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Al-Qaeda Web Sites Go Offline 284

Posted by kdawson
from the i-hack-you dept.
thefickler writes "Four out of the five Al-Qaeda online forums have disappeared. The terrorist group used these forums to relay messages to its supporters. The four that have gone missing seem to have taken a hit back on September 10, the day before the annual video marking the 9/11 attacks was due to be disseminated. No one knows who is responsible for the sites' disappearance."
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Al-Qaeda Web Sites Go Offline

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  • good. (Score:4, Funny)

    by swschrad (312009) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:56PM (#25426691) Homepage Journal

    but you know it means they're doing something else now.

    I suspect it's how Sarah Palin jokes are strung together that is the new medium. they're ubiquitous and cannot be stopped by any force known to mankind.

  • Yeah... so what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vintagepc (1388833) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:56PM (#25426693) Journal
    I wonder as to the real value of posting something like this; Who says that they have not devised some more secure method of communication. Sounds like false hope to me.
    • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:16PM (#25426821) Journal
      More to the point: who says they were ever the real thing in the first place? The government? Puh-leeeeze.
      • by Macrat (638047) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:24PM (#25426875)
        The government budget to run these sites has been transferred to bailing out the banks.
        • by ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:48PM (#25427705) Journal
          No, the "terrorists" are done cleaning up after manipulating the market and making billions of whatever currency they use, so there's no need for those sites anymore. They have a new geocities URL. And will be conducting business as usual. Just like WAMUJPMorganChase.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @12:57AM (#25429009)

          The government budget to run these sites has been transferred to bailing out the banks.

          This is probably the smartest commend I've read here!

          Al-Qaeda was a CIA DB name for the mujahedin back in the 80's.

          They are 100% CIA asset, commanded and funded by the CIA.

          Now lets joke on the truth:

          So either they removed the funds, or Al-Qaeda ppl are too busy growing heroin for the NYSE bubble.

          Americans be aware: You are a great nation, awesome people, and your government is making you look really REALLY bad. When the BIG shit hits the fan "they" will bail out, and you will take the heat! Don't you feel your freedom fading away? The world will hate you.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by eli pabst (948845)
            I hope that's a joke. The formation of Al Qaeda didn't occur until August 1988, at the very end of the Soviet invasion. It wasn't a CIA database name, it was short for Al Qaeda al-Askariya (the military base). It wasn't directly funded by the CIA either. The CIA gave money, which was matched by the Saudi's to the Pakistani ISI who then channeled it to the various Mujaheddin groups (of which bin Ladin was not one). He had most of his own funding from his families money and from Saudi donors. The fact t
      • I agree, with the revelation that running a spam network is okay, I could imagine that some interpol guy could say that having an operated terrorism site would sound like a good idea and they could have dozens that put out bad gimp-shopped© images of real events and claim responsibility. They could even post targets of terrorists as terror targets. FUD is free to be used by anybody.
    • by DJLuc1d (1010987)
      Marginally disrupting enemy communications ? Or eavesdropping on said communications. If this was the US military, it only means that they have devised another way to eavesdrop. Perhaps they have figured out that they will now use SMS and have devised a way to geographically locate such SMS transmissions. Pure conjecture of course.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by inhuman_4 (1294516)

      You are probably right about the terrorists having a more secure means of communication. So really this does nothing to stop the terrorists.

      BUT, it may hurt thier propaganda machine a bit. I don't know how popular these sites where, or what the content was like. But if shutting them down means that a few more people don't sign up then it is probably not a bad thing.

      Of course they are now missing out on the ability to track IPs that visit those sites, assuming that they were doing that before they shut them

  • Yes, really. Apparently.

    In one of the most transparently stupid "LOOK! TERRORISTS!" stories to date, The Times has "exclusively" published a report claiming terrorists are hiding their secret terrorist messages inside child pornography [timesonline.co.uk]. Because, y'know, obviously you're going to hide your messages somewhere already illegal rather than in wedding photos or LOLcats.

    I'm pleased to say that the commenters on the article - and UK newspaper online comments are one of the purest sources of raw stupid on the planet - are already condemning this as obvious Home Office press-release ware.

    The Times has been spotted running press releases for the Home Office before [blogspot.com] with jawdroppingly stupid scare stories. Coincidentally, the Home Office's call for the police to be able to hold people 42 days without charge just got rejected. Obviously not linked.

    I wrote a blog post [today.com] on it, but I'm not sure it's obviously a parody of a stupid thing that someone actually tried to seriously push.

  • Obviously (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The sites were no longer needed -- they decided that Facebook was finally good enough for their purposes. Here's A BIG BEAR HUGG!! RAWRRR!

  • by Deadstick (535032) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:59PM (#25426711)

    ...when the drums stop.

    rj

  • by symes (835608) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:00PM (#25426733) Journal
    ZZ Top [zztop.com] issued a take down notive under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act...
  • Hrm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by colonslashslash (762464) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:02PM (#25426745) Homepage
    US military Cyber Warfare [slashdot.org] project starts up again, and suddenly Osama's MySpace gets ruined. Coincidence?
  • Everything goes underground then.

