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Three jailed for engaging in 'cyber jihad' for al-Qaida




Three jailed for engaging in 'cyber jihad' for al-Qaida
Three jailed for engaging in 'cyber jihad' for al-Qaida



http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,2120099,00.html 

By David Pallister
July 6, 2007
The Guardian

Three men, including the top computer expert for al-Qaida in Iraq, were 
sent to prison yesterday for spreading extremist jihadi material through 
their websites. It was the first UK prosecution for inciting terrorist 
murder on the internet.

At Woolwich crown court the ringleader, Moroccan-born Younis Tsouli, 23, 
from Shepherd's Bush, west London, was given 10 years. Using the 
nickname Irhabi007 - Arabic for terrorist and the code name of James 
Bond - he facilitated the distribution of messages from the al-Qaida 
leadership and videos of beheadings and military attacks by Abu Musab 
al- Zarqawi's group in Iraq.

Tariq Al-Daour, 21, a British citizen born in the United Arab Emirates, 
was jailed for six-and-a-half years. Waseem Mughal, a Leicester 
University biochemistry graduate, who was born in the UK, was given 
seven-and-a-half-years.

Earlier this week all three pleaded guilty to inciting another person to 
commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the UK which would, 
if committed in England and Wales, constitute murder. They also admitted 
conspiring together and with others to defraud banks, credit card 
companies and charge card firms.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Openshaw said the men engaged in "cyber 
jihad", with direct incitements to kill non-Muslims. But he said none of 
them had come anywhere close to carrying out acts of violence 
themselves. Referring to Tsouli, he said: "He came no closer to a bomb 
or a firearm than a computer keyboard." The judge said Tsouli should be 
deported to Morocco after serving his time.

Investigators and vigilantes who monitor jihadi internet traffic dubbed 
Irhabi007 the "godfather of cyber-terrorism for al-Qaida" in Iraq while 
he was active from early 2004 until his arrest in October 2005.

In May 2004 he helped to distribute a video of the beheading by Zarqawi 
of an American contractor in Iraq, Nicholas Berg. It was downloaded half 
a million times in the first 24 hours. By hacking into unprotected web 
servers he was able to use a mechanism known as file transfer protocol 
to post large files and videos, including videos made by an al-Qaida 
affiliate group in Saudi Arabia responsible for attacking housing used 
by foreign staff.

He was caught when two terrorist suspects were arrested in Bosnia and 
their mobile phones and email records led to the detention of more than 
30 people in North America and Europe.


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