April 3rd, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Mystery surrounds silencing of key al Qaeda websites

By Adam Levine, with reporting from Barbara Starr, Jamie Crawford and Santiago Melli-Huber

Key al Qaeda online forums have fallen silent in the past two weeks, leaving terrorism experts to wonder the cause and whether a key communications mode of the terror group and its affiliates has been purposely undermined.

The sites, where al Qaeda posts messages and jihadists and wannabe jihadists post messages and discussions regarding their ideology and loyalty, started disappearing on March 23, said Aaron Y. Zelin, a researcher in the Department of Politics at Brandeis University. Zelin also maintains the website Jihadology.net.

The outages were first reported by the Washington Post. No entity has claimed responsibility and U.S. officials contacted by CNN would not comment.

The online al Qaeda ecosystem starts with the different branches of al Qaeda - like al Qaeda central in Pakistan, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen or al Qaeda in Iraq - which produce messages through their own media production wings that are distributed by an entity known as al-Fajr Media, which then redistributes them to the various forums, Zelin explained.

"It is an authentication process" so the forums know the al Qaeda communications are legitimate since they come from the same media group, Zelin said.

But the messages have grown silent, with the last communication from any of the core al Qaeda groups being a message from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on March 23, the same day the first sites went dark.

Zelin said five key sites, including Ansar al-Mujahidin Arabic Forum and Shamukh al-Islam, both stopped operating on March 23. Another, al-Fida', stopped working on March 25, and two others followed on March 28 and March 30, according to Zelin.

Two, al-Mujahidin Arabic Forum and Shamukh al-Islam, are back and operating, Zelin said, and as a result there has been an increase in traffic because they are "filling the vacuum." Posts on the sites have asked about the problems and the moderator, Abu Sa'd al-'Amili, has tried to to address some of the concerns by posting two essays about the outages.

Interestingly, Zelin noted, al Qaeda in Somalia continues to broadcast new messages, but even though it has pledged affinity to al Qaeda, it does not use the same system for distributing messages.

Zelin speculated the outage could be tied to the recent arrest of Mudhar Hussein Almalki in Spain. Almalki maintained the Ansar al-Mujahidin Forum, according to a Spanish police document provided to CNN. The police document alleges Almalki ran the site and oversaw who could access it, spread information to jihadists and maintained private chat rooms to "carry out meetings with others to give out instructions," according to a translation of the document.

A U.S. official said the United States has been aware of the al Qaeda websites being down and finds it "of interest to us."

Spanish police allege Almalki was a "prominent member" of al Qaeda's propaganda arm, "following the guidelines and instructions of the terrorist organization."

The disruption of the sites is a "big deal," said Will McCants, a former State Department counterterrorism official and currently a fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. One site, Shamukh al-Islam, is a flagship for al Qaeda supporters and one of the first places the terror group's propaganda is distributed, McCants said. Its stoppage is "very crippling."

McCants said it is hard to say why the sites are not working and whether they will come back. Some al Qaeda supporters on the sites still operating are speculating they were taken down, but "unless you are the guy at the top of the food chain," it is really impossible to know. McCants said if the site administrators had taken the sites down themselves they probably would have explained that to their followers, as has been the case in the past.

McCants said it will take time for other message conduits to emerge.

The widespread outages "sound very much like a covert activity to me," said CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend. Townsend was Homeland Security Adviser to President George W. Bush. Townsend said even if the United States was not responsible, there are other governments who could have disabled the sites.

In 2010, the British government was believed to be behind a temporary shutdown of the online publisher of Inspire, the Yemeni al Qaeda's English language magazine.

"When you have several go out it sounds like a denial of service attack," Townsend said. "It is not an accident they all go out."

Townsend said there is a perennial debate in the counterterrorism wings of the government over when to allow forums like these to continue operating in order to monitor the messages and when to try to stop them from operating. The decision, if there was one in this case, would be a "very deliberate" one, Townsend noted, perhaps to throw off terror planning.

The hope in interrupting the forums would be to make jihadists communicate in a way that can be better tracked, Townsend explained, like couriers or phones.

The goal for a government would be to push them to communications "where you think they have a better chance" of monitoring, Townsend said.

The move carries risks if you cannot figure out where the communications have shifted to, Townsend noted.

The online forums can be a valuable source for al Qaeda recruitment and fundraising.

"It is a first screen for them," Townsend explained, noting that there have been cases of codes and signals being posted.