  • by ffejie (779512) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:18PM (#25426833)
    "For al-Qaeda, "these sites are the equivalent of pentagon.mil, whitehouse.gov, att.com," said Evan F. Kohlmann, an expert on online al-Qaeda operations..."

    Apparently he's not an expert on American communications - who get any information from the three sites he called out?
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:42PM (#25427015) Journal
      As you say, nobody ever found anything useful on whitehouse.gov; but many a curious child found all sorts of information on whitehouse.com. Obviously, Mr. Kohlmann is an al-Qaeda plant, informing the other operatives that the real website is just a TLD away from the one that got shut down.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      who get any information from the three sites he called out?

      whitehouse.gov has endless press releases. If you're deep enough into politics that you don't want or need pundits, that's where you find most of your info on what's going on. That's where your senators and representatives are supposed to get much of their information.

      Not specifically sure about pentagon.mil, but plenty of useful info is provided on .mil sites... Mil-spec information can be quite useful. The rainbow books have been available as

  • US gov is installing root kits on them spyware also.

  • by gchesney0001 (667278) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:48PM (#25427057)
    Some much for net-neutrality.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:51PM (#25427085) Homepage Journal

    we don't want them shut down

    let them communicate openly. then track the fuckers. now their communication is more hidden, and thus our knowledge of what's going on

    • Chances are they have got themselves some proper communications infrastructure. Come to think of it thats a bit of a worry. They might have an operation on the go.

      Posting this from an eeePC by the way. It is very portable, and easy to keep secure. I wonder if openbsd runs on it?
      • by sumdumass (711423)

        That or the guy who runs them and pays their hosting bills got killed somehow. I mean they do cost money and it isn't like someone can put something on the interweb without a front somewhere. You need an IP, a domain, a connection and so on.

        It could also be that the hacked servers hosting them went down and they were rebuilt from scratch, this time without the terrorist BS.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:55PM (#25427129) Homepage

    The classic site was Voice of Jihad [sawtaljihad.com], but that's been more or less dead for a while. Back in August, it was apparently taken over by some McCain supporter. Now it's a misconfigured shared-IP site on Dreamhost.

    bin Laden's annual video didn't get much press this year. He's released his 2008 video, and it's 87 minutes long, but it's hard to find. Reuters has a summary. [reuters.com].

    I suspect that the main reason there's pressure to suppress his videos is that he always has something tellingly negative to say about Bush. This year, bin Laden's sound bite is "And in fact, the subject of the Mujahideen has become an inseparable part of the speech of your leader and the effects and signs are not hidden."

    It's worth remembering that the bin Laden family supported Bush's first presidential campaign. [denverpost.com] In 1978, Bush and Osama bin Laden's brother, Salem bin Laden, founded Arbusto Energy, an oil company based in Texas. Sometimes one wonders if the plan was to get an incompetent into the US presidency, then apply enough pressure to make him overreact. A pre 9-11 bio of bin Laden, "The Man who Declared War on America", has quotes from him indicating that he felt America needed to be corrupted before it could be taken down, and outlined what needed to be done to make that happen. All the family had to do was to get someone in office who thought tax cuts would fix anything, get him to overspend on the wrong war, and wait for the US economy to collapse.

    We may yet see a "Mission Accomplished" from bin Laden.

    • by bonch (38532) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:22PM (#25427281)

      Actually, I suspect the reason his videos aren't reported as much is that whenever Bin Laden shows his face, it energizes Americans and makes them more likely to vote Republican. The media is ridiculously pro-Obama this year and does not want a repeat of 2004 when Bin Laden released a video and threatened Americans a week before the election. We're in a media environment in which the New York Times will run an editorial by Obama but refuse to run one by McCain. Comedians mock Sarah Palin's apparent stupidity while ignoring that Joe Biden said Americans were huddled around television sets to see President Roosevelt [politico.com]. Palin is criticized for her religious views, yet Obama is a Christian who went to the church of reverend Wright for 20 years, and Joe Biden is a Catholic (amazingly, McCain is the least religious candidate).

      So I wouldn't worry about any Bin Laden videos popping up to energize conservative voters this time.

      • by nog_lorp (896553) *

        Wow. Your second to last sentence is appalling.

        Saying
        Palin is criticized for her religious views, yet Obama is a Christian who went to the church of reverend Wright for 20 years, and Joe Biden is a Catholic (amazingly, McCain is the least religious candidate).

        Amounts to saying
        and Joe Biden is a Jew!

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          Actually if Biden was a Jew, that would be a plus to many Americans. We have only elected one Catholic as President in the history of the US and that was Kennedy.

          It has something to do with being obligated to the vatican and the pope and so one. But more recently, it is competition for Michal Jackson's line, what warm and brown and in a little boys pants, a catholic priests hand.

          • by nog_lorp (896553) *

            I'm aware Kennedy has been the only Catholic president, but there have been NO presidents of a faith other than Christianity.

            As far as being "controlled by the pope", AFAIK and can find by searching online, Kennedy never visited the pope during his presidency, as George W. Bush has.

