Posts from the ‘Cyber Anti-Jihad’ Category

YouTube: The Bart Simpson of Radicalization

So I got a hit today on a Google Alert I have up that went to the New York Times.  Holding my breath, because I didn’t harbor much hope that the piece would be balanced, I clicked the link and was transported to their site and an article titled “Radical Cleric Still Speaks on YouTube.”  As Andrea would say “NO SH!T SHERLOCK!!”  Ok, I’ll give them a couple points for trying, but seriously – President Obama has given the nod to taking Awlaki out whenever or wherever possible, but we can’t get him off YouTube – why? exactly?  Because we want to protect his free speech rights?  As Rusty said “I can drop a bomb on Osama bin Laden, I just can’t take away his microphone?”  Hello people!  The dude is a certified terrorist and gave up his rights to free speech when he chose to join the minions attempting to implement sharia law.

From the NY Times:

…members of Congress last year appealed to YouTube to remove calls for violence by Mr. Awlaki, the militant American-born cleric now hiding in Yemen, and in an announcement reported around the world last November, YouTube agreed.

End of story?

Not at all. A quick search of YouTube today for “Anwar al-Awlaki” finds hundreds of his videos, most of them scriptural commentary or clerical advice, but dozens that include calls for jihad or attacks on the United States.

I can just hear Andrea jumping up and down and screaming.  She (along with undhimmi, the Jawa Report and others) has been documenting the games played by YouTube with the video numbers ad nauseum. ARGH!

The article goes on to cite quotes from YouTube about just how much video is uploaded and how impossible it is for them to police and the old standby “we rely on our community” blah blah blah to police the site.  But here’s the rub:

The system has prevented YouTube from succumbing to the otherwise inevitable flood of pornography, which is directed to reviewers by software that scans uploaded videos for flesh tones. Computers also give priority to the review of videos with a high “flag-to-view ratio,” suggesting that many viewers are upset about it. Software bumps to a low priority videos that have previously been reviewed, as well as those flagged by users who have a record of, say, objecting to every Justin Bieber video.

So if I, as a user of YouTube’s services, object to every Awlaki video, or every video that features a coalition soldier being blown to smithereens, my flags are given a low priority by their software?  How is that relying on their community?  More like ignoring the segment of the community that actually takes the time to flag videos.

Additionally, this sounds like some pretty sophisticated software.  Something that, I don’t know, intelligent should easily be written to, say, remove every video that has Awlaki associated with it.  Hmmm…. interesting thought.

The variety and volume of Mr. Awlaki’s YouTube material makes it more difficult than might be supposed to decide its fate. Should his sermon on what makes a good marriage come down? His account of the final moments of the Prophet Muhammad? His counsel on the proper diet for a good Muslim?

Such material does not violate any YouTube standard.

What about the executive order that is supposed to prevent US interests from aiding and abetting terrorists in any way whatsoever, including by offering them services for free?  Oh wait – I don’t suppose that’s the standard they’d like to discuss.

It may be that the crowdsourcing that drives YouTube, its reliance on the masses, becomes the ultimate answer to violent messages on the site, more than company censors. Anti-jihad activists with names like the YouTube Smackdown Corps patrol the site constantly, flagging what they consider to be offensive material.

At a site called Jihadi Smackdown of the Day (“Countering the cyber-jihad one video at a time”), the links for past YouTube videos of Mr. Awlaki now usually lead to a standard message: “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy.”

But if the people who flag more often are given a lower priority, just how will that work?  I think we’ve just been given a clue to what’s going on behind the wizard’s curtain, and, as I suspected, it’s about like confronting a couple of 7 year old Bart Simpsons over a broken lamp.

And while everyone’s pointing at everyone else, the environment remains ripe for the radicalization of yet another once-A-student-in-high-school-turned-Al-Shabab-wannabe.  At what point is enough enough?

YouTube Jihadi Mohammed Gul Gets 5 years in Her Majesty’s Prison

He’s young – I’m sure the old boys who’ve been in a while will love having him around.

From Undhimmi.com:

A ‘YouTube terrorist’ who put Islamic extremist videos online is jailed for five years.

Videos included images of Osama bin Laden, bodies of children and a coalition Jeep being blown up
Police say conviction is one of the first for spreading terrorist publications via the internet

A law student dubbed the ‘YouTube terrorist’ who posted Islamic propaganda on the internet after becoming radicalised was jailed for five years today.