Post by:
Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri • Security Clearance on TV • Technology • Terrorism
soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. CHOKE POINT

    well maybe these idiots are in an area now that any type of communication could be easly picked up by the good guys.

    a choke point that has had a lot of recent instability is the suez and sinai and gaza , the waterway is a vital target and iran or others could play games in this area and that would drive the oil price up.
    this is an area that communications would cease by the bad guys because of the monitoring by the good guys .

    just a thought , what ever the case is it appears that some sort of authority on the side of the bad guys is managing the output of communications .
    GOOD SPEED AND VICTORY TO NATO AND ALL THE GOOD GUYS.

    April 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  2. Myke

    I last saw them wearing hoodies and shouting "Quit profiling us".

    April 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • 11B2V1P

      sneaky bastards

      April 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  3. Badly-Bent

    Ayman, you still owe me a hat!

    April 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  4. ART

    What ? we need al Qaeda they are responsible for attacking their own people, so that we have less work to do

    April 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • miloman

      It is kind of weird only a 3 weeks ago Anynomous HAcker Group members were arrested and now Al Queida internet sites are going down. Sounds like the hackers have got themselves a new job. This is fact not fiction folks, from the inside.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • PerfectStranger

      They also killed over a hundred Aussies in Bali, we will hunt them down until they are all dead, I can't kill them myself but at least I can find them anywhere on the net and put their info in where it will do the most good ๐Ÿ™‚
      .

      April 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  5. PerfectStranger

    Shamukh al-Islam appears to now be hosted from Indonesia, according to Billi Warner they used to be hosted from the USA, not anymore, they seem to be having some bad luck lately, perhaps they shouldn't have pooled their resources to a country where internet security is very unreliable ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://pibillwarner.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/al-qaeda-linked-website-www-shamikh1-infovb-that-posted-death-threat-to-talk-show-host-david-letterman-is-hosted-in-los-angeles-ca-usa/

    Their latest IP is 180.235.150.135 and their new host (current) is in PT. ARDH GLOBAL INDONESIA in Yogyakarta

    http://www.shamikh1.info/vb/announcement.php?f=3&styleid=54

    I would hazard a wild guess that it won't be too long before they go down as well

    April 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  6. Joey

    It has been admitted Reuters, AP, etc Anwar Al-Awlaki has been a CIA/FBI informant for years yet he has been purported as Al-Cia-da spokesperson. This organization is a scam for the war on 'terror' i.e. war on any resistance to central banking imperialism. Our military is being misused and the American people better wake up fast. Stupid jersey shore watching sheep.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Seraphim0

      need another roll of tin foil?

      April 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  7. Martin

    Have the intelligence services stopped to consider that maybe a major attack is underway and they don't want any chance that communications will be monitored?

    April 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • ITATTRACTS

      No, you are actually the FIRST person to think of this...

      April 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
      • Jay

        Actually I thought if it first.

        April 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Myke

        Nice!

        April 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Rex

    That's SO – 29 seconds ago.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • 11B2V1P

      HAHAHAHAHA

      April 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  9. LOL

    CIA created Al-CIA-da...

    If you don't know that, or fail to recognize it... you are a sleeping sheep

    April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • LOLBACKATYA

      So what... doesn't change a thing, does it?

      April 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • Davethecanuck

      Ya... sheep.
      Don't listen to everything "they" tell you.
      Listen to everything this idiot tells you instead.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
      • David

        That Osama Bin Laden was assisted by the US government during the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan because his mujaheddin group was fighting the Russians is a well-known and established fact. That's what some people are referring to when they use Al-CIA-da and other such names. The CIA literally did help Bin Laden arm and train his group during this period. That doesn't mean that the CIA calls the shots for Al Qaeda today. Some people obviously buy the false flag argument, but I think that is extremely unlikely. I have my own opinion, and it doesn't involve Mossad or the CIA controlling the Al Qaeda groups of the present day. I think we simply did too good a job of helping them learn how to wage war, and we should not have been surprised when the weapons and training we supplied were eventually turned against us. This is business as usual, it has happened before and will surely happen again.

        The Al Qaeda site outages? Could be an attack against them, could be a prelude to an attack against us, could even be a feint. We'll see.

        April 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  10. AlCourts

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    April 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • EatYouAlive

      From your "site"

      "The white people all over the world are perceived by most people as very good people. They have been portrayed in the movies and in print media as very good people even though the facts do not support that."

