Internet Haganah

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URL: http://internet-haganah.com
Wikipedia: Internet Haganah


Internet Haganah is a "global intelligence network dedicated to confronting internet activities by Islamists and their supporters, enablers and apologists." Internet Haganah also is an activist organization which attempts to convince businesses not to provide web-based services to such groups, and collects intelligence to store and pass on to government organizations.

Background

Internet Haganah was set up by former computer programmer and web designer Aaron Weisburd. He told The Atlantic Monthly that he started Internet Haganah 'because he was mad--mad that Yasir Arafat had rejected the peace plan at Camp David in 2000, mad that al-Qaeda had blown up the buildings in Manhattan he grew up around, and mad because he had read that Hamas was teaching Palestinian kindergartners to hate Israelis. [1]

'Haganah' is the name of the Zionist paramilitary forces in Palestine which formed the basis for the Israeli Defence Forces after the establishment of the State of Israel and was involved in expelling the Palestinians from their homes.

Weisburd has stated that the 'primary inspiration' for his 'own efforts' was John Galt, the web designer who set up Islamic News for the British 'expert' Glen Jenvey. He also credited the Christian right winger Jeremy Reynalds and fellow IT technician Jim Ownbey with encouraging him to set up Internet Haganah. [2]

The website was registered on 19 October 2003 and Weisburd began to appear in the media shortly afterwards. The first record the Internet Archive has for the website is dated 7 December 2003. The homepage stated the group was 'Confronting Islamist terrorists and their supporters online" and "Defending Israel and the Jewish people'. It also requested payments to the 'Haganah Fund', which at that stage it said had raised $5,800 in donations. [3]


Activities and personnel

Internet Haganah is reportedly a one man operation run out of Weisburd's home office in Carbondale, Illinois. [4] The Atlantic Monthly described Weisburd's operation as follows:

Weisburd is the only paid full-time member of Internet Haganah. He runs his operation from the second-floor office of his home. Surrounded by five computers, he trawls online in search of the press statements and videos that terrorists release to rally their supporters. He goes undercover, logging on to restricted forums (if he has been able to get a password) and visiting the many open sites advocating jihad. He doesn't speak Arabic but insists the limitation doesn't slow him down much. Though he relies on translation software at times, and on associates in Internet Haganah's network who speak Arabic, linguistic comprehension isn't his goal. [5]

By April 2004 Weisburd claimed that he had facilitated the closure of over 420 alleged jihad sites by targeting the internet service providers. [6]

Although Weisburd works at home alone, he is part of a network of online activists. In 2005 The Washington Post reported that Weisburd and others like him had 'managed to put together well-organized operations that run almost like companies'. [7]

Affiliated groups

Internet Haganah is a project of the Society for Internet Research and 'endorses' two other organisations: The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and the Global Justice Group Inc. The former is run by a retired colonel in Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and maintains an office inside the Israeli defence ministry.

External Sites

References

  1. Nadya Labi, 'Jihad 2.0: with the loss of training camps in Afghanistan, terrorists have turned to the Internet to find and train recruits', The Atlantic Monthly, 1 July 2006, Pg. 102(6) Vol. 298 No. 1
  2. Screen grab of Internet Haganah from the Internet Archive (Accessed 23 January 2000)
  3. Internet Archive cache of internet-haganah.com, 7 December 2003] (accessed 23 January 2009)
  4. Nadya Labi, 'Jihad 2.0: with the loss of training camps in Afghanistan, terrorists have turned to the Internet to find and train recruits', The Atlantic Monthly, 1 July 2006, Pg. 102(6) Vol. 298 No. 1
  5. Nadya Labi, 'Jihad 2.0: with the loss of training camps in Afghanistan, terrorists have turned to the Internet to find and train recruits', The Atlantic Monthly, 1 July 2006, Pg. 102(6) Vol. 298 No. 1
  6. Cam McGrath, 'Politics: Activists Crusade Against E-Jihad', Inter Press Services, 12 April 2004
  7. Ariana Eunjung, 'Watchdogs Seek Out the Web's Bad Side', Washington Post, 25 April 2005