February 28, 2006

Internet Jihadi #1 Irhabi 007 Captured, Name Revealed (Updated)

The identity of Irhabi 007 (also known as Qaeda 007 & Terrorist 007) has finally been revealed by the SITE institute as Younis Tsouli, a 22 year old from West London. Irhabi [which means 'terrorist' in Arabic] 007 was one of the most prolific internet jihadis of the last several years. The FBI had been actively tracking down Irhabi 007 for at least a year. Aaron at Internet Haganah had been tracking him for even longer.

According to SITE, Younis Tsouli was among four terror suspects arrested by Scotland Yard on Oct. 21, 2005. Tsouli, aka "Irhab 007", may have been involved in a plot to attack the White House. He has also been linked to a string of arrests in Europe--including Scandinavia--over plots to commit acts of terrorism all over the Continent.

Through his contacts with al Qaeda in Iraq and other terror organizations, Irhabi 007 put up scores of posts. Among his many claims to fame, it was Irhabi 007 who first posted the al Qaeda video of Jack Hensley being beheaded at an Islamic forum.

In addition to being a master propagandist, Irhabi 007 was also a prolific computer hacker. Indeed, much of the present internet jihad can be traced back to 007's early and lengthy posts on Islamist forums, instructing the would-be jihadi on how to hack websites. Websites associated with Irhadi also contained a trojan virus which logged keystrokes--a technique used to find passwords which could later be used to hack servers.

Irhadi 007 is probably best known in the U.S. for the time he hacked the Arkansas State Department of Highways and used their server to distribute jihadi material.

SITE report:

In one such instance, Irhabi posted a long message titled "Seminar on Hacking Websites", to the Ekhlas forum.5 This seminar, hosted on June 6, 2005, provided visitors a detailed study comprising over twenty pages in length about the art of hacking, listing dozens of vulnerable websites to which one could upload shared media. Irhabi himself once popularly used this strategy when he uploaded data to a website run by the state of Arkansas, and then to another run by George Washington University. This stunt led many experts to erroneously believe that Irhabi may have been based in the United States. But beyond these two websites, Irhabi knew of countless others that he shared with forum members. These sites were to serve as free hosts for any material that the jihadists needed to upload and share with others. In addition to these sites, Irhabi provided techniques for discovering server vulnerabilities for others, in the event that his suggested sites became secure. In this way, jihadists could use third-party hosts to disseminate propaganda so that they did not have to risk using their own web space, and more importantly,
their own money.....

Charged with “eight offences including: conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, conspiracy to obtain money by deception and Terrorism Act offences relating to the possession of articles for terrorist purposes and fundraising,” Irhabi may have hoped to help the mujahideen in ways not provided solely by his Internet skills, such as with direct logistical planning or activities. Regardless, his absence from the Internet may have lesser effects than many may hope, as he has left in his shadow a rubric for jihadists on the Internet seeking a means to serve their nefarious end.

Good riddance.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:16 PM | Comments |