March 9, 2009 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 503

Behind the Scenes of Virtual Jihad: The Anatomy of a Jihadist Forum

March 9, 2009 | By Eli Alshech and Y. Apelbaum*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 503

The existing published research pertaining to the world of virtual jihad has focused mostly on the content published in jihadist websites and forums. For the most part, scholars and investigators have followed the news posted on jihadist forums, analyzed the various ideological views reflected in theme, and scrutinized jihadists' writings regarding their operational intentions and capabilities. Little if any research has centered on the technical aspects of virtual jihad. The purpose of this article is to allow the public a glimpse behind the scenes of the shadowy world of virtual jihad. More specifically, the article will study seven jihadi forums, with a strong focus on one of them, and analyze the ways in which jihad forums/websites are created, maintained, managed, secured, and, possibly, funded. ...

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