 7hj.7hj.com, and it aims
to teach Internet users how to conduct computer attacks, purportedly in
the service of Islam.31
. The Internet takes advantage of
legal norms. Non-state actors or terrorists using the Internet can
ignore Western notions of law and focus instead on cultural or religious
norms. At a minimum, they ignore legal protocols on the Internet. In addition,
they use the net to break the law (when they hack websites or send out
viruses) while at the same time the law protects them (from unlawful surveillance,
investigations into such behavior are difficult to conclude due to the
slow pace of other nations’ investigative mechanisms, and the limited
time that data is stored.32
However, in the aftermath of the events of 9/11 in the United States,
the terrorists’ actions actually initiated several changes in the US legal
system that were not to the terrorists’ advantage. For example, in the
past, the privacy concerns of Internet users were a paramount consideration
by the US government. After 9/11, new legislation was enacted.
USA Patriot Act of 2001 included new field guidance relating to computer
crime and electronic evidence. The Patriot Act is designed to unite and
strengthen the United States by providing the appropriate tools required
to intercept and obstruct terrorism. It establishes a counterterrorism
fund in the Treasury Department, amends federal criminal code that authorizes
enhanced surveillance procedures, provides guidelines for investigating
money-laundering concerns, removes obstacles to investigating terrorism
(granting the FBI authority to investigate fraud and computer-related
activity for specific cases), and strengthens criminal laws against terrorism.33
Guidance on New Authorities that Relate to Computer Crime and Electronic
Evidence Enacted in the USA Patriot Act of 2001” provides the authority
to do several things. Authorizations include: intercepting
in computer hacking investigations; allowing law enforcement to trace
communications on the Internet and other computer networks within the
pen register and trap and trace statute (“pen/trap” statute); intercepting
communications of computer trespassers; writing nationwide search
warrants for e-mail; and deterring and preventing cyberterrorism. The
latter provision raises the maximum penalty for hackers that damage protected
computers (and eliminates minimums); states that hackers need only show
intent to cause damage, not a particular consequence or degree of damage;
provides for the aggregation of damage caused by a hacker’s entire course
of conduct; creates a new offense for damaging computers used for national
security and criminal justice; expands the definition of a “protected
computer” to include computers in foreign countries; counts prior state
convictions of computer crime as prior offenses; and defines computer
“loss.” In addition, the guidance develops and supports cyber-security
. The Internet can be used to divert
attention from a real attack scenario. Al Qaeda can plant threats
on the Internet or via cell phones to mislead law enforcement officials.
Terrorists study how the United States collects and analyzes information,
and thus how we respond to information.
know when their Internet “chatter” or use of telecommunications increases,
US officials issue warnings. Terrorists can thus introduce false information
into a net via routine means, measure the response it garners from the
US intelligence community, and then try to figure out where the leaks
are in their systems or what type of technology the United States is using
to uncover their plans. For example, if terrorists use encrypted messages
over cell phones to discuss a fake operation against, say, the Golden
Gate Bridge, they can then sit back and watch to see if law enforcement
agencies issue warnings regarding that particular landmark. If they do,
then the terrorists know their communications are being listened to by
In conclusion, it should be reiterated
that cyberplanning is as important a concept as cyberterrorism, and perhaps
even more so. Terrorists won’t have an easy time shutting down the Internet.
Vulnerabilities are continuously reported and fixed while computers function
without serious interference (at least in the United States). One hopes
that law enforcement and government officials will focus more efforts
on the cyberplanning capabilities of terrorists in order to thwart computer
attacks and other terrorist activities. At a minimum, America can use
such measures to make terrorist activities much harder to coordinate and
control. Paul Eedle, writing in The
Guardian, summed up the value of the Internet to al Qaeda:
Whether bin Ladin
or al Qaeda’s Egyptian theorist Ayman al-Zawahiri and their colleagues
are on a mountain in the Hindu Kush or living with their beards shaved
off in a suburb of Karachi no longer matters to the organization. They
and guide a worldwide
movement without physically meeting their followers— without knowing
who they are.36
the power and the danger of cyberplanning.
