AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Opinion

Al Qaeda is Eyeing MySpace, Facebook, Friends Reunited, PalTalk

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By Shelley Smith
Originally published Feb. 2, 2008
Great Britain’s Security Service MI5 requested its British troops to remove personal details of themselves off popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Friends Reunited due to discovering that they were being monitored by Al-Qaeda operatives. In the January, 2008 Free Republic article, ‘Al-Qaeda eyes MySpace Pages‘, Gordon Thomas writes about the concern expressed by the MI5 chief Jonathan Evans in a document titled ‘Personal Security‘. Evans asks for security service personnel to be aware of the monitoring and gathering of personal details that can be formed into intelligence used to launch terrorist attacks against their colleagues, or family members.
Though access to many of these social websites may be for members only, all one needs to register is an e-mail address. Al-Qaeda operatives are using hundreds of false accounts to access personal information. And what are they finding?
Thousands of military and security personnel who have posted detailed information about themselves, their careers, personal pictures and family members, date of birth, locations of where they are living, photos of colleagues and weapons.
In the United States Islamic extremists are utilizing technology. Radical Muslims are attempting to bring Islamic religious law into the United States and had murdered a New Jersey man and his family. Others have been victims by operatives systematically tracking individuals through and other websites. An individual who lives overseas had his computer hacked to obtain his photograph, his real name and the city where he lives, while other individuals are having their personal information being exchanged through extremist websites in order to facilitate harm. With this new wave of activities it is important to maintain OPSEC.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC), who conducts Cyber Security programs, has posted the latest Vulnerability Bulletins to share with U.S. interagency personnel.

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