      ROFL.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  11. Kumokus Alus

    Probably they are in their Camp David

    April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  12. Anthony Wiener

    I tweeted them some wiener tweets and broke their server. Take that, al-Qaeda, and it's pure pork.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  13. DFW2012

    I hope this is not the case, but i have a bad feeling about this.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Anthony Wiener

      No matter what they attack, it won't help Mitt.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Myke

      That's what she said.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  14. MyGuess

    They are probably trying to upgrade to the latest Microsoft server products.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Someone

      They were all using Vista

      April 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  15. cpc65

    They're all meeting at a tavern in Cairo on Bakka Lakka Dakka Street.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Ransom Stoddard

      That made me laugh out loud. And there really are only three types of people in the world.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  16. dirka-dirka

    Dear terrorists,
    Ever see the movie Swordfish? Didn't think so. That's ok, we'll drop the gist of on your countries soon.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Anthony Wiener

      Surrender or I'll tweet my wiener at your women.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  17. BubbaRuskie

    It's common knowledge that Dick Cheney is the web master for the dark side. He's been in the hospital getting re-tickered. He's getting out today and will have them all back up by the end of the week.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  18. Northstar

    They are up to something!

    April 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • phil_177

      ya think ... ???

      April 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  19. cpc65

    It will be nine eleven times two thousand three hundred and fifty six! – Kim Jung IL.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • Team America

      That's more than 9/11 times a thousand

      April 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • qqqqqqqqqqqq

      ITS OVER 9000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  20. lee s

    They are using skype now. Or probably xbox live party chat, thats what I would do.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  21. Rick

    al Qaeda on the Western Front

    (couldn't resist)

    April 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • JC in Western U.S.

      Well, you provided a moment of levity, so I'm glad you didn't resist.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Pavel

      Good one. I agree, hard to resist.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  22. Patchw3rk

    What about the possibility that they have taken down the sites that we monitor and are moving to new ones? Maybe the higher ups are on new sites that we do not know about and they figure that loosing all of the general Al Quida people who also don't know about the change is outweighed by us not being able to monitor their communications? Just throwing that out there...

    April 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Anthony Wiener

      Well, I'm a member of al-Qaeda, and so are half the guys in the CIA, and we didn't get any messages to move to Xbox chat or texts. I'm sure we'll know in an hour or so.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  23. thetruth

    Maybe he smacked his head into the floor a little too hard

    April 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  24. pacman357

    Well, duh. It's camel mating season. You figure out the rest.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Truefax

      So that's why they call camels the ships of the desert.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad

      so how's a guy to get his camel pron?

      April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  25. scrud

    I bet they all got world of warcraft expansion beat invites and are too busy playing the panda race.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • scrud

      *beta

      April 3, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Anthony Wiener

      They ought to let us just fight them all in WOW. More fun than blowing up real stuff, and less people die.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  26. Chuck D

    Al Qaeda, as in CIA cell network. The "Al Qaeda" people who carry out attacks are entrapped by the CIA. The CIA buys them apartments, supplies all weapons and funds their bank accounts. The CIA typically seeks out mentally retarded men to join. Key " Al Qaeda" man, Anwar al-Awlaki had dinner at the Whitehouse after he was singled out as a high level operative.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • They are Crooks

      Now we know the truth.......the CIA is behind all the killings. Really?

      April 3, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Delilah

      Nuts! I guess this all you got, eh Chuckie?

      April 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Chuck E

      Don't try to fool us, Chuck D. YOU'RE the CIA!

      April 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Travellerrrr

      Hey S. for brains, or should I call you Chucky LoL
      Dr Anwar Alwlaqi was invited to the Pentagon not the White House. He was invited to the Pentagon because he was a very high profile Muslim cleric, in fact the top scholar in the history of Islam. They attempted to pacify him & get him on the pay roll. But He flat out refused to sell God's verses in the Quran for a miserly price like many have.
      Anwar Al Awlaqi is the genius who uncovered "Rand Corporation" cheap lowly plan to vilify the Muslim warriors/Mujahidin by pinning all sorts of terrorist acts on them & what have you to create a rift among Muslims.
      Go ahead & listen to the brave Martyr who had the guts to stand up to the tyranny of the world on youtube: "The battle of hearts & mind".
      Get your f. head out of your f. backside & don't you f. dare insult the Mujahidin or Shaikh Anwar.
      I suppose it would too complicated for you dumb A. to understand that this war on terror is literally a war on Islam & for land & oil grab. Essentially a Zionist project financed by Christian blood & money.
      Israel's first prime piece of S. David Ben Gurion said back in 1948:
      "The present map of Palestine is a British mandate. But we Jews, young & old must strive to fulfill a map that extends from the Nile to the Euphrates".
      That's the Euprates river in Iraq in case your geography sucks! you f. moron.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • Chuck F