            But that wasn't really my point, my point was that OPs statement was blatantly bigoted and akin to racism.

            • Yes, but no (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bipbop (1144919)
              Your point is solid, because what's relevant is whether that's been true recently--let's say, the last hundred years. It is, however, factually false. The religious views of all the founding fathers and early presidents are not all known, and they are certainly not all the same, but the common theme is Deism. (There are good articles on the subject but I'm reluctant to link one without checking it; you can easily search for "founding fathers" "deism" and evaluate the claims for yourself, if you wish.)
      • by gregbot9000 (1293772) <mckinleg@csusb.edu> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @09:36PM (#25427955) Journal
        You are ignoring the very real fact that news is a money making enterprise. There is absolutely no way for the "media" to run as tight a control as you just described. You see, news is like any product, if the news companies don't follow the popular trends they lose money, heaps of it.

        So someone like you who is holding on to a position that a lot of people are moving away from will think the shift in media attention is directed from the top down, instead of from the bottom up, that the media is changing things instead of reporting on changing opinions.

        You are suffering from what I like to call the "Fringe Media Censorship Bias," which is where people with marginal or fringe beliefs often attribute their beliefs lack of representation in the "media" to some sort of censorship, rather then a lack of interest from the rest of society. Some, like Noam Chomsky, suffer from this condition to the extent where they write whole books trying to rationalize that it's the "media" ignoring them and not just society in general.

        Osama probably didn't get the air time because he's old hat. Your example is from what? 4 years ago? Christ thats a generation in media years. And Palin is dumb, and that's a story that sells.
      • Actually, I suspect the reason his videos aren't reported as much is that whenever Bin Laden shows his face, it energizes Americans and makes them more likely to vote Republican. The media is ridiculously pro-Obama this year and does not want a repeat of 2004 when Bin Laden released a video and threatened Americans a week before the election.

        always tickled when people speak as if the media is actually a cohesive entity that can do anything in a unified way. It makes it sound somehow more sinister and ex
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rossz (67331)

      It's also worth noting that the bin Laden family disowned Osama many years ago. I'm not an apologist for the middle east. In fact, I don't see much of a downside in turning it into a big glass parking lot. But let's put all the facts out there when discussing things.

      • by mqduck (232646)

        I find it rather terrifying that enough people who happened to have mod points decided to bring this up to +5 Insightful. I'm sorry, this bullshit is unacceptable (though he's right about the bin Laden family).

    • by khallow (566160)

      I suspect that the main reason there's pressure to suppress his videos is that he always has something tellingly negative to say about Bush. This year, bin Laden's sound bite is "And in fact, the subject of the Mujahideen has become an inseparable part of the speech of your leader and the effects and signs are not hidden."

      It boggles me how messed up some people are. You have determined in the absence of any evidence (aside from a pathetic soundbite) that these videos are being suppressed because they somehow embarass Bush. Not because these videos are ways to communicate to Al Qaeda cells. And the press is complicit in this because what? People really want to listen to an 87 minute rant from one of the more reprehensible men on the planet? I'm sure it makes sense to you.

      It's worth remembering that the bin Laden family supported Bush's first presidential campaign. In 1978, Bush and Osama bin Laden's brother, Salem bin Laden, founded Arbusto Energy, an oil company based in Texas. Sometimes one wonders if the plan was to get an incompetent into the US presidency, then apply enough pressure to make him overreact. A pre 9-11 bio of bin Laden, "The Man who Declared War on America", has quotes from him indicating that he felt America needed to be corrupted before it could be taken down, and outlined what needed to be done to make that happen. All the family had to do was to get someone in office who thought tax cuts would fix anything, get him to overspend on the wrong war, and wait for the US economy to collapse.

      I'm sure you wonder all sorts of crazy stuff. But if th

  • Sheesh, I mean if the journalists know about them, I know I'd try to use something else...

    Let alone waiting for the journalists to write public articles about it...

  • by Charles Dodgeson (248492) * <jeffrey@goldmark.org> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:22PM (#25427285) Homepage Journal

    If these sites are down, how will Al-Qaeda make its pre-election rant against the Republican candidate like they did four years ago? If they once again want the Republicans to win (more likely in their view to create the clash of civilizations that they're dreaming of) how will they pull that off this time?

    We know that Hamas has endorsed Obama. Maybe bin Laden will do the same just to make sure that McCain is elected and the US can more easily be painted as the Great Satan.

  • hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:27PM (#25427323)
    Perhaps Anonymous did something good and remains anonymous instead of taking credit for things like they normally would.
  • It means we're winning.
  • Damn! I'll just have to try an contain my disappointment!
  • Sites (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mqduck (232646) <mqduck AT mqduck DOT net> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @11:47PM (#25428667)

    Does anybody know where to *find* these sites? Even Wikipedia won't supply links.

  • The Bush administration forgot to renew their domain names... tee-hee!

  • Anonymous forums (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skeeto (1138903) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:49AM (#25429725)
    Freenet has distributed (by its nature), anonymous, uncensorable forum software [wikipedia.org]. I wonder if they will go/have gone that route.

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