"The internet as the ideal terrorism recruiting tool." by Louis Miguel Ariza "IF YOU READ ARABIC and want a degree in jihad, click on www.al-farouq.com/vb/. If you are lucky- the site disappears and reappears- you will see a post that belongs the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF). It announces the "Al Qaeda University of Jihad Studies." According to Ahmad Al-Wathiq Billah, the GIMF "Deputy General Emir," students "pass through faculties devoted to the cause of the caliphate through moral boosting and bombings," And the site offers specialization in "electronic, media, spiritual and financial jihad." The Internet as long been essential for terrorism, but what has surprised experts is the growth of such Islamist (radical Islam) and Jihadist sites. Their continuing rise suggest that recruitment for a "holy war" against the West could proceed unabated, despite capture of key leaders. According to Gabriel Weimann, a professor of communications at the University of Haifa in Israel, the number of all terrorist Web site-those advocating or inciting terrorism for political violence-has grown from a dozen in 1997 to almost 4700 today, a nearly 400 fold increase period (By comparison, the total number of Web sites has risen about 50 to 100 fold.) The enumeration includes various Marxist, Nazi and racist groups but by far the dominant type, according to Weimann, is the Islamist-Jihadist verity, which accounts for about 70 percent..................... Scott Atran, a research director at the Jean Micod Institute of the CNRS in Paris, studies the group dynamic of terrorists. He notes that the attackers of Madrid, London, and Bali were autonomous groups, like "swarms that aggregate to strike and then vanish." The open, anarchic structure of the Internet supports this "chaotic dynamics" modus operandi as a way for militants to recruit new members and look for goals or inspiration. "Without the Internet, the extreme fragmentation and decentralization of the Jihadi movement into a still functioning global network just would not be possible," Atran argues. "I think we can expect more independent attacks by autonomous groups because of the internet."....... This article appeared in "Scientific American" Jan 2006. I think it show that extraordinary means to monitor communications are necessary since it shows that modern means of communications are the only thing keeping the Islamist terrorist networks alive.