Monday, May 07, 2007

Mapping the Online Jihad

The Counterterrorism Blog summarizes efforts to describe and categorize the effect of online sites supporting terrorism. A key Singaporean effort shows the overwhelming number of visitors to Jihadi sites (using traffic analysis made possible by comes from the Middle East and North Africa.

Region % Visitors
Middle East and North Africa


North and South America




East Asia


South Asia (Pakistan)




Data unavailable


This data is extremely interesting but needs a little rectification, I think. The figures do not tell the whole story. We know from other sources that Pakistan plays a key role in originating guidance for the Global Jihad, at least in operational terms. So its important to Internet Jihad is probably understated. But leaving that aside, if we compare the table above to the statistics of physical Internet access, we will see how strongly overrepresented the Middle East is in patronizing Jihadi websites. What little online access they have, if one is to go by the evidence available, is disproportionately concentrated on accessing porn and Islamic fundamentalism. The Singapore study attempts to explain this disparity by noting that the language of most Jihadi sites is Arabic. That may be a crucial finding in itself. Perhaps the American blogosphere has so far failed to make an impact in the internal debate within Islam because most of it is in English not Arabic. Maybe we ought to write or translate our posts into Arabic to have any hope of engaging in dialogue. "Public diplomacy" as a tool to fighting the war of ideas is probably limited too for so long as it communicates in English.

One implication of the table above is that the key functions of the Online Jihad is to hold the core constituency of Islamic radicalism together. In fact that is probably its principal function (at least by volume). Attracting new converts, while an important activity, is probably secondary.

World Regions

( 2007 Est.)

% of World

Internet Usage,
Latest Data

% Population
( Penetration )

% of World

Usage Growth



14.2 %


3.6 %

3.0 %

638.4 %



56.5 %


10.7 %

35.8 %

248.8 %



12.3 %


38.9 %


199.5 %

Middle East


2.9 %


10.0 %

1.7 %

491.4 %

North America


5.1 %


69.7 %


115.7 %

Latin America/Caribbean


8.5 %


17.3 %

8.7 %

433.4 %

Oceania / Australia


0.5 %


53.5 %

1.7 %

142.0 %



100.0 %


16.9 %

100.0 %

208.7 %

The Singapore study continues:

The results of these measurements were illuminating. The Palestinian Territories displayed an activity level of 15.72 visits per 100 users. This level of activity is extraordinarily high; no other country exhibited a level higher than 11 percent of this amount. This finding is startling given that the Palestinian Territories lack an established Salafi-Jihadi organization.

The activity measurements for most MENA countries were high. Only Israel, Libya and Turkey exhibited activity levels of less than .1 visits/100 users (or 1 visit per 1,000 users). For comparison, this threshold of 1 visit per 1,000 users was broken only once by a country outside the MENA region (in Panama, which exhibited 2.2 hits per 1,000 users).

In addition to the Palestinian Territories, high activity measurements were found in Jordan (1.72 visits/100 users), Qatar (1.05 visits/100 users), Kuwait (1.02 visits/100 users), Bahrain (.88 visits/100 users), Saudi Arabia (.65 visits/100 users), United Arab Emirates (.59 visits/100 users), Yemen (.51 visits/100 users) and Algeria (.48 visits/100 users).

The Palestinian Territories also topped the list in terms of absolute number of visits, in spite of their small population and relatively low Internet penetration. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan follow the Palestinian Territories in contributing the most visits to the websites analyzed.

Obviously most of the Middle Eastern visitors to the Jihadi websites come from countries which are America's "friends". Considering the amount of "engagement" and foreign aid that has been lavished on Palestine it does not seem to have diminished their appetitite for radical Islamism by one whit. The concentration of the audience in the Middle East also suggests why Iraq may be regared as more provocative than the US involvement in Afghanistan. Iraq, being in the Middle East, is "local news" and therefore much more likely to interest the core audience of Internet Jihadism than what is happening to a bunch of Pashtuns several thousand miles away.


Blogger PierreLegrand said...

Ralph Peters on the Religion of Peace

I get so frustrated when I hear people go on about this or that radical in Islam. I just tell them to look at the polls that have been taken and notice the support for Bin Laden in supposedly Moderate Islamic States. We have a big job ahead of us and deluding ourselves into believing that there is this big block of Muslims waiting to help us defang their violent religion is simply a false hope.

5/07/2007 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


You quoted this bit from Ralph Peters on your site:

Another trait common among those warning us that Islam is innately evil is that few have spent any time in the Muslim world. Well, I have. While the Middle East leaves me ever more despairing of its future, elsewhere, from Senegal to Sulawesi, from Delhi to Dearborn, I’ve seen no end of vibrant, humane, hopeful currents in the Muslim faith.

If Peter's observation has any truth, then the only part of the market share up for grabs is really Subsaharan Africa, Central Asia and the Southeast Asia. As far as the Middle East is concerned, that is already a market largely loyal to Osama Bin Laden.

The good news is that Iraq is in the central front of the ideological war on terror. The bad news is that we may never win any friends in that part of the world. Who knows?

5/07/2007 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

If Mohammad had no sin then he would be equal with God. If that is true then Islam would be a religion with two Gods.

So,how many Gods does Islam have?

Does anybody (even dare to) have any thoughts on this issue that they would feel comfortable committing to observable text here in this blog?

Brave souls all!

No doubt.

5/07/2007 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger ADE said...

While the Middle East leaves me ever more despairing of its future...

It's doomed to suicide. When a shame/honour culture meets its shame (its chronic backwardness) 24/7, it will do the honourable thing - hari kari, ritual suicide.