        Did you way "Don't Dare?" don't you f. dare insult the Mujahidin or Shaikh Anwar – you did. Oh I'm sorry that Mujahidin are baby rapers and they eat the dingles from camel behinds. They take turns spanking the Shaikh Anwar cause you know he's completely AC/DC – wouldn't know a woman if she fell out of the sky. You are so full of malarkey that it was my pleasure to make your head pop off like a daisy. Crawl away, go away, but don't be a hater bro.... hate the game not the player.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Rich

        Dang, I hope you're right. That would mean our side isn't as clueless as it often seems.

        April 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Anthony Wiener

      What a weird delusion you have. Have you ever left your home state? It's a big world. You should go outside and walk around.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Are you off your meds

      take the tin foil off. the wars over boy wormer dropped the big one.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  27. Mohammed

    I'm sorry I didn't mean to be so quiet. I was busy sucking the dirt from the bottom of my sandal!

    Don't draw my picture!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  28. markishere

    They forgot to pay their Hostgator bill, the bandwidth went over the limit again.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  29. Aditya Adhikari

    FOX news is reporting the other half of the story....

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/02/al-qaeda-coming-soon-to-nyc-graphic-warns/

    April 3, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • whoopitydoo2

      Why are we supposed to believe anything from the media anymore? If the Trayvon debacle isn't enough proof for anyone to believe the media lies and sensationalizes, then I don't know what to say.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Melodykari78

      That article has nothing to do with the this article.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • mrlgh

      The FOX article could have something to do with it in that either the terrorists shut down their own sites to prevent information from leaking about a pending attack or the U.S Gov't, in its concern over the potential attack on NY shut it down to prevent communications.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Aditya Adhikari

        @mrlgh : Thank you for excellent response.

        @Melody: you need to make sense of what is going on by looking at several sources, MSNBC also just posted the same news.

        If you can not see the relationship between the two stories, please spend some more time in Library and then read these again.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Anthony Wiener

      Um, the penalty for terrorist attacks against the US is that our Muslim-hating hillbillies gain political ground when it happens, and just lash out blindly. Not likely they'd go there again, unless they are ready to have Pakistan or Syria overrun with our troops. They may attack France or India, but not us.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • REALLY?

      Oh well, if FAUX News says it, it has to be true.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
      • Aditya Adhikari

        @Really: MSNBC is also reporting on this open your biased eyes.

        April 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  30. chibidw

    That's what you get for subscribing with GoDaddy.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  31. Jeff Williams

    They haven't gone silent. They've just moved out of earshot.

    But the Dark Web knows where they are.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  32. okigetit

    Well, we all can rest assured that these sites going down had absolutely nothing to do with cyber attacks from the U.S. . . . we all know that would be illegal and in America we adhere to the letter of the law.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • CapitlP

      Since when has information war been illegal? heck Faux news and MSNBC do it daily to a lesser extent.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Casey

      Um, actually that's not illegal. At all.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  33. Panda

    Everybody is listening for drones...BOOOOOM!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  34. They are Crooks

    Don';t these guys own a razor? Geesh, they look like billy goats!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • JMysterio

      They prefer a hot wax

      April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      They're HUGE ZZ Top fans!

      April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
      • Billy

        She's got legs
        Under her burkha
        She never begs
        She just screams "dirka dirka"

        April 3, 2012 at 11:51 am |
      • Rick

        @Billy

        LOL!

        April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • donovansbrain

      I got a better beard then those guys. Of course, I wash mine once in a while.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  35. wovoka

    hmmmm... all these websites we know about and monitor are silent.

    What a puzzling mystery.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • SW

      Ummm, they've been monitored for YEARS and have known it. So the question is...why did they go silent NOW?

      So yes, it is more of a mystery than you seem to think.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  36. Rational Thinker

    Oh No, USA does not have arch-nemesis to war monger with...what are we going to do? Hurry up and invent the next new enemy........

