Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:47 pm (KSA) 14:47 pm (GMT)

Jihadist calls for 'Facebook invasion': report

An example of a Facebook group of an organization the U.S. considers a terrorist organization
An example of a Facebook group of an organization the U.S. considers a terrorist organization

A member of an Islamic jihadist forum who urged supporters last week to wage a "YouTube invasion" by uploading propaganda videos has called for a similar attack on popular social network Facebook.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based monitoring service, reported on Wednesday that the appeal for a "Facebook invasion" was made on Tuesday on al-Faloja, a password-protected jihadist forum.

After praising the "great success" of the "YouTube invasion," the forum member using the name Omar Abdul Hakim called on other members to start using Facebook, describing it as "a podium to reach millions of people."

“We will use Facebook as a new and exclusive media tool to fight the media offensive on jihadist media, its forums, and its websites and in order to reveal the Crusaders," Hakim wrote according to SITE.

The forum member posted instructions on how to register on and use Facebook and outlined "goals of the invasion" as "reaching the vast base of Muslims who subscribe to Facebook" and "participating and interacting with them."

"Let us start to post publications, articles, Islamic and jihadist pictures," Hakim wrote.

Facebook's terms of service prohibit "organizations or groups that promote or glorify hatred, violence, intolerance, racism or discrimination" and it "reserves the right to delete or disable access to any such Facebook pages."

Islamic militant groups have used the Internet for some time as a propaganda window and for communications. A draft U.S. Army intelligence report warned recently of the dangers of the micro-blogging service Twitter as a potential terrorist tool.

 The discourse of al-Qaeda is ideological and very direct. Facebook and such websites are for dialogues as opposed to giving orders 
Hani Nasira, terrorism expert

SITE said that in August of this year, a member of an al-Qaeda-affiliated forum, al-Ekhlaas, had also called on supporters to use Facebook and set up a Facebook group for supporters of al-Qaeda.

But a Dubai-based terrorism expert said it was unlikely that this represented a trend in al-Qaeda style terrorist groups moving to open sites like Facebook, rather than the more common closed, password protected forums.

Social networking sites are open to everyone, including those with ideologically opposed views, and encourage dialogue rather than giving orders, said Hani Nasira, Director of Hani Nasria Center for Studies and Research in Dubai.

“The discourse of al-Qaeda is ideological and very direct,” Nesira told AlArabiya.net. “Facebook and such websites are for dialogues as opposed to giving orders.”

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