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Islamist Terror Via the American Internet By: Lee Kaplan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 10, 2004


When the Internet was created in the early 1990s, almost everyone was excited. This would become the new media, a true marketplace of ideas, where unlimited freedom of speech was possible and political correctness was thrown out the window. Still, few people would have thought that in less than a decade the Internet would become a security nightmare.

Today, perhaps because of the very nature of a truly free marketplace of ideas itself, the Internet has become a propaganda and recruiting tool for terror groups like Al Qaeda – a place where they can discuss their activities, raise funds and spread their malignant ideology around the world.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that American Internet companies are helping the enemy in the ‘War on Terror’ by providing Web hosting and other services to overseas terrorist groups and the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI appear to be incapable or unwilling to act on the matter. The number of such Websites operating with the collusion of U.S. Internet companies, knowingly or otherwise, is truly alarming.

 

Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and the PFLP like to use American Web hosting companies because the prices are cheaper than found overseas and US firms have the greatest bandwidth -- that is, the power to reach the maximum audience over phone lines and cable. And of course, the US has the largest Internet population in the world.

 

On Oct. 21, 2001, President Bush issued Executive Order #13224, which strictly prohibits American companies from giving any type of aid to entities the US State Department has designated as terrorist groups. Since overseas terrorist groups pay American companies for the services they provide, be that in cash, by credit card or check, and the government has the right to trace those funds, why doesn’t the U.S. government take a pro-active approach to shutting down these Websites?

 

The FBI does have agents assigned to watch the World Wide Web, and many Homeland Security warnings are the result of “chatter” picked up from the Internet. However, with over 150 Internet watchdog associations around the world, thousands of domain and Web hosting venders and billions of Web sites to scour, tracking Internet terrorism is a daunting task.

 

One owner of a Web hosting company said on condition of anonymity:

 

“It would be like trying to put your finger in a dyke. I have over 200 Websites and to monitor each one daily, let alone each page in each one would be impossible in English, let alone Arabic. If the government put in regulations to do that there would be a major backlash by trade associations unwilling to put in so much time.”

 

Would he shut down a Website that he knew was part of a terrorist organization?

 

“Probably not unless they were in violation of the Terms and Conditions of our service or the government ordered me to do so,” he said.

 

Below is a just a partial list of current Websites belonging to terrorist groups that American companies are hosting. During the writing of this article, one site was shut down, only to reemerge at a different Internet address. And, once again, it has a U.S. Web host. The remaining Websites were valid up until July 31, 2004:


www.abrarway.com:
This is a news Website for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization run by Sami al-Arian in the United States and a major financier of terrorist attacks in Israel. Al Arian is currently sitting in an American jail on charges of providing material support to terrorists. This Website sports an animated cartoon of a bullet shooting the Star of David and then bursting into flames with links to terrorist “martyrs.”
Registered by: "Samail" in Beirut, Lebanon
IP address: 216.7.186.93
ISP: VONOC in Englewood, Colorado, and WeHostWebSites.com in Loveland, Colorado.
Domain/Nameserver provider: VONOC in Englewood, Colorado, and WeHostWebSites.com in Loveland, Colorado: dnsracks.com IP-216.7.186.91 and IP-216.7.186.92

www.almjlah.com
A pro-Al Qaeda Website.
Registered by: "None" in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
IP address: 198.87.87.9
ISP: Verio Inc. in Englewood, Colorado.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Verio Inc. in Englewood, Colorado: damammhost.com IP-198.87.87.38 and IP-198.87.87.39

http://alsaha.com
A message forum used by Al Qaeda supporters.
Registered by: fares.net
IP address: 66.98.148.179
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.

fares.net: IP-66.98.148.180, and IP-207.44.240.233; NetTransactions LLC in Holmdel, New Jersey, and CEF in Hazlet, New Jersey: nettica.com IP-64.237.45.34; 1-800-Hosting Inc.in Dallas, Texas: nettica.com IP-69.41.170.223

www.alsakifah.org
Another message forum used by Al Qaeda supporters.
Registered by: Al-Sakifah in Malami, Malaysia.
IP address: 64.62.172.111
ISP: Hurricane Electric in Fremont, California, and Powersurge Technologies Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Hurricane Electric in Fremont, California, and Powersurge Technologies Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa: rhinodns1.com IP-64.62.172.110

http://ansar-alsonnah.8k.com
Affiliation: Website of the Army of Ansar Al-Sunnah who are known supporters of