Mohammed Gul was ‘pouring petrol on the fire’ and his actions could have spurred others to commit acts of terror, the Old Bailey heard.

Gul, 23, of  Hornchurch, Essex, who has since graduated, was found guilty of five counts of disseminating terrorist publications following a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Word to the wise:  you think that just because you post inflammatory stuff on the internet and don’t actually, you know, kill anyone yourself that you’ll get off Scot free?  The wheels of justice grind VERY slowly it seems – especially to those of us who are taking notice and documenting what you do.  But it looks like the law enforcement agencies are seriously paying attention finally!

So who’s next?  Smackdown Crew has dozens of potential candidates.  And we’re considering every one of them.  If you’ve been engaging in similar activity, maybe you should quit while you’re ahead.

Zackie Boy gets 25 years

From The Washington Post:  (Emphasis mine)

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a 21-year-old Northern Virginia man to 25 years in prison for trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia and making threats to the creators of TV’s “South Park” show over their depiction of the prophet Muhammad.

Zachary Adam Chesser of Oakton pleaded guilty in October to charges of providing material support to terrorists, communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence in his case, which is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The government had asked for the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. As part of his plea, Chesser agreed to request no less than 20 years.

During an hourlong hearing, Chesser – who wore a beard and a green prison jumpsuit – told Alexandria U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady he was remorseful. “Your honor, I accept full responsibility,” he said.

But O’Grady called Chesser an “extraordinarily energized traitor to your country.” (Darn straight.)

The defense had asked for some leniency in sentencing, suggesting that Chesser was a teenager when he committed his offenses. O’Grady, however, told Chesser “it’s amazing how quickly you became a danger. If anyone had been harmed, we’d be talking about a life sentence.”  (He should count his blessing that he wasn’t convicted of treason.)

The sentencing bookends the tale of a suburban Washington man friends described as “freakishly intelligent” and who became known to the FBI as a prolific Internet propagandist for al-Qaeda.

He was arrested in July, days after he and his wife drove with their infant son to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was stopped there after he tried to board a flight to Uganda before heading to Somalia, where he planned to join al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist group trying to oust Somalia’s government.

Chesser also admitted to making threats from April to July over the Internet to “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, saying they would “wind up like Theo Van Gogh.” The reference was to a Dutch filmmaker gunned down in 2004 after he attacked the treatment of women in Islamic society.

Chesser said his targets included a Florida man known as “JG,” a teenager in Mississippi and a young man from Texas who participated in an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” group on Facebook.

Chesser also confessed to posting a link to 200 books on jihad and warfare, and to encouraging “fake operations” – such as placing bags that appear to be suspicious packages in public places – to desensitize federal agents to actual attacks.

How Chesser changed is something he and his family still seem to be grappling with, according to court filings. His father, stepmother and Chesser wrote letters to the judge in an attempt to influence his sentencing and explain his change in behavior.

As a kid, Chesser drifted from “one obsession to another,” according to court papers. At one time he was a vocal antiwar pacifist who grew his hair long and listened to heavy metal music. His interests varied, as he later studied Japanese and Buddhism. He joined a largely ethnic Korean breakdancing team.

In a Feb. 11 letter to the court, Chesser’s father, David, an economist and contractor for the U.S. Transportation Department, described him as an “intellectual, athletic and artistic” person who was “impulsive, impractical, naive and obstinately single-minded.” (Ok, it sounds to me like he was making a case against his son, not for him.  People with no self control who are out of touch with reality are not the type of people we can trust.)

At Oakton High School in Fairfax County, Chesser joined the freshman basketball and football teams and was involved in crew. In his spare time, his stepmother said he liked to play Xbox games and watch TV, including “South Park.”

In 2008, Chesser became a Muslim and, as a student at George Mason University, isolated himself from anyone who wasn’t Muslim at the college. He spent hours each day studying Islam, according to court papers. Chesser grew a beard, donned a traditional robe and later married the daughter of a Ugandan diplomat who had been raised as a Roman Catholic but converted to Islam three days after he met her through a local mosque. In November 2009, the couple had a son.  (Well that answers some of my questions.  I really feel for her parents.)

From his small apartment in Northern Virginia, Chesser – who became known online as “Abu Talhah” – spent hours on the computer, posting on radical Islamic Web sites, forums and blogs. He wrote about “Destroying the West” with a list of ideas that included filling tanker trucks with Ricin.

