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Al Qaeda plots internet jihad

world Updated: Jul 13, 2011 17:44 IST

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Al Qaeda is plotting a jihad on the internet against Britain and the West, and has launched teams to target key computer systems, officials said.

Terrorists have even tried to invade Facebook in their "campaign of electronic warfare", The Sun reported.

The Google Earth and Street View applications are being used by the terrorists to plan out atrocities, it said.

Security officials in Britain say cyber terrorism will become an ever growing threat.

A 123-page counter-terror report said a special unit -- the Tariq bin Ziyad Brigades for Electronic Jihad attacked computers last year.

"Since the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda has called not only for acts of lone or individual terrorism but also for cyber jihad," it said.

Experts now say there are thousands of terrorist-related websites, and a few dozen are "highly influential" and frequented by terrorists.

"Use of social network sites and video sharing is now commonplace. There have been a number of attempts by terrorist and extremist groups to invade Facebook."