US harbouring Al Qaeda, Hezbollah websites on home turf

May 6th, 2008 - 4:54 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 6 (IANS) The United States might be waging the most relentless battle against terrorism, but its own soil is hosting dozens of websites of groups like Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Researchers made this startling discovery after being commissioned by NATO officials to study the shadowy cyberspace activity of the most dangerous organisations.

Although FBI has shut down a few websites, it is still feared that terrorists could coordinate and mount a 9/11-scale attack through them, warned Niv Ahituv of the Netvision Institute of Internet Studies (NIIS) and Tel Aviv University.

“These websites are targeting Muslim mothers in America, Canada, the UK and all over the world, convincing them that being shahid or a suicide bomber is particularly good and very important for their sons,” added Ahituv.

Available in English, Arabic, Spanish and other languages, the websites also provide tutorials on bomb building and enlist impressionable American and British Muslim women and men into a life of terror activity.

The study said Islamic Jihad operates 15 websites in Arabic and English, hosted by both US and Canadian companies. Hamas operates 20 websites in eight languages, a portion of which are based in the US and Canada, while Hezbollah operates 20 websites, also hosted by companies in the US and Canada.

These findings were presented in Berlin to a closed audience of high-ranking NATO representatives in February.

Paradoxically, “America’s First Amendment protects these websites from being shut down,” said Ahituv, recognizing the irony of waging a war on terror when some of the most dangerous propaganda is being created at home.

NIIS had organized a workshop on terrorist groups and the Internet for North American Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Technology Analysis & Forecasting. Technical University of Berlin also participated in the workshop.

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