- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
- Former Reagan aide James Baker: President regretted apartheid veto
- Some donations to gay waitress who allegedly forged hate note refunded
- German President Joachim Gauck boycotting Sochi Olympics
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can under Obamacare
- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
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 2013 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: China targeting U.S. spy flights amid escalating tensions
- Inside the Ring: Tensions high during Joe Biden's Beijing visit
- Inside the Ring: U.S. funds China's nuclear security
- Inside the Ring: Danger of China conflict grows
- Inside the Ring: North Korean missiles deemed a serious threat to U.S.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Sen. Rand Paul: Long-term unemployment benefits are disservice to workers
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!