Police in the UK are taking Internet incitement seriously, at long last:
LONDON (AP) – An al-Qaida inspired computer expert who dubbed himself “the terrorist James Bond” was imprisoned for 10 years Thursday for running a network of extremist websites and hoarding videos of the murders of Americans Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl.
Morocco-born Younis Tsouli, 23, who prosecutors said had uploaded guides to building suicide vests on to the Internet, used the online ID “irhabi007” – the Arabic word for terrorist and the code name of the fictional British spy.
With accomplices Tariq Al-Daour and Waseem Mughal, Tsouli offered advice and motivation to would-be terrorists on a myriad of web pages run from their London homes, prosecutors said.
Videos seized from the group gave advice on suicide belts, causing explosions, using rocket-propelled grenades, producing poisons and blowing up gas pipelines, prosecutors told jurors.
As I’ve written before, the Internet — Websites, chat rooms, forums, etc. — are the glue that holds the informal worldwide jihadi network together, as well as the inspiration for many Muslims to become jihadis:
…individual Muslims, in constant touch with Islamist leaders and others like themselves throughout the world, can go through a process of radicalization and validation of radical beliefs online. The Internet makes it possible for them to be immersed in a culture of like-minded people, something which would not be possible otherwise, and which is capable of amplifying beliefs which would be deviant in their local environment. This is the same phenomenon that’s given a huge boost to the population of pedophiles, who share ideas and child pornography with kindred spirits online that they would otherwise never meet.
So someone for whom blowing up an airport, for example, is only a fantasy, may find that there are others who share it, and that it isn’t really just a crazy dream — there are people out there who have actually done things like this, and who are willing to show him how his dream can become deadly reality.
I hope that part of the interrogation of the UK murder doctors, for example, will be to extract from them (and their computers) the details of the Websites, etc. that they frequent, and that the police will follow up and take down the sites and arrest the operators.