    April 3, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Jose

      They do have one already lined up, Iran. Trust me, if Obama thinks he is going to lose this election, he will start a war with Iran.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
      • Sylar75

        I doubt the American public wants to see us get into yet another war in 10 years.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
      • Heywood Jablome

        After all, he saw how well it worked for W. Remember the orange alerts? Haven't seen one of those since right before the election. I'm that didn't bother you though.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Rick

        Team North Korea with manager Lil' Kim is headlining Royal Rumble 2015, just in time for the net Presidential election.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  37. keb carerra

    They probably have enough material to build a bomb and are bringing it across the US Mexico boarder to a town near you.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Really Keb

      Keb, I wouldn't worry too much about them coming to the US via the Mexico border. I would worry more about the border we share with Canada. It covers more area and has less security. Everyone is so quick to jump all over the US/Mexico border that they forget about the bigger less secure border to the north. Not to mention all of the sleeper cells that have memebers living "normal" American lives just wanting for a call to order.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • donovansbrain

      Right. One bomb. Know how many we've got, and how easy we can send them? Sure, they could attack us; we're a free country. You don't have to have a picture ID to go out in public yet. But we'd attack them back, and maybe just take over their country.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  38. Mike

    Somebody is getting ready for the 2012 Olympics in London – the question is who?

    April 3, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • pk

      Not the US soccer team....

      April 3, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      Eddie the Eagle...he's a pole vaulter now.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
      • JMysterio

        Actually, he's a pole smoker...hehe

        April 3, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  39. Terry

    Come on folks, fund raising is down, and the Marketing and IT Departments took a hit to their budget. Even terrorists have to buy gasoline, food, and pay their cell phone bill.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  40. joe

    Maybe they blew up their IT department after filling it with women and children.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Darth Cheney

      Maybe they just outsourced IT and it's coming back to haunt them...

      April 3, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • JMysterio

        LOL...they can't understand the Indians...

        April 3, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  41. Victoria

    While government agencies world wide have tried to take the site down but have been unsuccessful, alQaeda finally ran afoul of the one group that could put them in their places! Yes, a pirated copy of the Muppet Movie was found on their site and the RIAA moved in for the kill to have the site shut down! Lawsuits will be forthcoming!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      I think that movie probably just killed them all...it sure died in the US.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  42. JMysterio

    Now they have to deal with their IT department...good luck with that....

    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • rick

      good one

      April 3, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      How do you say "MOVE!!" in Arabic?

      April 3, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • JMysterio

        Ask a camel...

        April 3, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • meghan

        yalla.

        April 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • Ssimmns

        'yalla' can best be (loosely) translated as 'hurry' or 'get on with it' ...sometimes used after speaking a command such as 'move' or 'come here'. I cant remember the translation for 'move'. i think its 'tahrak' ??

        April 3, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • JMysterio

        or do mean 'Barack"

        April 3, 2012 at 11:45 am |
      • Nick Burns

        Oh by the way, YOU'RE WELCOME!

        April 3, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  43. Claude Gothic

    Those weren't Al Qaeda sites, those were chat rooms for jihad men looking to meet jihad men for a little massacre practice and then fun in the hot tub afterwards!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • JMysterio

      Actually the hot tub takes priority....

      April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  44. Nicholas Robinson

    Hey! Maybe the news that Osama bin Laden's been dead finally reached their caves! You can't imagine all those donkey trails, insurgent checkpoint's, tributes at Al Karzai's house . . . it's debilitating!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  45. POD

    Got Hacked

    April 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
  46. Mike

    They probably just upgraded to Windows 3.11. So, it'll take some time to get things rolling again.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Carl Agostino

      Hahahahahahahahaha! That's great.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Leprakawn

      @Mike:

      Thank you for that hysterical coment!

      April 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  47. Angela Kim

    Uh oh...RUN!!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
  48. Roscoe Chait

    They are too busy watching American Idol... I'm just kidding. They didn't read their ISP's Terms of Service.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  49. Bill from GA

    Now if we could just silence the Right Wing Propaganda Network and its anti-American lies.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Tom

      Now if we could just silence the left-wing media regime and it's all too frequent tactic of lying by omission, and editing sound bytes to repackage the facts, as in the case of NBC editing out key details of the Zimmerman 911 calls...

      April 3, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • Jamie OD

        NBC lie? That's unpossible!

        April 3, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Marv

      Excellent.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  50. Jeff

    Lets get Anonymous to replace their Web Site content with Gay Porn.
    That's a great idea!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Brian

      Or better yet, the Rick Santorum election website.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Arcostonian

        LOL.... Awesome

        April 3, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  51. Dick Cheney

    Tony NYC it was a shotgun!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  52. jorge washinsen

    There is noting that can not be tracked.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  53. Prem

    If you take the list and kill them with drone then what they will do.

