AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Opinion Terrorism

How Terrorists Are Using Freely Accessible Internet Services

From TAM-C Analysts

Google Earth
At least one jihadist Web site, focused on terrorism in Iraq, has published a link to Google Earth, suggesting that “all the mujahideen (jihad fighters) who want to coordinate [actions] in Iraq” use the service, “with the exact city or camp,” to obtain aerial photographs.
TAM-C analysts and other intelligence centers have repeatedly warned of the dangers associated with open sources of intelligence and this hyperlinking by Iraqi jihadists confirms these warnings.
Israeli security officials have also indicated this week their frustration over Google Earth having released detailed aerial photos of Israeli territory, including sensitive security facilities. This is the first time that such images have been available to the general public, although the maps used by Google Earth are several years old. An Israeli security source quoted by Ynet news service called the Google Earth development “a gold mine for terrorists.”
TAM-C’s domestic / eco-terror analysts have also observed the use of Google Earth by eco-terror and Anarchist groups as they plan “direct action” activities.
In a related novel use of free resources on the Internet, jihadists uploaded an instructional video on bomb-making to the open-access video-sharing Web site YouTube over the summer. According to reports from Strategic Forecasting, Inc (Stratfor)-a private intelligence agency-U.S. authorities instructed YouTube operators to remove the video, which was in the Arabic language, but the fact that it was uploaded to an open Web site such as YouTube indicated an intention to spread the information widely. The clip demonstrated how to construct a detonator for IEDs using a remote-controlled toy.
Stratfor reports also states that U.S. authorities have identified the instructor, whose face is not seen in the video, as a 24-year-old Egyptian who was attending the University of Southern Florida. The man, Ahmed Mohamed, was arrested by police in South Carolina on August 4, 2007 on charges of possession of a destructive device.
According to the New York Times, in part as a result of the above-mentioned YouTube video, U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials will be increasing scrutiny of airline passengers carrying remote-controlled toys.

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