2005: Another Deadly Year in Islamic Terrorism
Posted: March 7, 2006
Islamic terrorists continued to make use of technology in 2005 in order to further their goals. Increasingly, Islamic terrorists and their supporters rely on the Internet for essential needs, including propaganda, fundraising, recruitment, command and control and other communications.
Reports of terrorist attacks, particularly in Iraq, were posted to the Internet with greater speed than ever before and a multitude of terrorist training videos featuring instructions on how to build explosive devices increasingly appeared on several Web sites regularly used by militant Islamic groups.
· The production value of propaganda videos continued to be high. For example, three editions of Sout Al Khilafa (Arabic for "Voice of the Caliphate"), an online video newscast that claims to be the "voice of Al Qaeda on the Internet," were posted to the Internet by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a long-time "umbrella" propaganda group for Islamic terrorists. Modeled after standard newscasts, the Arabic-language Sout al-Khilafa is divided into segments and employs an anchor who discusses world events and presents stories about terrorist activities against U.S. forces in Iraq and in other parts of the world. The program also includes video footage of terrorist attacks.
· In addition to videos, a number of magazines were posted on-line by Islamic terrorist groups. For example, Al Qaeda in Iraq posted three issues of its recruitment magazine Zurwat al-Sanam (Arabic for "Tip of the Camel's Hump"), which includes content previously posted on the Internet, excerpts of letters between Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, sections on the ideology and goals of the group and more.
· The October 2005, arrests by Bosnian police in Sarajevo of Mirsad Bektasevic, a 19-year-old Swedish citizen, and Cesur Abdulkadir, an 18-year-old Turkish national, on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack sheds further light on how central a tool the Internet has become for terrorists and their sympathizers. During a search of the apartment shared by Bektasevic and Abdulkadir, police found a suicide bomber belt, explosives, firearms and other military equipment as well as phone and e-mail records.
These records were shared with British police and led to the arrest of Younis Tsouli, Waseem Mughal, 22, and Tariq Al-Daour, 19, in late October near London; all three were charged a month later under the UK Terrorism Act. Tsouli and Mughal are charged with 10 offenses, including conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, conspiracy to obtain money by deception, fundraising and possession of articles for terrorist purposes. Police seized a computer hard drive belonging to Tsouli, containing pictures of several locations in Washington D.C., according to Scotland Yard. Tsouli is also charged with possessing computerized slides demonstrating how to make a car bomb and a DVD explaining how to create a suicide bomber belt.