    Looks like new association with China is telling them to move the site to http://wwwchini.thief.com

    April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  54. Naija

    I hope its Anonymous.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • donovansbrain

      Anon's been hacked. Don't look for them anytime soon. Anon; if this is news to you, go dark fast. Assume your location's known. Good luck.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  55. jorge washinsen

    Probably their system could not stand all the commercials.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  56. Andre NYC

    Mohammed, withdrawing $ from the ATM for the purpose of paying for the servers, got WACKED by SEALS. Poor poor little Mohammed.
    = (

    April 3, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  57. Shammy

    Not very smart to attack the U.S. during a re-election season......

    April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • mbjrp36

      It worked for the Iranians in 1979.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • filthburger

        no it didn't. they should have kept the weaker Carter around. Instead they got Reagan who crushed them with his hairstyle alone. Kind of like how we have decimated Al Queda leadership after 911. if they would have left us alone, we probably would have left them alone.

        April 3, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • Claude Gothic

        It sure did help them, Reagan and his criminals sold arms to the Iranians in exchange for them holding the hostages through the election.

        April 3, 2012 at 10:59 am |
      • Heywood Jablome

        @Claude Gothic: Man, I'm sure glad someone else in the world remembers that little piece of information. I'm always amazed at how this was overlooked in our history and how easily these sins are forgiven, even by Carter himself.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • donovansbrain

        They said they'd kill the hostages unless we voted for Reagan. Me, I said, too bad about the poor hostages.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • JC

      You mean the way he crushed them by paying them off with arms to get our people out? Remember Iran-Contra? Remember the whole "I really don't recall" series of lies? The only thing Regan did of any use whatsoever is spend the Soviet Union out of existence.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  58. gliese42

    Why websites when integration is easier

    April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  59. b

    they found the x rated sites

    April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  60. god

    something big is coming....

    April 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  61. Claude Gothic

    The Mossad figured out that they've all been standing in line to get new iPads and forgot all about their websites!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  62. Mustaf Herod Apyur Poupr

    We are planning something BIG!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • I-ZHEET M'DRURZ

      Mustaf, sshhhhh!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      Maybe an attack on the new 7-11 in Karachi?

      April 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • Mama Looka Boo Boo Day

        Now looky heeya.......what on Earf am you people talkin' bout? Lemme axe you dis, am you crazy?

        April 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  63. DingDongIll

    Can we not get a decent hacker to replace all of their Al Qaeda websites with gay porn?

    April 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • Jack 63

      They would just get off on the gay porn because they live that lifestyle anyway, make it straight porn or lesbian to really make em puke!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • Sidewinder

      No, make it $ex with pigs...they already do goats and camels.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • John Q.

      Replace it with Jersey Shore.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Jamie OD

        There are some lines even the CIA won't cross.

        April 3, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • Maestro Geek

        Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

        April 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  64. Stargazer

    Is this before or after their Graphic... Al Quada return to New York..POST? Curious

    April 3, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  65. xtn

    they"ve gone twitter....

    April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  66. Jeff

    Maybe "Anonymous" is finally putting their talents to good use.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  67. sparknut

    Might not be a good sign. Like radio silence before the big attack.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      It did work on Dec 7 1941.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
  68. Uncle Joe

    The answer is simple. The terrorists forgot to pay their internet provider. Either that or the people who operated these websites now work for Facebook.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  69. Not a Terrorist

    Damn. Judging by the comments, it looks like they all came here.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Mep

      Hopefully they all dropped dead.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  70. Mep

    We need to get the shuttle program in gear so we can ship these idiots to mars so they can jihad up there, cause apparently they can't get along with the rest of the human race.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Jamie OD

      Putting a bullet in the back of a jihadi's head would be a much more efficient use of resources than putting a jihadi on Mars.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • ChicagoRich

        If it is efficiency you are going for, then I would point out that rope can be reused.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • Jamie OD

        And if we used a hemp rope, even the hippies would be pleased.

        April 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  71. Les

    If it is being reported here, that means that there is more that is not being said, and anything reported here is common knowledge. Unless, this news report is "Bait".....

    April 3, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  72. Paul

    see , poor journalists always try to make something out of nothing. It is quite obvious that if the leader who manages the network of websites has been arrested, the next thing you do, is stop using those websites, given that the passwords cold have been compromised and therefore using the website would allow authorities to track the users, which wold the ultimate intelligence they could get.

