Jerusalem, March 2 (ANI): An expert has said that Jihadist terror organizations have set economic terrorism as their new target, intending to harm and paralyze Western economies, the United Sates in particular.
The claim was made by Professor Gabriel Weimann, expert researcher of terrorism over the Internet at the University of Haifa in Israel.
Prof. Weimann monitored websites hosted by terrorist and terrorism-supporting organizations.
"For the Jihadists, the present economic crisis signifies an ideal opportunity and platform to leverage a economic terrorist campaign," he said.
In the course of a study that was carried out over a number of years, Prof. Weimann surveyed public and encoded websites run by Islamic terrorist organizations, forums, video clips, and ractically all the information related to Islamic Jihad terrorism that is flowing through the network.
According to Prof. Weimann, the focus on economic terrorism was set in motion with the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers, when Osama bin Laden stated on the video tapes that he sent out that these attacks mostly damaged the United States' economic base and that these attacks, which cost 500,000 dollars to carry out, cost the US 500 billion dollars.
Other publications by bin Laden himself and by other terrorist leaders show that they understand that Western and US power lies in their economic strength and that the jihad movement should focus on damaging this power by employing various tactics.
The tactics include, hitting international corporations directly; harming international corporations by means of 1.5 billion Muslims boycotting them, which would pressure the respective governments to adjust their policies; striking at resources that were "looted" from Muslim countries, such as oil-drilling companies in Iraq; assassinating key personalities in the global economy, most of whom they believe are Jews, and killing anyone who collaborates with these personalities.
Monitoring the Muslim terrorist-related information on the Internet, Prof. Weimann also revealed that the armed struggle against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan is aimed at prolonging American expenditure on maintaining forces in these countries, and not necessarily at military defeat.
The jihadists believe that this would help drain America's financial resources and eventually critically damage the American economy.
Therefore, they aim to make the US open as many military fronts around the world as possible.
Another result of this new focus on Econo-Jihad is an increasing jihadist interest in websites and online information on the American and Western economies, so as to glean an understanding f how these economies can be hit the hardest. (ANI)