It has been almost a month since the top-tier Jihadi forums were taken down (with the exception of Hesbah–suspicious).  Now the second-tier forums have been taken down: Faloja, al-Ma`arik al-Salafiyya, and Shura.  Shumukh is hanging on and that’s where most of the hand wringing is happening at the moment.  Some are accusing the Shia of shutting down the forums in retaliation for their websites being hacked; others believe the U.S. is behind it.

One member of the latter group, al-Hizbar al-Ansari (The Ansari Lion), proposes that American forums be “raided” in retaliation.   He suggests that Jihadis sign up on highly-trafficked forums and post disturbing images of U.S. dead in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This, he believes, will demoralize the enemy.  To get the ball rolling, Hizbar says he signed up for one of them under the name “osama bin laden” and posted a picture of an American woman with a burned face looking for her husband.

Yesterday, a Shumukh administrator called on all members of the forum to get involved.  He even issued an invitation to members of four other forums: Hesbah, Faloja, al-Ma`arik al-Salafiyya, and Shura.  (This was before three of the four sites disappeared today.)

Hizbar responded to the call today by announcing the formation of the al-Ayyubi Brigade to coordinate the attacks. (al-Ayyubi is Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, or Saladin.)  He also listed the five American forums that should be targeted first:

  1.  (“This is an extremely large forum with millions of people that posts information about American states.”)

  2.  (“This forum has a section devoted to the war against Muslims.”)

  3.  (“A forum for American university students.  It is very important.”)

  4.  (“This is one of the large American forums.  It has a video section.”)

  5.  (“A military forum frequented by Europeans and Americans.  It launches attacks on the mujahids and disparages them.  I hope films will be posted on it.  Be wary of its many Jewish members.”)

Document (Arabic): 10-3-08-shamikh-original-call-for-raids-on-us-forums

Document (Arabic): 10-6-08-shamikh-call-for-raids-against-us-forums

Document (Arabic): 10-7-08-shamikh-announcement-of-brigade-to-raid-us-forums

Document (Arabic): 10-7-08-shamikh-several-more-forums-down-and-members-suspect-shia-hackers

  1. Maybe they should raid some forums they see as “US forums”. I suggest and Does anybody else here have any other suggestions?

  2. Jaded Brownboy @ georgetown says:

    alas doc. mccants… what will you do if all the websites go down?!

  3. Will McCants says:

    I’ll have to close up shop and pursue my lifelong ambition to be an extra in The Wire. That show is never going to be canceled!

  4. C says:

    This link seems to work. I thought the forums were down??

  5. Will McCants says:

    C, as I wrote on the post, Hesbah is still up.

  6. C says:

    Will, my fault I should have read your post more closely. Details!! Keep up the great work, you are the man!

  7. Thomas says:

    It looks like the information op sort of failed for them. It seems only militaryphotos has a thread by the e-jihadis that is visible but it is both locked down and the contents deleted.

    I wonder what that says about their ability to organize…

    Anyway, is there any new news on what the heck is going on with their forums? Any claims of responsibility, etc?

  8. Will McCants says:

    Thomas, those who know aren’t talking.

    Incidentally, Aaron has an interesting post on what Jihadis are going to do if the forums disappear:

  9. Thomas says:

    Thanks for the link Will.

  10. [...] one of the second-tier sites that was closed down two weeks ago, is back up.  In announcing its return, the administrators acknowledged that it had [...]

  11. [...] reported on a wave of take downs on June 10th, then another on September 21st, then yet another on October 27.  CBS scooped WaPo on it a month ago, re-reporting a story in the Hindustan Times.  It said the [...]

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  14. [...] in the murky world of jihadi internet forums, as Thomas Hegghammer reports at Jihadica: Like last year, this year’s 9/11 anniversary is the occasion of a major cyberbattle over jihadi forums.  At [...]

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