Daukantas, “Government Computer News via Infowar.com,” 14 December 2001,
Kelley, “Militants Wire Web with Links to Jihad,” USA Today, 10
July 2002, from CNO/IO Newsletter, 8-14 July 2002.
Melman, “Virtual Soldiers in a Holy War,” Ha’aretz, http://www.haaretz.com,
17 September 2002.
Trabelsi, “Al-Qaeda Wages Cyber War against US,” Middle East Times,
Dubai, 27 June 2002, rpt. in CNO/IO Newsletter, 1-7 July 2002.
S. Tibbetts, “Terrorist Use of the Internet and Related Information Technologies,”
unpublished paper, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth,
Kansas, June 2002, p. 20.
Eedle, “Al-Qaeda Takes Fight for ‘Hearts and Minds’ to the Web,” Jane’s
Intelligence Review, August 2002, rpt. in CNO/IO Newsletter, 5-11
pp 7, 9.
“Al-Qaeda Takes Fight.”
Soloway, Rod Nordland, and Barbie Nadeau, “Hiding (and Seeking) Messages
on the Web,” Newsweek, 17 June 2002, p. 8.
Extremist Group Hizb al-Tahrir Promotes Ideology on the Internet,” FBIS,
http://220.127.116.11, 5 February 2002.
12. C. E.
Manin, “Terrorism and Information Communication Technology,” La Tribune,
College Interarmees de Defense, April 2002, p. 112.
Elliot, “Reeling Them In,” Time, 23 September 2002, p. 33.
Eedle, “Terrorism.com,” The Guardian, 17 July 2002, downloaded
from the FBIS website on 17 July 2002.
Hosenball, “Islamic Cyberterror,” Newsweek, 20 May 2002
Squitieri, “Cyberspace Full of Terror Targets,” USA Today, 5 June
Gellman, “FBI Fears Al-Qaeda Cyber Attacks,” San Francisco Chronicle,
28 June 2002, pp. 1, 10.
Al Qaeda Manual, Rumsfeld Re-Emphasizes Web Security,” InsideDefense.com,
http://www.insidedefense.com/, 15 January 2003.
pp. 1, 10.
Schwartz, “Despite 9/11 Warnings, Cyberspace Still at Risk,” The Post
Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), 11 September 2002, pp. D-10, 11.
T. Welch, “Accumulating Digital Evidence is Difficult,” The Post Standard,
11 September 2002, pp. D-9, 11.
also Soloway, Nordland, and Nadeau.
Trendle, “Cyberwars: The Coming Arab E-Jihad,” The Middle East,
No. 322 (April 2002), p. 6.
McDonald, “Fanatics with Laptops: The Coming Cyber War,” NewsFactor.com
via Yahoo! News, 16 May 2002.
“Bill Summary & Status for the 107th Congress,” http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HR03162:@@@L&summ2=m&.
“Field Guidance on New Authorities that Relate to Computer Crime and Electronic
Evidence Enacted in the USA Patriot Act of 2001,” http://www.cybercrime.gov/PatriotAct.htm.
Diamond, “Al-Qaeda Steers Clear of NSA’s Ears,” USA Today, 17 October
2002, CNO/IO Newsletter, 23-30 October 2002, pp. 17-18.
Timothy L. Thomas, USA Ret., is an analyst at the Foreign Military Studies
Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has written extensively on information
operations, combat in cities, and peacekeeping operations, among other
issues, including four previous articles for Parameters. During
his military career he served in the 82d Airborne Division and was the
Department Head of Soviet Military-Political Affairs at the US Army’s
Russian Institute in Garmisch, Germany.
Reviewed 7 February 2003. Please send comments or corrections to Parameters@awc.carlisle.army.mil