    If anything, this means that those website are organized in such a way not to become a source of intelligence ... there is no mystery, but then again .. poor journalists need to pump hype to make a living.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • mipolitic

      well if there is anything that appears to be true , is that fact that there is nothing intelligent or smart about the people or content on such ugly animalistic sites .
      these sites are not that of the human race but rather a evil demented group of idiots with a corrupt mindset , that is supported by their failed past as humans.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Commonsense52

      We get that you hate the media but at least make an effort to post something relevant rather than distorting this situation to spreadf your media-hating agenda. The shut down of these websites are newsworthy, and nothing you say to promote your agenda changes that.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  73. jojo

    I hope they are not up to something like a big attack.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Freedomdem

      the next attackers already live in the country. just like the 911 attackers. usa needs to stop fearing everyone and seeing everyone as a threat

      April 3, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
      • jihad

        hahahahaa are u dumb? they have been treating EVERYONE as a threat for 10 years

        April 3, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • jorge washinsen

      Probably Detroit next.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  74. Aditya Adhikari

    "Communications disruption can mean only one thing...Invasionโ€ Star Wars (The Phantom Menace)
    George Lucas knows this why is it so hard for FBI?

    April 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • PaulM

      That might make sense if they disrupted OUR communications.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • John

        ...unless WE're invading THEM! It is getting close to the time where a bump in the polls would be useful before an election...

        April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • Aditya Adhikari

        This is where CNN is not reporting this? This is on Fox News very scary if you put 2 and 2 together.

        http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/02/al-qaeda-coming-soon-to-nyc-graphic-warns/

        April 3, 2012 at 11:47 am |
      • Aditya Adhikari

        @PaumM: It works both ways.. we are not sure what they are doing .. that is also a very dangerous situation. our access to their information suddenly ended.. who is in the blind?

        April 3, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • jorge washinsen

      Have you ever seen a commericial disrupted except when the greedy rascals tried to run two at a time?Ever seen a commericial delayed for any reason,even a power outage,they always get their licks in? Figure up the time you waste out of a day watching the same stupid commercials.You could say without them we could not enjoy a one hour movie in less than three hours.If you are interested in your kid getting a full euducation throwh his tv and computer out of the window if some other drug head has not stolen it. You say some has to pay for all of this entertainment?Why?

      April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
  75. GOD

    This is becoming a problem for the US... Only with Mitt Romney and his Grand Army of Mormon Robot Worshipers can the United States fight back against these Islamic pirates.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      George Bush bought them a pass on 9-11.Won't happen again when the next Americans die on our soil from these nuts?It was all planned here and and the planner went to an
      American school to get the education and you paid for it.Don't forget that, as we did on that fateful day. Americans will take a lot but abuse is accumulates.Remember the first attempt was under Clinton.should have been his war, not Bushs'

      April 3, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  76. Claude Gothic

    Maybe Anonymous decided to do something useful?

    April 3, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Claude Gothic

      Shoot, got beaten to the punch...

      April 3, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Gumby

      Nah, if Anonymous had anything to do with it they'd be bragging up a storm about it by now.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  77. Jenna NYC

    This means something's up.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • JAANC

      agree, it's called going underground, everytime they have tried something since 9/11 they are outed before they can execute it..... the FBI is either oblivious or has no intention of actually stopping anything from happening..

      April 3, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
      • jnpa

        Perhaps the FBI and CIA and all the other groups know something is up, but they are certainly not going to tell us what is happening....

        April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • JMysterio

      They linked to Facebook and all the trivial, useless posts crashed their servers...Zuckerberg for President!!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
  78. James PDX

    Why hasn't Anonymous cracked these websites and revealed who the Al Quaeda jihadists are? Probably afraid to anger Dick Cheney when it leads back to his home computer.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • iBod

      That's quite an ingenious idea. Too bad those fools would rather amount to chaos than justice...

      April 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • LarryB

      Dick Cheney probably still needs assistance in finding his 'power on' button.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • TonNYC

        aparently he doesn't have a hard time to find the trigger on the hunting riffle.

        April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  79. Tr1Xen

    "When you have several go out it sounds like a denial of service attack," Townsend said. "It is not an accident they all go out."

