Lahore, Jan 19: To spread its tentacles worldwide, international terrorist organisation Al Qaeda is making extensive use of the webworld, educating Islamic radicals about jihad and inviting those who intend to become its online followers.
Pro Al Qaeda Internet sites are learnt to have recorded millions of hits from potential recruits who have decided to pursue jihad from the privacy of their homes on the World Wide Web. Last year witnessed an immense increase in usage of the Internet by Al Qaeda. A report published by West Point"s Combating Terrorism Centre, has revealed that there has been a drastic increase in the number of websites indulging in web terrorism.
"Radical websites have evolved into a disturbing MySpace-like social-networking hub for extremists intent on becoming the next generation of terrorists, hijackers and even suicide bombers," the Daily Times quoted the report as saying.
"They put vast amounts of literature on these websites," Marquardt said, "Texts justifying attacks through Islam, military training tactics, bomb-making skills, all of this, or much of this, have gone online," said Erich Marquardt, the senior editor of the Centre.
According to the report, lately, the cyber world has largely replaced conventional training camps and become the primary location for Al Qaeda to recruit Islamic radicals, train them, and send them to various locations to carry out attacks.
Ali Al-Ahmed, a tracker of terrorist websites for CBS News, says many such sites are one-stop shops for aspiring suicide bombers. "They talk to you and they befriend you and they recruit you into becoming a member of Al Qaeda," he explained.
He further said that anyone could easily go online, find somebody willing to tell them about the militant organisation and its working, train them to do certain attacks that could potentially cause the most damage, and maybe even give them directions on where they should go and who they should target.