Internet Jihad Update from Global Terrorism Analysis:
The latest criticism of Islam being a violent religion, which was sparked by incendiary comments made by Pope Benedict XVI, has caused internet jihadis to launch a new website called Electronic Jihad, located at http://www.al-jinan.org. The purpose of the website is to help organize an electronic jihad against websites that insult Islam and Islamic sacred figures. The site has been well publicized on more established jihadi websites. Jihadi forums are posting quotes from the Quran in order to encourage and convince jihadis and regular Muslims of their duty to engage in electronic jihad and to attack anti-Islamic sites in order to shut them down. Furthermore, postings from August on the Electronic Jihad site already claim that they successfully shut down the Israeli website http://www.haganah.co.il. Thus, it seems that while street protests in response to Western criticism of Islam have died down in the Islamic world, the battle is still raging on the internet.
The way that the Electronic Jihad site works is by coordinating and organizing its users and followers. The website offers programs that those willing to engage in the electronic jihad need to download. Currently, there are two main programs that the website is offering. The first program is used for hacking attacks. The second program, when installed, places a toolbar on the user’s computer that connects automatically to Electronic Jihad and acquires data containing the specific date, time and target site for the attack. When that time arrives, the user simply has to run the first hacking program, select the target site to be attacked and then allow the program to do the rest. The key to these attacks is that they must be done simultaneously by many different users so that they can overload the target site. The hacking program is called the Electronic Jihad Program 1.5 (Silver Edition). One individual in palestinianforum.net claims that the program was designed by a Saudi national.
The website also lists the results of previous electronic attacks, noting that it had hacked 14 anti-Islamic websites successfully, although it did not provide the addresses for these websites. The site also claims that one server hosting an anti-Islamic site acquiesced to their threats and suspended the site. The site owners remind Muslims of the harm done by anti-Islamic groups that have hacked into Islamic sites and turned many of them into pornographic websites. To convince indifferent Muslims of the importance of electronic jihad, the site has a link to a report on the al-Jazeera Forums site mentioning Electronic Jihad’s achievements in shutting down anti-Islamic websites (http://www.aljazeeratalk.net/forum). The al-Jazeera report, however, does not identify the attackers as “jihadis,” but rather as hackers and pirates.