Al Qaeda.
Registered by: Details unavailable
IP address: 208.185.127.165
ISP: Abovenet Communications in New York, and About Web Services in Orem, Utah.
Domain/Nameserver provider: UUNET Technologies in Ashburn, Virginia, and North Sky Inc. in Orem, Utah: Abovenet Communications in New York: freeservers.com IP-63.108.71.180; and About Web Services in Orem, Utah: freeservers.com IP-208.185.127.192

www.ansarnet.ws/vb
Another message forum used by Al Qaeda supporters.
Registered by: Al-Ansar Net in London, United Kingdom.
IP address: 67.15.48.24
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Rackspace.com in San Antonio, Texas: micfo.com IP-69.20.54.201

www.chechan.org
Affiliation: Website of the Chechen Information Center.
Registered by: Chechannet in Miksan, Vanuatu.
IP address: 69.13.27.58
ISP: C I Host in Bedford, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: C I Host in Bedford, Texas: muzikalite.net IP-69.13.27.250

www.hostinganime.com/neda4/index.htm
Another pro-Al Qaeda Website.
Registered by: Details unavailable.
IP address: 66.98.141.123
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: anoncities.com [3]

www.hostinganime.com/sout19/bttar.htm
This  pro-Al Qaeda Website  publishes Al Qaeda's Al-Battar Training Camp magazine

for training terrorists worldwide.
Registered by: Details unavailable.
IP address: 66.98.141.123
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: anoncities.com [4]

www.info-bureau.com CLOSED DOWN (but now www.qudsway.com)
Affiliation: Official Website of Hamas. It even opens with martial music.
Registered by: "Cravis" in Sofia, Bulgaria (as info-bureau).
IP address: 66.220.29.3
ISP: Hurricane Electric in Fremont, California, and Powersurge Technologies Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Domain/Nameserver provider: ourserver.net
www.qudsaway.com is hosted by Network Solutions based in the United States.

www.intiqad.com
A pro-Hezbollah weekly magazine.
Registered by: An Individual in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 64.176.6.40
ISP: Alabanza Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Alabanza Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland:
rakeemnet.com IP-65.108.51.98 and IP-65.108.52.182

www.kataebaqsa1.com
Website of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah. This Website features a photograph on its homepage of a teenage suicide bomber holding a grenade.
Registered by: "Aboqosai" in Gaza, Palestine.
IP address: 64.62.172.111
ISP: Hurricane Electric in Fremont, California, United States, and Powersurge Technologies Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Hurricane Electric in Fremont, California, and Powersurge Technologies Inc., in Cedar Falls, Iowa: rhinodns1.com IP-64.62.172.110 and IP-64.62.172.111

www.manartv.com 
Website of Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar.
Registered by: ITX in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 64.106.143.226
ISP: DataPipe in Hoboken, New Jersey, and ITX Sarl in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Internap Network Services in Atlanta, Georgia, and eNom in Redmond, Washington State: name-services.com IP-63.251.163.115

www.moqawama.net 
A pro-Hezbollah Website - it is even in English and has a section devoted to “Military Operations” where it lauds ambushing Israeli soldiers:
http://www.moqawama.org/page2/f_mopera.htm - another site glorifying “martyrs”

http://www.moqawama.org/page2/f_martyrs.htm - has a special section on “hostages”

http://www.moqawama.org/page2/f_hostag.htm .
Registered by: Hadeelnet in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 207.44.244.117
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Rackspace in San Antonio, Texas; Zone Edit in New York, United States: hostsvr.com IP-209.61.140.4; and Qwest Communications in Denver, Colorado, and Ezzi.Net in Great River, New York: hostsvr.com IP-65.125.228.67

www.nasrollah.org
Official Website of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
Registered by: Hadeel.net in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 69.59.157.93
ISP: ServePath LLC. in San Francisco, California.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Register.com Inc. in New York: register.com IP-216.21.229.101

www.neda2-friend.co.uk
Another pro-Al Qaeda Website.
Registered by: An Individual through an agent at Fasthosts Internet Ltd. in the United Kingdom.
IP address: 207.150.192.12
ISP: Affinity Internet Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, California.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Affinity Internet Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, California: hostsave.com IP-207.150.196.199 and IP-207.150.197.103

www.qal3ati.org 
Another message forum used by Al Qaeda supporters.
Registered by: "Qalaah Qalaah" in Abu Dhabi, Arab Emirates (another U.S. “ally”).
IP address: 64.246.51.5
ISP: Everyone's Internet Inc. in Houston, Texas.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Everyone's Internet in Houston, Texas:
hostworld4u.net IP-64.246.51.41

www.rabdullah.com

Website of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Dr. Abdallah Ramadhan Shalah.

