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Terrorist 007, Exposed

"To Our Brother Irhabi 007. Our brother Irhabi 007, you have shown very good efforts in serving this message board, as I can see, and in serving jihad for the sake of God. By God, we do not like to hear what hurts you, so we ask God to keep you in his care.

You are one of the top people who care about serving your brothers. May God add all of that on the side of your good work, and may you go careful and successful.

We say carry on with God's blessing.

Carry on, may God protect you.

Carry on serving jihad and its supporters.

And I ask the mighty, gracious and merciful God to keep for us everyone who wants to support his faith.

Amen."

Irhabi's hacking ability was useful not only in the exchange of media, but also in the distribution of large-scale al-Qaeda productions. In one instance, a film produced by Zarqawi's al-Qaeda, titled "All Is for Allah's Religion," was distributed from a page at www.alaflam.net/wdkl .

The links, uploaded in June 2005, provided numerous outlets where visitors could find the video. In the event that one of the sites was disabled, many other sources were available as backups. Several were based on domains such as www.irhabi007.ca or www.irhabi007.tv , indicating a strong involvement by Irhabi himself. The film, a major release by al-Qaeda in Iraq, showed many of the insurgents' recent exploits compiled with footage of Osama bin Laden, commentary on the Abu Ghraib prison, and political statements about the rule of then-Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Tsouli has been charged with eight offenses including conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, conspiracy to obtain money by deception and offences relating to the possession of articles for terrorist purposes and fundraising. So far there are no charges directly related to his alleged activities as Irhabi on the Internet, but given the charges already mounted against him, it will probably be a long time before the 22-year-old is able to go online again.

But Irhabi's absence from the Internet may not be as noticeable as many hope. Indeed, the hacker had anticipated his own disappearance. In the months beforehand, Irhabi released his will on the Internet. In it, he provided links to help visitors with their own Internet security and hacking skills in the event of his absence -- a rubric for jihadists seeking the means to continue to serve their nefarious ends. Irhabi may have been caught, but his online legacy may be the creation of many thousands of 007s.

feedback@siteinstitute.org

Rita Katz is the author of "Terrorist Hunter" (HarperCollins) and the director of the SITE Institute, which is dedicated to the "search for international terrorist entities." Michael Kern is a senior analyst with the institute.


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