ABC: 'Net Posse Tracked 'Jihad Jane' for Three Years [UDATE -- UPI: Net spies tracked 'Jihad Jane' for years]
I know this may seem like navel gazing to a lot of you -- and to be honest at some level it is -- but besides quoting me extensively the article does point out the problem of internet jihad. I know the kind of MSM media coverage of the phenomenon is hit or miss and tied to breaking stories about eHadis being arrested, but as long as it is hit we need to remind people that these internet jihadis are threats.Minor threats? Maybe most of the time, but still threats. Also, that it sometimes is hard to tell the difference between those online users who are only minor threats and major threats. For instance, who would have thought that Nidal Hasan was capable of the Fort Hood massacre? This is why all online followers of jihad need to be taken seriously. ABC News:
While the rest of America was stunned to hear that a suburban Pennsylvania woman allegedly used the Internet identity of Jihad Jane and tried to join militant jihadists, for a group of 'Net vigilantes it was old news... Groups like JawaReport, Quoth the Raven and the YouTube Smackdown Corps claim they had been monitoring LaRose's growing militancy for three years, and watched as the Internet -- particularly YouTube -- fed her fervor.... "There are certainly many others out there who are more eloquent and appear to be more dangerous from the way they talk," a man calling himself Rusty Shackleford told ABC News... Shackleford said his goal from the beginning was combating violent Islamist material and support on the Web. [READ THE REST]Much more in the story. Again, they use the unfortunate term "vigilante" to describe what we do, but other than that I have no complaints. In fact, what we do has nothing to do with "vigilantism" at all. Aaron wrote something about this a few months back (sorry, can't find the link) in which he reminded people that there is nothing illegal about contacting network administrators and using open source material to tie cyber jihadis to the meat world. In fact, some might just say we're being good citizens. PS to Jarret Brachman -- the term "eHadi" kicks "jihobbyist" butt, any day! Update by Howie: My duties here include adding links that Rusty can't find. Internet Haganah.
For any action to be characterized as "vigilantism" two conditions must be met: 1. The act must be unlawful. 2. The actor must not be a government agent. Tales of daring-do and complaints of cyber vigilantism should both be viewed with a good deal of scepticism. Much of what is called vigilantism is perfectly lawful, and many of the actors - regardless of the methods they use - are associated with this or that government.There..... UPDATE by Rusty: UPI now running with the story, too: Net spies tracked 'Jihad Jane' for years. Mostly just a rehash of the ABC story. Thanks to Stable Hand. Update by Howie: I'm like totally offended, after all the work to become Zionist Internet Spies. net spies is all we get? ;-)