As already mentioned, Palestine Islamic Jihad is the organization that was run by Sami al-Arian in the United States who is currently in federal lock-up for financing terrorism abroad that claimed Americans lives inside Israel.
Registered by: "Abrar" in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 64.156.223.250
ISP: Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield, Colorado.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield, Colorado: jodoshared.com IP-64.156.220.224 and IP-64.156.223.231

www.sarayaalquds.com
Website of Al Quds Brigades, military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Registered by: "Abrar" in Beirut, Lebanon.
IP address: 64.156.223.250
ISP: Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield, Colorado.
Domain/Nameserver provider: Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield, Colorado: jodoshared.com IP-64.156.220.224 and IP-64.156.223.231

 

(Much of this information appeared in a report from Marie-Helene Boccara's report on behalf of MEMRI . MEMRI has graciously allowed us to reproduce the information in this article.)

 

As an experiment, the same day I wrote this article I decided to try and find more such Websites. By simply using Google and entering a known terrorist group’s name, I came up with the Website for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (www.pflp-gc.org ). You can check the domain registry and the Web host by going to any domain registry Website and entering the Website name under the “Who is” search engine.

 

This particular terrorist group’s host is www.Spiderhosts.com, located in Wilmington, Delaware. To find something more difficult I visited the leftist discussion board at San Francisco Indymedia (http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/06/1683259.php) where I found a discussion of an Arabic Website www.alhourriah.org . Upon reaching that site, a little searching linked me to a Website for the terrorist group, The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (http://www.alhourriah.org/dflp_e.asp ). Al Hourriah is a magazine run out of a PLO terrorist camp in Syria. Its Web host, however, is Activehost in New York.

 

Requesting the “official Hamas Website” in another Google attempt netted me

www.hamasonline.org; it is being hosted by the Enom Corporation in Bellevue, Washington. I found all of these sites in the span of about fifteen minutes with no formal training.

 

The Justice Department’s recent raid into the Holy Land Foundation after three years of investigation also showed that a Web hosting company was operating from the HLF’s offices under the corporate name, Infocom. Infocom provided hosting services for terrorist and pro-Al Qaeda Websites. The Holy Land Foundation is a front for Hamas in the United States. Some US hosting companies may be run by Arab-Americans sympathetic to Al Qaeda or as part of terrorist cells set up in the U.S. Still others may just be innocent dupes of an Internet that is just too difficult to police—unless one is forced to do so.

 

To deal with this problem Congress needs to enact tough legislation that Web hosting companies in the U.S. must log complaints about terrorist Websites and report them to the FBI or Homeland Security immediately. Failure to do so should cost a $100,000 fine and jail time.

 

The Web hosting executive quoted above said the best way to shut down these sites was first to tell the Web host that the sites are in violation of the Web host’s terms and conditions and, if that doesn’t work, to alert the FBI or other government authorities. But he admitted some Web hosts might be reluctant to close a site down for fear of losing income.

 

But Homeland Security also must do its part in contacting such Web hosting companies and immediately demanding such Websites be shut down as quickly as they spring up. In cases where the domain name registry or hosting is done overseas, the U.S. government should put unrelenting diplomatic pressure on those countries to shutdown such Websites.

 

Some are hosted in Saudi Arabia, so diplomatic pressure would be nearly impossible. But attempts must be made to limit where these sites are hosted to make it easier for the authorities to combat them. With fewer hosts and higher costs, terror Web sites will be less effective. For example, Hamasonline purchased its domain name from 357Hosting in Utrecht, the Netherlands. As a NATO ally, the Dutch government should be made to clamp down on such sites. If they do not, then, as President Bush has remarked, they should be considered as “either for us or against us” and slapped with diplomatic sanctions.

 

Americans can also do their part in helping authorities with the insurmountable job of policing the Internet. All of us should make it a practice when surfing the Web to look for these Websites and close them down by immediately alerting the Web hosting companies and the proper authorities. The ‘War On Terror’ is a different type of war, and we must all be diligent to win it.


Lee Kaplan is an undercover investigative journalist and a contributor to Front Page Magazine. He is also a regular columnist for the Israel National News and Canada Free Press and a senior intelligence analyst and communications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network. He heads the organizations Defending America for Knowledge and Action (DAFKA) and Stop the ISM. He has been interviewed on over one hundred nationally and internationally syndicated radio shows and been a guest on Fox Cable TV’s Dayside with Linda Vester and Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor. He is a guest every Tuesday on the Jim Kirkwood Show on Utah's K-Talk Radio am630. He is currently working on a book about America's colleges in the War on Terror and the International Solidarity Movement.


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