London, Jan 2: Do you know how terrorists are laundering money for their activities? A report in The Telegraph says "Islamic terrorist networks are using online gambling websites to launder money for attacks."
According to the paper, computer experts in al-Qaeda have created an 'online University of Jihad' that is recruiting and training potential terrorists in Britain without them having to risk travelling to camps in Pakistan.
The paper further reveals that a new generation of encrypted software has been developed called Mujahidden Secrets 2 whose updated security is said to allow militants to communicate freely by email without fear of being spied on by the intelligence services. At a select conference on the Terrorist Threat to Britain experts from Jane's Intelligence Group said an online community was growing with younger and more impressionable people inadvertently sponsoring terrorism.
Terry Prattar, a specialist in counter-terrorism with Jane's Strategic Advisory Services, said: "Al-Qaeda want to create a University of Jihad on line, both in a spiritual and financial sense. They want a community that can carry out attack without having to travel abroad for training."
He said the Internet had been used to raise funds for terrorists in Afghanistan including the use of on-line gambling sites to launder cash.
Youngsters are invited onto security protected areas after they have been recruited by 'proving themselves on online forums'. A specialist group calling itself the Al Ansar Media Battalion has used videos of American and British troops being blown up to 'make people here feel they are taking part in what going on over there,' Pattar said.
An insurgent sniper called Juba who alleges to have killed 140 US soldiers is said to have a substantial following on the Facebook website under the name Baghdad Sniper. It is thought coalition forces had since killed him.
Analysts are encouraging moderate Muslims to enter the online discussion sites to dismiss the extremists' arguments that gain popularity among the young. The fight against extremists was one of 'ideas, not weapons and a campaign of internet, not training camps', an intelligence source said.