His blog, titled “themujahidblog.com,” was “dedicated to those who give their blood for [Islam] and “primarily devoted to spreading knowledge regarding Jihad and the Mujahideen,” according to court documents.

In a Dec. 10 letter to the court in which he takes responsibility for the allegations, Chesser describes himself as someone who felt like he had to “do everything to the fullest extent, whether it was how I dressed, who I spoke to, or how I prayed.” He goes on to say that after “about three months of being a practicing Muslim,” he was given a copy of lectures by the U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi.  (So that excuses him, how exactly?)

The cleric has been linked to last year’s massacre at Fort Hood and an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day. Chesser said in his letter to the court that the “element of radicalism” in the papers “served as a gateway for me to other more extreme beliefs.” According to the FBI, Chesser exchanged e-mails with Aulaqi.

But Chesser said he’s since had a change of heart. In the Dec. 10 letter, he wrote that the jihad ideology he was drawn into “was contrary to everything I had grown up thinking and believing.” He noted that he was for a while, “both a practicing Muslim and a vegetarian.”  (Convenient to have a change of heard AFTER he was busted.  Just sayin’.)

He reconciled his beliefs, he wrote, “by convincing myself that if I went to fight jihad, I would be saving more lives even if it meant that others died. I understand now how preposterous that sounds, and I completely reject the idea that killing can be justified in the name of Islam or any religion.”

He said he was “ashamed and bewildered” by the allegations and described his 18 months of following a radical version of Islam as “a missing puzzle piece in my life.”

“I know that I will spend many years trying to understand why I followed the path that has led me here,” he wrote. “I only hope that through my actions now and in the future I can make up for what I have done.”

Seriously, I hope his change of heart is sincere.  Only time will answer that question.

“I Am The Infidel”

LOVE this tune from JoeDanMedia.

Check out all of his tunes!  My personal favorite is this one:

Jawas hacked

Oh there will be hell to pay for this!

What’s there now:

Definitely a hack – they’ll be back as soon as they can get it restored.

And the funny thing is, when someone hacks they leave a ton of info about themselves lying around.  I’m sure Rusty is NOT amused.  I’d be watching my 6 if I were them.  Rusty’s got a lot of friends in a lot of surprising places.

Props to Joe Dan Media for the screenshot of the original hack.

Jihad Jane rumors true – she pled guilty

Reuters

A Pennsylvania woman known as “Jihad Jane” pleaded guilty on Tuesday to plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist, providing material support to terrorists, and other criminal charges, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Colleen LaRose, at a federal hearing in Philadelphia, admitted her role in a plot with others to kill the cartoonist, who had depicted the Prophet Mohammed in a way that is offensive to Muslims.

LaRose, 47, who has been in U.S. custody for more than a year, could be sent to prison for life when she is sentenced March 3.

Justice Department prosecutors said LaRose, who is from Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, used online pseudonyms such as “Jihad Jane,” “Fatima LaRose,” “ExtremeSister4Life” and “SisterOFTerror.”

They said she used multiple e-mail and YouTube accounts, other websites and various online usernames to publish violent jihadist literature and videos, to raise funds for militants and recruit others.

If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors said they would have proven that in 2008 and 2009 LaRose worked “obsessively on her computer to communicate with, recruit and incite other jihadists.”

Yes, she did.  And the bloggers of YouTube Smackdown and the Jawa Report documented her every move.  Colleen was so bold and American – she thought she was above the law and that no one would ever catch her anyway.  Just like any other 2-bit criminal.  And now we will treat her like one.

Sentencing is March 3.  We’ll be watching.

HNY 2 U!

Imagine you are a splodey dope wannabe.  You’ve got yourself all hopped up on Mohammed quotes and practiced your “Allah Akbar!” ’til you are blue in the face.  Today is your big day…. You’ve said your prayers, strapped on your suicide belt, and you’re ready to take out some innocent people at the Red Square while they innocently celebrate the arrival of 2011.

From Wired.com via Michael Yon on Facebook….

The would-be suicide bomber was planning to detonate a suicide belt bomb near Red Square, a plan that was foiled when her wireless carrier sent her an SMS while she was still at a safe house, setting off the bomb and killing her. The message reportedly wished her a Happy New Years, according to the report, which sourced the info from security forces in Russia.

Bwaaahahahahaaa!  All I can say is too bad her splodey dope pals weren’t standing there with her when she blew up.  Allah Akbar indeed.

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