Term Paper: Terrorism and the Internet Modern Media Technologies

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Terrorism and the Internet

Modern media technologies are revolutionizing the form of risk in the modern society. Internet has emerged as an important instrument for the massive distribution of news, hoaxes and rumors, as also portrayals of public anguish, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. There is a real immediate need to comprehend the manner in which the dynamics of the modern media technologies are transforming the means by which we apprehend these risks. (Anderson, 2003) Terrorism is the most urgent concern confronting the U.S. And its supporters across the world. This came to be shockingly visible on 9/11 and guarantees to be long-term danger needing a total determination on the part of the United States to destroy terrorist outfits in all areas where they thrive. Terrorism is a conventional issue, and the term terrorism originates from the Reign of Terror in France during 1793-1794. Terrorism has been described by the United States Department as aggression against noncombatants with regard to impacting public views. (Prichard; MacDonald, 2004) as the number of terrorist organizations is huge in number, in this paper we shall endeavor to concentrate mainly on how radical and Islamic jihadis are making use of the internet to spread terrorism as it is more relevant to our country.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and top bureaucrats have cautioned the public since September 11, 2001 not merely regarding the perils of chemical, biological, as well as nuclear arsenals, but also with regard to the increasingly threat of terrorism via the Internet. Homeland Security Tom Ridge in a representative statement in 2001 had said that it is quite possible that terrorists can just use a computer connected to a network to unleash terror across the world. Also prior to 9/11, President Bush was continuously revealing as to how the U.S. was looming in threat from acts of terrorism through the Internet to increase threats or to terrorist organizations making use of the Internet in order to recruit its cadre, warning at the time of his presidential campaign that the U.S. forces have been excessively utilized and given low funding specifically at the time when they are faced with several new forms of challenges and risks - the increase in using the Internet for acts of terrorism. Since September 11, these issues have merely increased several folds. (Gren, 2002)

The Internet has been crucial for terrorism since a long time; however the matter that has been a cause of shock has been the proliferation of the fundamental Islamic and Jihadist websites. The persistent increase of these groups implicate that mobilizing the cadre for waging a "holy war" against the West could go on unhindered, regardless of the detention of several prominent leaders. In the opinion of a professor of Communications at the University of Hafifa in Israel, Gabriel Weimann, the figures of websites managed by terrorists i.e. those supporting or fueling terrorism has risen from a dozen during 1997 to nearly 4,700 now, a rise of almost four hundred times more. Weimann states that the enumeration consists of several Marxist, racist and Nazi groups, however till now the prominent group is the Islamist-jihadist type which is responsible for nearly 70%. (Ariza, 2005)

The period from September 11, 2001 till the invasion led by America and the Iraq occupation during March-April 2003, witnessed the massive growth of several web sites by the jihadis, with groups alleged or recognized as a deceptive front for the Al Qaeda as also pro-Al Qaeda persons launching a large number of them. As the groups and persons responsible for these websites did not have any reasons to be careful so that they do not clash with the law, they openly publicized their cause to use the internet not just to publicize their cause and make a crusade against America and other nations considered as backing the U.S., but also to increase the movement of jihad through various national borders by paying reverence to the suicide terrorists, and by turning the Internet to a virtual madrasa as well as jihadi training units. Since the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.-led forces, this number has risen. (Raman, 2005)

Statements accusing America as well as Israel and portraying them as Islamic foes and the Muslims began to emerge with growing frequency in the websites of the pan-Islamic jihadi terrorist groups following the establishment by Osama bin Laden in February, 1998 of the International Islamic Front- IIF for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People from his secret hiding place in Kandahar. The IIF looked towards bringing in a trans-national network bin Laden's Al Qaeda, which is entirely an Arab terrorist outfit, and several non-Arab jihadi terrorist groups functioning from nations like the Central Asian Republics, Egypt, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and so on. The virulence as well as frequency of the anti-U.S. crusades undertaken by these groups grew following the U.S. Cruise missile salvo on suspected training centers of the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as the Sudan in August, 1998. Following the cruise missile attack, the U.S. was depicted as the main adversary of Islam which came to be considered as the essential defining feature of the pan-Islamic jihadi extremist or terrorist groups. A few of the jihadi websites offered services like propagation of knowledge relating to jihad in several nations, guidelines on the path to become a Mujahideen, explosives manufacturing procedures etc., database regarding sourcing of weapons and arsenals for buying along with its prices. The websites giving this information were seemingly operated by Muslims based in the U.S., since the arms sellers suggested by them were functioning from the U.S. (Raman, 2005) host of pages currently spread over the web goes on emphasizing a wide Jihadist objective of aiming at the economic assets of the U.S. Some of such pages are quite precise and elaborate, according implications of particular pipelines and facilities to assault not only in the Gulf, but in several areas around the world where such assets could be made the target. Ayman al-Zawahiri has been advocating being making the oil installations in the Gulf States as a target with regard to the bleed until bankruptcy technique against the U.S. The pages written by Abu Yusuf captioned as Targets for Jihad: a response to the words of Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri, is a comprehensive detail of the prospective vulnerabilities of the west in the Middle East and throughout the world. The writer elaborates as to the best possible methods in which the Muhahideen can assault the major economic arenas of the U.S., prioritized on the basis of strategic areas of importance. The treatise also quotes revenue from heroin generation as an American strategic object, accords details on refineries, pipeline, as well as pumping stations, concentrating specifically on the Caspian Sea sector and according names and addresses of firms related to the industry. (Ulph, 2006)

The targets with regard to the treatise on Jihad were at first published in March 2005 on www.alommh.netwhich was the Risalat al-Umma forum. Further, at that moment the posting followed a warning by Ayman al-Zawahiri on a videotape message which was broadcast by al-Jazeera. The warning was that the west confronted defeat through the degeneration of their economies. The brief original of the current 12-page document was first published with regard to the sermon by Bin Laden on the 'strategic directions on jihadist objects' posted in May 2003 and completed with a note that these were only the first thoughts wherein readers could formulate major supplementations. From then onwards, the interest in the prospective of catastrophic reverse for America and the west has been renewed on the jihad forums by the current occurrences of natural disasters. While in Iraq assaults as well as risks of assaults on pipelines, refineries as well as oil associated transportation are regular, the proposed jihadi adoption of such strategy has not yet been encountered outside Iraq. (Ulph, 2006)

The approach is but presently being engaged with seriousness on the internet and is creating research traffic. The very day as the December targets for Jihadi posting, one informing himself as Abu Saqr announced for reformulating the links of the document which had been lapsed as well as the collation of all the illuminations which were available for the project into one single file. Being satisfied that the assaults on U.S. oil interests would ignite the final struggle, Abu Saqr again took the initiative, assuring the idea of collaboration with friends who have finished advanced studies in aerial photography as well as surveying on a thorough and professional analysis of the subject, so as to accord it to the mujahideen and those who are at the outset of the jihad programs. He also once expanded the call for involvement from forum readers who are proficient in the field of distribution networks, petrochemical engineering as well as pumps, indicating the requirement for PDF documents of books associated with the subject. Abu Saqr then concluded by assuring that the finished PDF treatises will be circulated over large number of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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