November 26, 2008
Terrorists: Yes, Our Official Website Is Hosted in the U.S., so What?
Our friends at the NEFA foundation have released a translation of a communique from the "Shebaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia" condemning al Jazeera for passing along false information that they condemned piracy off the coast of Somalia. The message from the Shabaab stops short of supporting piracy, but it goes to great lengths in saying that the official position of the al Qaeda affiliated group is that they have not condemned the hijacking of a Saudi oil tanker, which kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?
While the crux of the statement is a condemnation of al Jazeera for it's "unsolicited involvement ... in the jihad in Somalia" and for standing "side by side with the anti-Islamic media" Jawa readers will be interested in a relatively minor point brought out by the al Shabaab spokesman: confirmation that their website is illegally hosted by the Vancouver, Washington based Dotster. They also confirm that their media wing is part of the Global Islamic Media Front, a group which constantly denies official ties to terrorists and yet publicly support those terrorists. The point of mentioning this is that al Jazeera is not the authentic source of news about the Shabaab, GIMF and their website are:
The movement has an official website [www.kataaib.net] which carries our official statements. Additionally, we have an official wing that manages all of our audio, video, and written releases. That wing is known as the 'Sada al-Jihad Media Center' and it belongs to the Global Islamic Media Front'. [Full PDF here]Interesting, no? Long time readers will remember that on several occasions the Washington based Dotster company has claimed that they have no way of verifying that kataaib.net [formerly almujaahid.com] was really al Shabaab's website and therefore it was up to us to prove it to them before they would take action. Even though, you know, the website carries Shabaab's logo, statements, "martyr" videos, and is heavily laden with images of Osama bin Laden they want "proof".
I'd say this constitutes proof, wouldn't you?
What's so disturbing about this is that the al-Shabab has an extensive network within the United States and this website is actively used to recruit Americans to fight for the al Qaeda linked group in Somalia. One of those men, Shirwa Ahmed, is suspected of recruiting in the Minneapolis area and of being involved in a recent suicide bombing.
The GIMF connection is also important. We've known there was a connection from several videos released in the past through GIMF, but this is the first confirmation that that the group considers GIMF their official distribution network rather than the normal al Qaeda al Fajr Media Center. GIMF is definitely centered in Europe, but also has cells operating in Canada and the United States. Troubling.
Here's how you can help. Contact Dotster and let them know that not only is it immoral to help the al-Shabaab movement spread their jihad propaganda (remember, these are the same people who recently stoned a teenage girl to death and who have murdered Western hostages) but that it is illegal.
You are hosting the official website of the al-Shabaab Mujahideen Youth Movement http://kataaib.net/. In the past you have claimed that you could not prove that the website belonged to the al-Shabaab and have, in violation of the law, denied requests to take down this website. Today the NEFA Foundation, a highly respected terrorism think tank, released a translation of an al-Shabaab communique in which they claim that the website in question does in fact belong to them.
On February 29, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designated al-Shabaab and as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 (as amended).
The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against the provision of material support or resources to al-Shabaab and blocking of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons
Providing business services to al-Shabaab, even free ones, violates the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Each IEEPA violation carries a fine of up to $250,000.
Please back up any relevant material and IP logs before removing this website from your servers. This message may be copied to relevant law enforcement officials.
Thank you for your immediate cooperation in this matter,
kataaib.net = 188.8.131.52 = Dotster.net
8100 NE PARKWAY DR, FLOOR 3
VANCOUVER, WA 98662
We got the Taliban off the internet yesterday. I think it's time al Qaeda's Somalian affiliate was shut down. And for those of you concerned, this website has a low interactivity factor to it which makes it low on the intel value scale.