- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
Inside the Ring: Al Qaeda websites hacked
Three of al Qaeda’s major websites for recruiting terrorists and communicating propaganda were shut down recently in an apparent case of counterterrorism hacking or possibly as a result of internal disputes among terrorists.
U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports said the websites of Ansar al-Mujahidin, Shumukh al-Islam and Al Fida — all accredited as official outlets of the terrorist group once led by Osama bin Laden — were knocked off the Internet by cyberattacks in early May.
Although the origin of the attack is not known, some online jihadists claimed that the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was behind the cyberattack.
In an online posting that could not be verified, one of the Hamas hackers claimed that service to Ansar al-Mujahidin would continue to be disrupted until al Qaeda stops labeling members of Hamas‘ military wing, the Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, “infidels.”
All three websites are closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies and are considered key sources of information about the group.
The disruptions are prompting many jihadists to shift from Web forums to Twitter for communications and propaganda messaging.
Speculation that the cyberattacks were part of an intergroup rivalry is based on a dispute among terrorists over the announcement in April that al Qaeda in Iraq had merged with the pro-al Qaeda Syrian rebel group Al Nusrah Front. The merger prompted accusations that the Iraqi group had been infiltrated by hostile intelligence services.
CHINA ASAT SECRECY
U.S. officials disclosed unofficially this week that China conducted a test of a new high-Earth orbit anti-satellite (ASAT) missile called the DN-2.
The test was mentioned during the official Chinese Foreign Ministry news briefing Tuesday, when spokesman Hong Lei said he had no information on the test but insisted China is opposed to “militarizing” outer space.
Adding to the mystery surrounding the test, a Pentagon spokeswoman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.
The latest ASAT test followed publication last week of the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military buildup. The report states that China’s military first conducted an anti-satellite missile test in 2007, when a satellite was destroyed by a ground-launched missile.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon reevaluating Obama's pivot to Asia
- Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow's military moves in Ukraine
- Inside the Ring: China readies for 'short, sharp' war with Japan
- Inside the Ring: U.S., China in war of words over South China Sea air zone
- Inside the Ring: China military on the rails
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again