By Adam Levine
The advantage and attraction of social networking isn't lost on the jihadist community, apparently. New postings on the Ansar al-Mujahideen Arabic forum have been discussing a proposal by one contributor to create a Facebook-like site for jihadists, according to SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadists activities online.
The idea has surfaced as various jihadi sites have mysteriously gone dark, leaving some to speculate whether there was a covert takedown by a spy agency.
In a posting, the user identified as Rakan al-Ashja'i notes that the terror adherents depend on different online forums and social networking sites for posting propaganda and discussions.
"What I am hoping is to program an application that would spare them using all of that and also attract hundreds and thousands of new brothers to work in this field," the jihadist posted, according to a translation provided by SITE. "It will register their memberships, then they need only enter and publish what they want in all the sites and forums underneath with the click of a button."
"We will benefit from the ideas in Facebook a lot, Allah the almighty willing," al-Ashja'i said.
The posting says the one-click would save time and allow for instant republishing on multiple jihadist sites.
"Most of their time is spent in searching for new sites and creating memberships and adding them to their list, instead of wasting time in publishing on the same site always," the jihadist said. "Also, it will be fun and it will attract more brothers to work in publishing."
The idea was met with mostly tepid interest, although it got some enthusiasm, according to responses translated by SITE.
"If I could make a social networking website with the same capabilities and everything like Facebook when it first appeared - it is a very good idea," wrote a user identified as Muhannad al-Balqani. "It would be a social networking website independent from spies and agent media."
One jihadist, who goes by Abu Hakim, said there could be a technical issue, because "the publishing sites will deal with this site as spam."
Another jihadist warned of the difficulty of turning the idea into reality because "programming is a wonderful science, but it needs a lot of work and to engage your brain 200%."
Al-Ashja'i does not seem put off by the concerns. "It will never be a big obstacle and we can pass it," he wrote in response to one criticism.