Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts

Cyber Warfare - Deconstructing Cyber Attacks By The Al Qaeda.


Al Qaeda is a Sunni jihadist organization created in 1988 by Osama bin Laden and others.

The name Al Qaeda means "the base," which accurately describes how the group has offered a basis of training and information to subsidiaries all over the globe.

Many countries consider the group to be a terrorist organization, including the United States, which initiated its War on Terror against Al Qaeda following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Despite US attempts to target most of Al Qaeda's core leadership, many observers think that the group's various "franchises," which operate in more than 30 countries, remain a formidable and varied organization.

Al Qaeda sprang from Afghan opposition to Soviet occupation, but its principal goal was to oppose all things Western, especially those who represented the United States.

This incorporates democratic concepts from the West.

Al Qaeda's strategy was to entice the US into attacking and occupying a Muslim nation, which would then incite militants to fight occupation troops.

It then intended to spread the fight across the area, dragging the US further into a protracted and expensive struggle.

It would also begin terrorist strikes against US partners at the same time.

Finally, it believed that by 2020, the US economy, and so the global economy, will have collapsed.

Al Qaeda would then launch a worldwide jihad and establish a global caliphate.

Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has stepped up its efforts to utilize cyber terrorism against the US, believing that cyber targets are just as vulnerable as airports were before 9/11.

Al Qaeda recruits from disgruntled but often well-educated groups, giving it access to individuals who are technologically savvy.

Nonetheless, it has spent considerably more time threatening cyber strikes than actually carrying them out.

Al Qaeda militants, for example, tried but failed to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) operations against a number of Western Web sites in 2007.

Al Qaeda Electronic (AQE) debuted in January 2015 as the organization's first cyber franchise, while its actual affiliation to Al Qaeda is uncertain.

AQE has mostly involved in Web site defacement, which is one of the more straightforward kinds of hacking.

It hasn't yet chosen a high-profile Web site as a target.

It has just a few hundred followers on Twitter and identifies Kandahar, Afghanistan as its actual location.

Unlike the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has effectively maintained its online presence, Al Qaeda has been reticent to embrace technology because its commanders are afraid that it may betray their whereabouts, exposing them to US attacks.

Instead of focusing on the outside world in order to recruit or connect with followers, technology has been concentrated on the inside to preserve connection.

Following the assassination of Osama bin Laden and other senior figures, there is discussion over whether Al Qaeda is a functional doctrine or an organization.

Some think that Al Qaeda actively guides its several national versions, providing a strategic vision and dictating the scope of its actions.

Others claim that Al Qaeda acts as a hub, with loosely related affiliates running their own independent operations with a local emphasis on corrupt Muslim governments and a larger purpose of destroying anything with Western relations.

Al Qaeda is comparable to ISIS in that it adheres to Salafi principles, which strive to cleanse Islam of Shiites and those who are perceived as failing to conform to Islam as it was during Muhammad's lifetime.

However, in opposition to ISIS, bin Laden advised against forming a state too rapidly, citing the quickness with which the US had deposed earlier efforts.

Although ISIS seemed to have surpassed Al Qaeda in 2016, if Osama bin Laden is true, this is a one-time occurrence since Al Qaeda's strategy is more long-lasting.


See also: 

Cyber Terrorism; Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack; Islamic 
State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Further Reading:

Chen, M. Thomas. Cyberterrorism after Stuxnet. Strategic Studies Institute and United States Army War College Press, June 2014.

Ibrahim, Raymond, ed. The Al Qaeda Reader: The Essential Texts of Osama Bin Laden’s Terrorist Organization. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

Liu, Eric. “Al Qaeda Electronic: A Sleeping Dog?” A report by the Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute, December 2015.

Mendelsohn, Barack. The Al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of Al-Qaeda and Its Consequences. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Wright, Lawrence. The Looming Tower. New York: Vintage, 2007.