Clinton Reveals Cyberwarfare Tactics Against Al-Qaida

By Julie Griffin May 24, 2012

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton revealed in a keynote speech yesterday that an elite team of specialists has hacked into Yemen–based al-Qaida websites and altered terroristic propaganda.

Work that the “digital outreach team” performs includes locating sites where al-Qaida recruiters exploit American deaths, and alter them to highlight al-Qaida’s killings of Muslims.

Clinton’s revelation is a rare look into the behind-the-scene tactics used by the U.S. government in cyberwarfare.

At the Special Operations Command gala in Tampa, Fla., Clinton spoke for nearly half an hour about the “smart power approach” deployed by U.S. operational teams.

"We can tell our efforts are starting to have an impact because extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the internet,” she said. “What makes this public admittance unusual is that U.S. counterterrorism groups have denied any involvement in shutting down jihadist Web forums earlier this year.

The purpose of the speech, according to some sources, is to highlight the U.S. government’s intelligent transition from fighting terrorism on land to fighting terrorism online. Hacking into extremist websites is among the many ways specialists that comprise the “digital outreach team” fight terrorism online.

The team also uses social media and other methods to raise awareness over the hypocrisy and damage jihadists create across the globe.

“We need special operations forces who are as comfortable drinking tea with tribal leaders as raiding a terrorist compound,” Clinton said. “We also need diplomats and development experts who understand modern warfare and are up to the job of being your partners.”

The digital outreach team consists of military and civilian specialists who are fluent in Urdu, Arabic and Somali. The team relies on intelligent information, gathered from numerous sources, to dispel the terroristic sentiment that al-Qaida affiliated groups spread across the Web.

The State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau is working with government officials from 60 different countries, training nearly 7,000 counterterrorist police and judiciaries, to locate and prosecute individuals that create terroristic assemblies.  




Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

SpaceX and Blue Origin Talk Seriously Going to Mars

By: Doug Mohney    9/29/2016

SpaceX CEO and nerd-god Elon Musk put forth his architecture for mankind to colonize Mars and potentially other bodies in our solar system on Tuesday,…

Read More

The Galaxy Note 7 Disaster: Samsung's Strategic Weakness

By: Rob Enderle    9/29/2016

Samsung was really the only company in recent years to truly threaten Apple successfully; granted, they did so largely with Google's help. But Apple h…

Read More

Was the Yahoo Hack State-Sponsored? Unlikely Says Cyber Expert

By: Gerald Baldino    9/28/2016

Last week, Yahoo confirmed at least 500 million user accounts were compromised by a data breach in 2014. The attack was the largest security breach ev…

Read More

Will Disney Make Twitter the Happiest Social Media on Earth?

By: Alicia Young    9/26/2016

To get back on their feet, Twitter is reportedly seeking an acquisition deal that would value them at $30 billion. There are a few contenders already,…

Read More

500M Yahoo! Users Impacted by Hack; What It Says About Password Protection

By: Paula Bernier    9/23/2016

Yahoo! is facing a lot of challenges lately. Add to the heap the breach - which the company confirmed today - that has affected 500 million Yahoo! acc…

Read More