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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Anti Cyber Terror Training - Michael Yon - Anti Terror Activist Groups

By Ian Bach April 4, 2007

I thought I would touch a little on the need for government funding in online and other Media News sources. Michael Yon metions the need for on the ground reporting of his type (an ethical nature). He also dicusses some of the online possibly private or possibly DOD influences that have remarked on his reporting. I read his views about the organization. I feel weather or not it is a private or DOD endeavor it does show the need for further education of those fighting the battle against terror propaganda. One thing to remember is his photograph that made him famous [the photo was of a US soldier helping an Iraqi child who had been a target of a sucide bomber or IED] was used in a lot of unethical ways and also used by terror propaganda as a reason the coalation forces should leave Iraq.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to publish as it can often be used by a terrorist wishing to coax public opinion to their will. Its is good to know there is people watching what is said and how, but without proper training most of these online anti-terror networks fail in some respect. They should also learn that reporting on positive changes is as inportant if not more than just taking down terror propaganda and information used by terrorists. I searched for a few weeks to find a reliable well informed and well constructed etity to train myself in online counterterrorism. But found very little that focused in this specific area. There are some good FBI and DoHS groups that train citizens on the ground to spot persons who apprear to be checking out potential targets within the US, but I found nothing on training to fight online terror propaganda until more recelty (yet much of the info and sites/groups focus only o n shutting down bad sites and not creating good web sites). Which in the least is scary. If you have read any of my links on terrorists tactics and couterterrorism you will see that propaganda/Media is a large part of the terror machine. It has been used by Al Qaeda and other terror groups more and more lately and some of it has become very sublime in many cases. Recently while I was looking for terrorists web propaganda to shut down, I found a few sites that at first looked to be respectable and for a good cause (we all remember the charitable organizations that were actualy terror fronts to help support Bin Laden and other terrorists - I hope we remember these?). But investigate further and you find terrorist qoutes and bad pictures and other text that is radical or extremist in nature. The next few years, I beleive we will see governments around the world pay more and clearer attention and funding to fight online terrorists. Online terrorists activities include bankscams, ID theft, hacking of government web sites, and terrorists posting of video and text meant to twists the publics knowledge/perception. - Ian Bach

Michael Yons latest Dispatch focuses on the need for our military to assist reporters in Iraq.

"Who suffers? Firstly, we are losing the war in part because we are losing public support for it. We are losing public support for it in part because there are so few reports that demonstrate enough progress being made and enough reasons to continue to fight until Iraqis are able to go it alone. Secondly, the soldiers suffer because their stories are not being told. Fox News, which reaches millions, just turned down an embed simply because they don’t want their cameras and computers stolen, and they need to actually work when they aren’t guarding their gear. Unlike yours truly, Fox News has deadlines to meet."

Here is a section of an Newsweek Article regarding hacking on both sides of the cyberwar:

Virtual Jihad

Radical Islamic Web sites are encouraging their supporters to wage holy war online. Their exhortations underscore U.S. vulnerability to cyberterror

By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball

Updated: 9:40 a.m. PT Feb 10, 2005

"Almost every [Islamic extremist] Web site has a section on how to do jihad over the Internet," says Rita Katz, the head of the SITE Institute, a group that closely monitors Islamic Web sites. The postings, say Katz, advise would-be holy warriors: "If you can't do Jihad physically, do it on the Internet."

Here is some info on global terrorism and Al Qaeda influences in Saudi Arabia, as reported By Mahan Abedin:

(Click here for full Text)

"Dr. Saad al-Faqih heads the Saudi opposition group, Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), and is a widely acknowledged expert on al-Qaeda. Terrorism Monitor Editor Mahan Abedin conducted this interview December 12, 2005 in London."

"Mahan Abedin: What is the latest information on terrorism in Saudi Arabia?"

"Saad al-Faqih: The latest general trend is that the jihadis have abandoned their previous tactics of targeting Westerners and the security forces. The jihadis are now focusing all their attention on the royal family. Two factors have driven this change. Firstly, the jihadis had previously avoided targeting the royals for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. But now they believe that the prevailing opinion in Saudi Arabia-and probably in the wider Muslim world-is that the royal family is infidel and deserves harsh treatment. Secondly, the jihadis have finally overcome their fear of a secular takeover in the event of the sudden downfall of the House of Saud. Somebody told me that in the late 1990s bin Laden used to say that if the House of Saud is removed, the country will fall into the hands of secular forces. But now al-Qaeda believes that the regime is behaving far worse than a would-be secular system, because it is gradually destroying Islam under the banner of a false Islam. Al-Qaeda has reached the conclusion that the sudden collapse of the regime will either invite foreign interference or chaos. Both scenarios are now favored by the jihadis, who have learned great lessons in the Iraq theater over the past 33 months. In fact the jihadis would welcome an American invasion, knowing full well that it will provide a massive recruitment opportunity for them and hence they will be the ultimate winners, as they think they are proving to be in Iraq."

"MA: How has the political transition (i.e. death of King Fahd) affected the struggle between the regime and al-Qaeda?"

"SF: The transition has little to do with al-Qaeda; in fact al-Qaeda is not in the least bit interested in these developments. The only way al-Qaeda would become interested is if a very serious and open dispute between the leading royals broke out. But this has not happened, not yet anyways. Moreover, there is no division in the regime when it comes to al-Qaeda; all the top figures of the regime, namely Abdullah, Sultan and Nayef, are determined to eradicate al-Qaeda. They are also in favor of maintaining the regime’s dependence on America. "

"MA: But presumably al-Qaeda is monitoring developments inside the regime very closely and the decision on the timing of any assassination attempt against a leading figure would surely be determined by .........."