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Jihadists’ use Web to incite attacks on Americans: Report

world Updated: Apr 09, 2009 20:49 IST

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Islamist militants are using US Internet firms to incite attacks on Americans, intelligence officials have warned.

The pairing of jihadists and US technology companies appears to be growing. “The relatively cheap expense and high quality of US servers seems to attract jihadists,” said Rita Katz, co-founder of the Site Intelligence Group, a private company that tracks the communications of Muslim extremist groups. Even al-Qaeda has sometimes paid American companies to serve as conduits for its hate-filled messages, said Katz, who has tracked such activity since 2003.

On March 25, a Taliban Web site calling it self the voice of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” boasted of a deadly new attack on coalition forces in the restive country. While the words were the Taliban’s, they were flashed around the globe by an American-owned firm located in downtown Houston, The Washington Post said on Wednesday.

The Texas company, a Web-hosting outfit called ThePlanet, said it had no clue about its Taliban connections.

According to the report, for more than a year, the militant group used the site to rally its followers and keep a running tally of suicide bombings, rocket attacks and raids against US-led Nato troops. The cost of the service: roughly $70 a month, payable by credit card.