Al-Qaida Members Seen Using Chat Rooms to Plan Attacks

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 16, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

Al-Qaida mem­bers have been us­ing en­cryp­ted In­ter­net for­ums and closed chat rooms to plot out and or­gan­ize ter­ror­ist at­tacks, such as the re­cently al­leged scheme to at­tack U.S. dip­lo­mat­ic out­posts in the Middle East, the New York Post re­por­ted on Thursday.

Al-Qaida chief Ay­man al-Za­wahiri and his seni­or deputy in Ye­men, Nas­ir ul-Wuhay­shi, were be­lieved un­likely to have taken part in the In­ter­net con­ver­sa­tions them­selves, as they would likely wish to avoid do­ing any­thing to tip off the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­munity to their where­abouts. Rather, the men used a mul­ti­fa­ceted en­coded sys­tem to de­liv­er mes­sages and or­ders to al-Qaida fight­ers, ac­cord­ing to uniden­ti­fied U.S. of­fi­cials.

The In­ter­net activ­ity, which was mon­itored by U.S. in­tel­li­gence ana­lysts, led the U.S. gov­ern­ment to or­der the shut­ter­ing of a num­ber of Mideast and Afric­an em­bassies and con­su­lates for more than sev­en days as a pre­cau­tion­ary meas­ure.

The ter­ror­ist threat — de­tails of which have not been dis­closed — grew out of a com­mu­nic­a­tion from Wuhay­shi to Za­wahiri that ba­sic­ally re­ques­ted ap­prov­al for a plan to carry out the as­saults. The al-Qaida chief’s reply was then dis­sem­in­ated on a closed mes­sage board.

The abil­ity of ter­ror­ist en­tit­ies to cloak their In­ter­net activ­ity from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance has im­proved over the years, ac­cord­ing to re­search­ers.

“This cre­ates a bit of a cat-and-mouse game between ter­ror­ist groups that can buy com­mer­cial tech­no­logy and in­tel­li­gence agen­cies that are try­ing to find ways to con­tin­ue to mon­it­or,” Rand Corp. coun­terter­ror­ism ex­pert Seth Jones said in an in­ter­view.

Earli­er this week, Wuhay­shi vowed ac­tions would be taken to break free mem­bers of his or­gan­iz­a­tion that have been jailed, Al-Jaz­eera re­por­ted.

“The im­pris­on­ment will not last and the chains will be broken,” the Ye­meni ter­ror­ist lead­er said. “Your broth­ers are about to bring down the walls and thrones of evil … and vic­tory is with­in reach.”

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
1 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
WROTE LAW THAT WEAKENED OPIOID OVERSIGHT
Trump: Marino Withdrawing Nomination for Drug Czar
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login