As the terrorists have been losing battles on the ground in Iraq, they have tried to make up for it by increasing their attacks via the Internet. Here, they can create fictional victories and, to an extent, get away with it. So far this year, al Qaeda has increased the number of postings on the net (messages, audio and video files) from 145 in January, to 825 in November. A lot of the increase comes from newly formed, but not very lethal, terrorist groups making false claims. So of these wannabe terrorists are not even in Iraq, but claim to be, and doctor videos to prove that the attacks they claim to have made, actually took place.
Inside Iraq, criminal gangs know they can often sell politically valuable kidnapping victims (especially foreigners) to terrorist groups eager for media attention. This is because the criminal gangs do kidnappings on a regular basis, usually taking on low-risk targets, like middle class Iraqis, and are pretty good at it. The terrorists, on the other hand, are looking for well guarded government officials or foreigners, and often never get a chance to make a snatch. But while they lack kidnapping skills and courage, the terrorists groups often have cash, and are willing to buy politically valuable victims off the gangs. The criminals are glad to be rid of these hostages, because they know a lot of Western troops are out looking for them. The gangsters just want to get rich, while the terrorists are eager to die for the cause. So these deals make everyone (except the victims) happy. The terrorists milk the media as much as possible, then either kill the hostage (for one last set of gruesome pictures), or take the ransom.
The gangsters don't publicize their operations, while the terrorists do, and in a more and more aggressive manner. It's certainly safer being a terrorist on the Internet, and if you start taking heat from other Moslems, or terrorists, for the extent of your lies, just shut down and open up a new site using a new name and new lies. The only problem with all this is that there is a limit to the number of gullible young Moslems on the planet, willing to go to Iraq, and die fighting as terrorists. It would be rather bizarre if the current round of Islamic terrorism (there have been several in the last few centuries) morphed into a virtual terrorist movement that existed only on the Internet.