Wednesday, October 08, 2008 

Online jihadists planning forum raids!

The e-jihadis it seems are getting desperate:

It has been almost a month since the top-tier Jihadi forums were taken down (with the exception of Hesbah–suspicious). Now the second-tier forums have been taken down: Faloja, al-Ma`arik al-Salafiyya, and Shura. Shumukh is hanging on and that’s where most of the hand wringing is happening at the moment. Some are accusing the Shia of shutting down the forums in retaliation for their websites being hacked; others believe the U.S. is behind it.

One member of the latter group, al-Hizbar al-Ansari (The Ansari Lion), proposes that American forums be “raided” in retaliation. He suggests that Jihadis sign up on highly-trafficked forums and post disturbing images of U.S. dead in Iraq and Afghanistan. This, he believes, will demoralize the enemy. To get the ball rolling, Hizbar says he signed up for one of them under the name “osama bin laden” and posted a picture of an American woman with a burned face looking for her husband.

Yesterday, a Shumukh administrator called on all members of the forum to get involved. He even issued an invitation to members of four other forums: Hesbah, Faloja, al-Ma`arik al-Salafiyya, and Shura. (This was before three of the four sites disappeared today.)

Hizbar responded to the call today by announcing the formation of the al-Ayyubi Brigade to coordinate the attacks. (al-Ayyubi is Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, or Saladin.) He also listed the five American forums that should be targeted first:

  1. (”This is an extremely large forum with millions of people that posts information about American states.”)

  2. (”This forum has a section devoted to the war against Muslims.”)

  3. (”A forum for American university students. It is very important.”)

  4. (”This is one of the large American forums. It has a video section.”)

  5. (”A military forum frequented by Europeans and Americans. It launches attacks on the mujahids and disparages them. I hope films will be posted on it. Be wary of its many Jewish members.”)

It should be noted that despite many of the jihadist forums being down, material from groups including al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq is still freely being released and distributed (ISI released 4 Eid "gifts"); the only way that could possibly be stopped from happening is if whoever or whatever has succeeded in bringing down the jihadist forums goes on to the target the ever burgeoning file-uploading websites which host them, something they're not going to be able to do. Likewise, back up forums can be freely set-up incredibly quickly, and while they won't be able to handle the traffic that the main ones did, this is hardly anything like a death blow to the online jihadists. It's undoubtedly shaken them up and dispersed them somewhat, but as successors to the likes of al-Ehklass take place and shape they'll return and be back to something approaching normal before too long. Also amusing is how some are blaming the Shia, just as they along with the Jews are blamed for almost everything by the conspiracy-minded in the "community", which is a very high percentage of them.

For those like me though who used to spend inordinate amounts of time reading the likes of the Something Awful forums, which has now been somewhat superseded by 4chan, forum raids or invasions are like old friends. Although long since deemed bannable on SA unless authorised by the adminstrators, the key element to a good forum raid is the chief weapon of the Spanish Inquisition: surprise. It also needs to be approaching the overwhelming scale: such a sudden burst of registration or activity from the "insurgents" that it leaves the administrators or moderators of the targeted board unable to cope. Thing is, most board software is now so powerful that stopping such raids is as simple as closing registrations, or if necessary, closing the boards completely temporarily while the effects of the raid can be cleaned up. Sure, it'll make a lot of hassle, but they can also be prevented by having a mod authorise all such accounts. And using dumb names such as "osama bin laden" as the hero did up there, especially on boards such as the ones they're thinking of targeting is simply just going to result in them not even getting to first base.

The other thing to consider is that most readers of such forums are already going to pretty jaded. Every internet user has seen goatse, tubgirl, with most probably even seeing 2girls1cup for a few seconds before alt-f4ing. Even the series of pain.jpgs and whatever else is now being used for shock value aren't what they might once have been. Hell, most of them have probably actively sought out such delights. They, like the jihadis, have most likely seen the IED videos, or even the beheading ones, except they for the most part won't have been incredibly sexually aroused by it. You have to admire the naivety on one level, that they actually genuinely think raiding forums and posting images of the U.S. dead in Iraq will rile most people. It won't. They'll just sigh and carry on with their lives.

Without wanting to give advice that might be used, jihadis would be far better placed starting DDoS attacks against suitable targets. They definitely have the manpower and the numbers required to do so, and with the amount of zombie PCs out there that are just waiting to be used in botnets, they could probably bring down or at least seriously disrupt the service on some of the sites they're thinking of attacking. Or they could go and block the pool on Habbo Hotel.

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