Myspace Jihad

Recently we received an intelligence report which was disseminated at a command level about Jihadist groups accessing and using Myspace as a possible means for recruiting jihadists in the United States and Europe. The report took note of those profiles which had been created in jest and those which had a more serious tone. Of those which were priority, several members had kept blogs about suicide, antisemitism, etc. It was interesting to note that most, approximately 75% of those mentioned belonged to young African-Americans in the tri-state area who were or want to become active members in the Nation of Islam. Given the nature of myspace, and the web-savvy community found here, I would think it would be interesting to see how many SEB regulars could infiltrate these groups and use their contacts within them to gather information for the authorities. Several of my shipmates and I have already begun the slow process of gaining their trust, but I think this represents a unique opportunity for those outside the Law Enforcement community to do their part in helping stop what could very well be an imminent threat to our national security. I’d like to know what you think.

15 thoughts on “Myspace Jihad

  1. I was hoping this would generate at least some mild discussion about entrapment, vigilante justice, our position as citizens in regard to national security, etc, but this just sort of died right there in my arms. I’m shedding a single glycerin tear for this one.

  2. It only just went live a few hours ago, Neo. Give it some time. Personally, I’m still chewing it over. It’s not that it’s a bad proposal, but it’s definitely not a simple one.

  3. First thought in my head, Neo, is one of caution. It looks like an easy way to get yourself accidently on the Homeland Security radar. You could end up under investigation and have everything you’ve ever done thrown under a microscope.

  4. A. I musta missed this one.
    B. I’m no good at spying.
    C. I’m not much good with bull-shit anymore.
    D. My memory is so bad I’d be a hindrance to the game.
    E. I’m not a ‘gamer’.
    F. I’m far too apathetic and lazy.
    If I was the opposite of B>>F I’d love to. grin

  5. FYI:  I just got this post in right now via newsfeed.  I’d like to see what others think of your idea.  All I really have to say is that many people read SEB.  And it seems to me that MySpace is watched, moreso than many other sites, by authorities.

  6. As for the radar that is Homeland Security, well, its a non-issue. I work hand in hand with NCIS because I’m a military police officer. As for myspace being watched, well, there are clever ways around that. Myspace acts as a virtual billboard of sorts, but that doesn’t mean the little freaks stand around it and talk about blowing it up.

  7. On another note, this post sucks. It needs serious revision. I posted while at work last night when I was in between writing a report and pulling apprehending a shipmate for pissing outside in the middle of a heavily traveled road. The idea itself intrigues me still though. Given serious effort, someone could, hypothetically infiltrate an organization online. The notion still tweaks my imagination.

  8. Neo: The notion still tweaks my imagination.

    Ummm. Having thought a little more about it, I would like to think it’s already being done.
    If not, we’re fucked. LOL

  9. IT certainly is an untouched prospect, it might be interesting. But I have my free time caught between work, A+, and now Jeet Kune Do and Fencing on the horizon.

    Stand firm, but be aware that there are already authorities on the matter, as DoF and KPG have mentioned. Avoid interfering in their work.

  10. Let me be clear on this. I do not intend to interfere, simply assist. I realize that we have investigators currently assigned to this project, but the truth is, they’re not very good. I know, I work with them all the time. Honestly, I think a few SEB regulars could do a better job.

  11. Sounds like trolling for a good cause. 

    However I’m not really familiar with Myspace.

    Where do I start?

  12. Like others have mentioned I’d be very surprised if My Space isn’t already being watched by various government agencies. My Space would be easy to keep an eye on. There’s a great many other sites that you have to be invited to that pose a much graver risk.

    Which is not to say that it wouldn’t be possible for us to make a difference. On the way home from work yesterday listening to NPR they did a story on a guy who monitors Jihadist web sites of the sort I mentioned above that seem a lot more likely to be hotbeds of activity than anything on My Space would be.

    Word of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death spread rapidly among his followers. By early Thursday, Internet chat rooms frequented by Islamist extremists were buzzing. Among those reading along was a young American by the name of Evan Kohlmann, who has become a sought-after expert on the sites.

    The 27-year-old has risen to become one of the most widely-quoted terrorism analysts in the world. He spends his days tracking extremist Web sites—often penetrating ones that U.S. officials can’t crack. Kohlmann monitors blogs that cover subjects ranging from which suicide vest works best to how to mix homemade ricin poison. His expertise has made him a sought-after witness in government trials, and in the press.

    Of course it helps he’s studied some Arabic languages, something I’m definitely deficient in. I do think individuals can help out and make a difference, but I’m not sure My Space is the place to be looking.

  13. Western intelligence is all about technologically straining and sifting the huge volumes of chatter conducted everyday in our world’s infrastructure:

    1) What, pray tell, makes any of you think that any of you are not *already* within the radar?  Seriously now, take a look at some of the posts on this website. But, take solace in the following other factors, below.

    2) It’s all about keywords and phrases, both typed and spoken, *then* context, and then whom you know and what you’ve done. (see below, again)

    3) Learn Arabic (and the slang) and there’s a job waiting for you where you sit and listen and prioritise these snippets of text and audio—think hundreds a day.  This requires a huge amount of concentration from the analyst.  Then, someone else (with more expertise) listens to these priority-pieces in larger, and larger, and then even larger context until the organizers and promoters are id’d, or the body wholly dismissed.

    4) These individuals then have all their personal interactions (purchases, calls, health incidents, memberships, civic activitis, etc.) trawled, and the web of associations expands from there.

    Learn Arabic.
    That’s where the real jihadi movers and shakers operate, and those are the ones that matter.

  14. Most of you are already aware of this book, but for those of you who are not…

    The secret global information network that has come together under the umbrella name “Echelon” is detailed here by Yale Law student Keefe. While Great Britain led the way in the mid-‘70s, Keefe marks the U.S., Kenya, Pakistan, Singapore and many others as current participants, taking satellite pictures from 10 miles up, sending submarines to hover silently and aiming portable laser devices to pick up conversations inside rooms. All the technologies are impressive, but the burgeoning mountain of data they produce, Keefe argues, does not always prove useful. Likewise, he illustrates how compact electronics can give the opposition a large ability to deceive the Echelon network, and/or to modify their behavior when they detect that they are under surveillance. Ultimately, Keefe makes a case that electronics have not solved the ancient dilemma of deciphering the enemy’s intentions (what he is actually planning) from his capabilities (all the things he could choose to do). To prove his point, Keefe cites the mass of rumor and innuendo that failed to give specific warning of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole as well as Colin Powell’s U.N. proclamation that Iraq possessed nerve gas. And, Keefe says, ordinary citizens pay a substantial cost in presumed privacy, as well as in potential for abuses of confidential data. Intelligent and polemical, Keefe’s study is sure to spark some political chatter of its own.

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