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[ISN] Jihadi software promises secure Web contacts


By Reuters
January 19, 2008

An Islamist Web site often used by al-Qaida supporters carried updated 
encryption software on Friday that it said would help Islamic militants 
communicate with greater security on the Internet.

The Mujahideen Secrets 2 was promoted as "the first Islamic program for 
secure communications through networks with the highest technical level 
of encoding."

The software, available for free on the password-protected Ekhlaas.org 
site, which often carries al-Qaida messages, is a newer version of 
Mujahideen Secrets issued in early 2007 by the Global Islamic Media 
Front, an al-Qaida-linked Web-based group.

"This special edition of the software was developed and issued 
by...Ekhlaas in order to support the mujahideen (holy war fighters) in 
general and the (al-Qaida-linked group) Islamic State in Iraq in 
particular," the site said.

The efficacy of the new Arabic-language software to ensure secure e-mail 
and other communications could not be immediately gauged. But some 
security experts had warned that the wide distribution of its earlier 
version among Islamists and Arabic-speaking hackers could prove 

Al-Qaida supporters widely use the Internet to spread the group's 
statements through hundreds of Islamist sites where anyone can post 
messages. Al-Qaida-linked groups also set up their own sites, which 
frequently have to move after being shut by Internet service providers.

Al-Qaida's own media arm, As-Sahab, has become increasingly 
sophisticated in recent years. It issued 97 audio and video Web messages 
in 2007 compared with just 6 in 2002, according to IntelCenter, a 
U.S.-based group that monitors Islamist sites.

Al-Qaida and other groups have increasingly turned to the Internet to 
win young Muslims over to their fight against Western countries and 
Western-backed governments.

Story Copyright 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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