Information Warfare: May 3, 2005


The Internet is becoming popular in Iraq, and is turning into a weapon used against the local terrorists. Prior to the beginning of the War in 2002, Internet access was limited to 3,000 internet and 8,000 email accounts. Three years later, there are over 157,000 active Internet  subscribers. Many of these Internet users are Sunni Arabs, and a lot of those are terrorists. Several dozen Internet Cafes are known terrorist hangouts. Al Qaeda, and Islamic terrorists in general, have come to rely on the Internet for communications and recruitment. But the Internet is a two way street. American Internet experts have a lot of ways to turn the web against the terrorists. First, there is interception of communications. Terrorists have long known that satellite phones calls are intercepted by American intelligence (NSA), and that any wireless communications can, and usually are, vacuumed up by those damn Americans. While terrorists have resorted to codes and encryption for their Internet communications (usually email, but sometimes chat, bulletin boards and instant messaging as well), they are less aware of how useful traffic (and other math based) analysis of those communications can be. The terrorists also appear to underestimate the speed with which the NSA can crack codes (the NSA, of course, never comments of this part of their work.) Nevertheless, many arrests have resulted, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, because terrorists thought they had a way to use the Internet without exposing their location or activities.

Another counter-terrorism tactic using the Internet is the old false flag technique. This consists of American intelligence setting up web sites, or individuals using the Internet, who pretend to be terrorists. Even less is revealed about these activities, although some leaks out when other terrorists complain openly about being taken in. This has been the first way American intelligence has been able to get inside al Qaeda, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. This technique takes advantage of the fact that many Islamic terrorists are inexperienced, or just plain dumb. These efforts have developed additional information that has led to arrests, raids on safe houses and workshops, and further infiltration of terrorist groups. 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close