Friday, September 28, 2007

The Internet in the service of terrorist organizations

Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Internet network and the service providers by which the organization is supported Overview
1. The PIJ is a relatively small radical Islamic terrorist organization sponsored by Iran and Syria and directed by its headquarters in Damascus . At the present time the PIJ is the most prominent organization in launching rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel . Since 2005 it has taken dominance from Hamas in carrying out deadly suicide bombing attacks in Tel Aviv, Hadera, Netanya and other population centers in Israel .
2. Like Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations, the PIJ makes extensive use of the Internet , which serves as one of its main weapons in the battle for hearts and minds . The PIJ's Internet network has six sites , four of them news-oriented and two devoted to the organization's founder and former leader, Fathi al-Shikaki , and to its present leader, Abdallah Ramadan Shalah. As opposed to Hamas, which appeals to world-wide audiences, the PIJ's target audiences are mainly Palestinians and Arabic-speakers. Thus, with the exception of one site, all the PIJ's sites are in Arabic, as opposed to the Hamas sites, which appear in eight languages.
3. Since it is a small organization, and it resources and manpower are limited, its Internet network is smaller and its technical level is lower than that of Hamas. 1However, during the past year the technology and content of its sites have improved . It offers more video clips, its design has been improved and it is updated more frequently.
4. All the PIJ's Websites send messages of hatred for Israel and the West, are rife with incitement to terrorism and foster the ideas of dying the death of a martyr for the sake of Allah ( shahadah ), committing suicide for the sake of Allah ( istishad ), and holy war ( jihad ). The messages it sends and its propaganda are in line with the PIJ's being a militant organization which regards the use of terrorism as the only way to advance its objectives, central to which is the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of a radical Islamic state run in accordance with Islamic law throughout all the territory of “Palestine.”
5. Technically, the PIJ's Internet network is supported by ISPs located in Iran (which hosts Qudsway , the PIJ's main site), Malaysia (one site), Canada (one site) and the United States (three sites). 2 The pattern of having the main site Iranian and most of the others American has not changed since our previous examination, carried out in May 2006. That is true although the PIJ is clearly a terrorist organization and appears on the United States list of designated terrorist organizations. That provides an additional illustration that the Internet is the main medium through which the global jihad can spread its propaganda encouraging hatred and terrorism, and the radical Islamic ideology of the Palestinian terrorist organizations.
PIJ Websites classified according to content
6. The PIJ Websites fall into three groups :
A. News-oriented sites :
1) : the central site.
2) : news site.
3) new site appearing in both Arabic and English.
B. Designated sites : (and : the site of the Jerusalem Battalions, the PIJ's terrorist operative wing.
C. Sites devoted to the PIJ leadership :
1 ) : site devoted to the memory of PIJ founder Fathi al-Shiqaqi.
2) : site devoted to organization leader Abdallah Ramadan Shalah.
7. Following is a description of the sites, as of September 18, 2007 :
Group A: News-oriented sites
8. The site is called “The net of the call to Jerusalem ” and its Internet addresses are (or or It is the organization's most important site .
9. The site is updated regularly and focuses on organizational activities related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On July 25, 2007 , it was upgraded both technically and with regard to content.
10. The site has news flashes, articles (mostly dealing with the organization), interviews, commentaries, “studies” and links to the organization's other sites. It provides detailed reports about the organization's terrorist activities including announcements, claims of responsibility for terrorist attacks and the wills of shaheeds . 3The site also monitors the Israeli press. The organization's journal, called Jihad , can be reached through a link on the homepage.
11. Qudsway, like the PIJ's other sites, is rife with hate-propaganda against Israel and the West, fosters the shaheed myth (glorification of the suicide bombers and presenting them as role models) and praises violence and terrorism carried out in the name of jihad.

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