The New York Times ran a piece today about al-Qaeda’s web partisans in the U.S., including a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who runs a blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he broadcasts messages of violent Islamist groups.
His site features “glad tidings” from a North African terrorist whose group killed 31 Algerian troops. He posted an English translation of a scholarly tract arguing for violent jihad. He lists hundreds of links to secret sites featuring pro-insurgency videos from Iraq.
This is what al-Qaeda calls the “Islamic jihadi media.” Terrorism experts believe there are 100+ U.S. sites offering jihadist views.
Al-Qaeda is not the only terrorist group with a complex online PR network. For more on the Hamas network, see this recent inFocus Quarterly piece by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa Lappen.