    Yep. I perpetrated DoS attacks myself in my college days, and proudly, I might add. Props to whoever did this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
  80. GoyGuy

    this is, coincidentally, the date when merah was apprehended (albeit in a less than live condition). so, one should factor the french in, too, not only cia and mossad.

    i wholeheartedly support govt screening of online surfing – not as evidence that could be taken to trial, but definitely as a screening process and even as admissible for court orders allowing further and deeper investigation.

    i think that neo has a point, but only insofar as member communication is concerned. for recruitment purposes, predetermined sms groups and similiar apps would not work. besides, i disagree with him/her in that anything that comes out of a cell phone is far easier to track than something that is on the web – you cant do named pipes and vpns as easily on a cellphone internet access.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  81. TeaBag

    They tried to upgrade to Windows 7

    April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • KR

      Best response yet!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  82. lauradet

    The Web sites have disappeared, because they are using text messaging and Facebook.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  83. frazier

    the next post in the forum will be 'BOOM' , and there goes New york

    April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
  84. ralph

    You are right they have an app for that.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
  85. 4commonsensenow

    Maybe they just got sick of the internet.right. I wish everyone would stop using propoganda and stick to facts and truth. I cant trust anyone's information on this subject anymore.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • jnpa

      I cant trust anyone's information on ANY subject anymore.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  86. charlie

    There's no such thing as al qaeda you morons. Why do you guys keep lying to us about this bullshit? Everybody know whats up so start reporting the truth for god sake

    April 3, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Please take off your tinfoil hat and get back on your meds.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • Lance

        Exactly!!!

        April 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • James PDX

      The truth? Do you really want CNN to report that you have a strange affinity for sheep?

      April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • The Dude

      Charlie is that you????

      April 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Army4Ever

      Charlie you're so right. People don't know that Al Qaeda literally means "the database" and that they're nothing more than a private army. It won't matter how much proof we have, the gov't has done an incredible job reinforcing the lie with fear and racism.

      "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." ~ Charles Mackay

      April 3, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  87. Mister Mojo

    Someone forgot to tell the other guy the login/password before he went off to suicide bomb? If only they knew which of the virgins waiting for him was his favorite.. damn password reset questions!

    April 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
    • Uruk-hai

      I heard they forgot to pay the cable bill.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  88. The_CNNban

    The CNN websites are still working.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
  89. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    They just found a better place to upload! Crawford Ranch!

    April 3, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
  90. aaron

    Merlin, It seems as though we have defeated evil!

    April 3, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • SimonDM

      You've become evil. This world is becoming more and more like 1984.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
      • James PDX

        I liked 1984. The music and hair were awesome and parachute pants were da bomb.

        April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am |
      • WHATS UP !

        I take it your reffering to the book 1984 , if not 1984 had a few events that no one wants repeated . so please be clear has to what your posting about .

        April 3, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • LarryB

        Agree, the Raiders won the Super Bowl in 1984 and no one would want that repeated.

        April 3, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  91. Dave

    Looks like The Jester is back at it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jester

    April 3, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
  92. ozzy

    they found out xxx webs makes more money then jihad

    April 3, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
  93. Gary

    The forgot to pay for this year's hosting fees

    April 3, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • doug

      You mean they forgot to "pray" for this years hosting fees. No fee, no Jihad for you!

      April 3, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
  94. lamarsmith420

    Obama is keeping us safe from Islamic terrorism by raiding marijuana dispensaries in Oakland.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
    • Harry Anslinger

      LOL

      April 3, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
  95. Aaron

    The CIA are pulling them off as the main archenemy of the next decade will shift from Arab countries into China.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
    • JimfromBham

      A little practice in "denial of service" techniques will help in the future electronic intercept problems with the "student" hackers from China. I am convinced that the Chinese government, particularly the military, is constantly practicing its "denial of service" and other disruptive ops against our electronics.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • SimonDM

      We've always been at war with Eastasia!

      April 3, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • stateschool

      When did China kill thousands of Americans with terrorist attacks? Why would we choose to make our second biggest trading partner our "archenemy"?

      April 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
      • LJ

        A reasonable question, but why are Vietnam and Myanmar slowly becoming our new best friends? It certainly appears that we've decided China is our new arch-enemy

        April 3, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  96. SimonDM

    CIA servers got overloaded from hosting their version of Emmanuel Goldstein's The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
  97. Neo

    I believe they have merged from websites to apps like wassap and other free txt apps. They are harder to track and they can be used for group sms.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:12 am | Reply
    • Grwily

      Well, put, Neo. Of added value, apps/texts are private. The posts aren't out there for the entire world to see.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      Probably have to track them by smell from now on.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • The Hat of the Three-Toed Man-Baby

        Not hard - they actually smell worse than the camels.

        April 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
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