One Example of How al Qaeda
Is Using the Internet
In the January 21, 2008, edition of the National Weekly Edition of The Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave, Editor at large and a recognized authority on foreign policy and terrorism issues, penned a column titled “Pakistan’s ungovernable tribal terror zone.”
What would this have to do with the Internet?
De Borchgrave writes:
"Since September 11, 2001, German intelligence services were happy to report to Western colleagues they had no such problem [“radicalization”] with Germany’s 2.8 million-strong Turkish minority – mostly second and third generation German-speaking Turks long established and integrated in German life.
Two weeks ago, a high-ranking German internal security delegation met with heads of several U.S. intelligence agencies to explain how their comfortable assumptions had to be re-examined. German intelligence services have uncovered a direct link from Germany via Turkey to Pakistan – for young radicalized German Turks.
Mostly recruited on the Internet from al Qaeda Web sites [emphasis added], these terrorist wannabes have made their way to al Qaeda’s privileged sanctuaries in the Pakistani tribal belt that straddles the Afghan border."
During World War II, allied intelligence was able to crack German and Japanese communication codes, thus giving the Allies a powerful leg up in the war as they intercepted and decoded enemy communications. The reason this was successful is because the enemy did not know their codes had been cracked.
The argument that terrorist websites should stay open in order to obtain “actionable intelligence” is seriously flawed if for no other reason than the enemy knows they’re being monitored. Had the Germans and Japanese known their codes had been cracked, they would have either changed codes or planted false information for the Allies to find.
In war, one of the best ways to overcome your enemy is to disrupt and disable the enemy’s communications. Al Qaeda continues to use the most powerful communication vehicle in the world – the Internet – to recruit, train and network. The news about German Turkish Muslims being recruited is just one more illustration of this.