According to a terrorism expert, al-Qaida has been left without a trusted operational channel on the Internet for sharing out its media and propaganda.
Evan Kohlman of Flashpoint Partners said in an e-mail, “I really can’t say for certain how or why this happened, other than that it involved apparently separate attacks on both the domain name and data server used by al-Qaida’s trusted forum, Al-Shamukh.” He added that the type of corresponding occasion doesn’t classically happen by accident.
Kohlmann, who has spent over a decade tracking al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, said that other jihadi meetings left online still permit “the rabble” to converse with others, although none of them are completely trusted by al-Qaida.
He said the event started in earnest around 72 hours ago.
Prior this week, Kohlmann stated in a message on Twitter that hackers hijacked the initial web area utilized by the Shamukh chat meeting, which distributes propaganda in place of al-Qaiada. He afterward stated that the whole website was occupied and two more top-tier jihadi web meetings had as well been strangely knocked offline, counting the Arabic-language Ansar al-Mujahideen Network.
Kholmann was sure that al-Qaida has back-up copies of the meeting database, and there are several mirrors of their material still accessible online, like aljahad.com/vb. However, there is no more trusted channel left for al-Qaiada to release latest material throughout. He added that either Shamukh should be revived or else al-Qaida should create a straight relationship with a latest meeting.
Kohlman said Shamukh is presently the dangerous linchpin in the network. He added, “I’m sure that Shamukh will eventually be replaced by another forum, just as it replaced the former top-tier “al Faloja” forum last year.”
The record of possible suspects who might have carried down online communications channels of al-Qaida comprises both government-sponsored hackers from the U.S. and the U.K. with independent cyber vigilantes, according to Kohlmann. He said one common hacktivist who opens these kinds of attacks is recognized as th3j35t3r.
Identified as the Jester, th3j35t3r describes himself on his Twitter account as a “Hacktivist for good. Obstructing the lines of communication for terrorists, sympathizers, fixers, facilitators, and other general bad guys”. Jester did not claim credit for the Shamukh hack on either the Twitter account or on his blog.