Has to be ritual. They're Arabs.

5/08/2007 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger ADE said...


There is no God, there's just you and me.

5/08/2007 04:29:00 AM  
Blogger PierreLegrand said...


That is the second time that I can remember a thread being pulled. I honor and respect your right to do so but am wondering if you might be willing to comment on why? Though I also understand that I have no right to ask and so will not be bothered if you choose not to respond.

5/08/2007 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Well here we go with another statistical measurement of the Islam worlds interst in spreading the word.

We gather this information to do exactly what? Know where of send USAID? Which direction to point our broadcasts? Where to send Condi next?

The salient, the only salient that matters in the short run,which is all any of us have, is how many Islams would like to slaughter non believers. The figure I see most often is around 10% or 125,000,000, yes that's ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE MILLION people.

But lets' be charitable and say that only a small portion of those are willing to act on their aggression, say 5%, well that's 6.25 million people.

Now the best Billy Gragham Crusade I've seen on TV might fill Yankee stadium, what 69-75,000

Houston we have a problem. We've got multiple warning and caution lights

But lets end on a positive note.
Let us hope that Germany and France begin deportation of Islams back to their home countries. There in the sqauler that is sure to develop, Mathusian remedies will work their magic. If not they'll at least be in a tidy bunch, massive Ben Laden-villes where the SAC targeting can with good old fashion carpet bombing take out some of those 6.25 million that would do us harm. If they happen to be the wrong 6,25 million then we still have a nice number of leftovers to deal with.

Cause folks you can stare at the numbers of internet traffic, read all the publications, and listen to all the Islamic broadcast you want and one thing is abundantly clear. They're coming after us armed with their we love death, you love life philosophy and soon in the new yummy atomic flavor.
Folks it's them or us.

5/08/2007 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

There can be good human beings who identify as muslim but there is no good islam. Let's stop kidding ourselves and stop qualifying every comment about islam with "We understand not every muslim...yadayada"

Islam is a toxic ideology to everybody but the perps - and even then they only get together to hunt in packs and still fight over the kill.

Moderate muslim is an alliterative fairy tale. Every decent person who happens to be muslim is decent in spite of islam and not because of it.

I do not understand how anybody can get past the foundational narrative of Hobbsian tribal warfare to find the sweetness and light. Islam is outside the Tao.

5/08/2007 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...


I do believe you've got it sqaure old chap.

I have at times used immissible to define Islam vis a vis all other religions, aside from the South Sea Cargo Cults. Islam is immisible to modernity, period.

The US and now the European continent are awakening to the fact that Ramadan should be celebrated at Gitmo not the White House. That Islam, the religion of Peace is more than a piece , it's an entire crock of shit.
Time to clean the entire continent of the human detritus.
Colonialism went out about 100 years too soon. The entire continent of Africa is a train wreck, from the Med to the Cape. Oh, and how would I know? I'll admit it's been about 25 years but when Rhodesia fell, the Cubans were in Angola and the Soviets were everywhere, well it wasn't any better and it's only gotten worse.

5/08/2007 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

North American numbers will increase because our government will invite them here. The true conspiracy is to make us all vulnerable and to disarm us so the government can assume the sole mantle of our protection.

Your government hates you and wants you to die.

5/08/2007 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Annoy Mouse

Never start a morning without coffee.

5/08/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

You gave me an idea. If colonialism is bad, then reverse colonialism is good. If they didn't want the West to govern their homelands, why in the hell do they want to come here?

Send the bastards back.

5/08/2007 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I have come to the conclusion that our nation is split down the middle between left and right. Therefore all or our votes cancel. It is why politicians don't give a crap about the US electorate. They are only fearfull of those who will tip the vote for against their favor.


Point taken. I better have a cup of coffee ;~)

5/08/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Political correctness is the rejection of mainstream American values. Look how far it has come.

5/08/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

What dictionary can I find "immissible"?

5/08/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

annoy mouse,

re: Your government hates you and wants you to die

These guys certainly do:

__Dritan Duka (illegal alien)
__Eliver Duka (illegal alien)
__Shain Duka (illegal alien)
__Serdar Tatar (the pizza deliverer...his family owns a pizzeria near Ft. Dix)
__Mohamad Shnewer
__Agron Abdullahu

From Michelle Malkin Fort Dix Terrorists

5/08/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

This is off-topic but I am compelled to spew:

Take a look at the 14 May 2007 cover of "Time" magazine. There you will see "The Most Influential People in The World". We all know that the MSM does not present "information as news" but rather "opinion as news". However with this cover of "Time" magazine we see propaganda presented as news.

Most of us recognize that Barack Obama is little more than an "empty suit" and has no business running for President. His current poll standing of 11.8% behind Hillary demonstrates this basic truth. However the folks at Time magazine would like to change all of that. On the cover of "Time", Obama's portrait is the largest in the upper left hand corner where he is uttering something profound. Obama is positioned diametrically opposed from the "Great Satan" of Ayatullah Ali Kamamenei who is in the lower right corner. Look who is in the near center of the cover, it's Nancy Pelosi. Just below her is the larger image of Al Gore (her strength relies on Al Gore). Look at the picture of Steve Jobs. Notice how Jobs' fingers redirect your view back to Barack Obama (Leonardo di Vinci would approve). Observe how Hu Jintao, the leader of China is looking directly at Obana with his head tilted down in submission. Count the number of Republicans depicted (there is one, the nominally independent Michael Bloomberg).

The message of this cover is as clear as it is subliminal: Obama is God and the obvious best choice for President. Keep in mind that this excremental magazine is prominently displayed at every grocery store check-out line in America (it is inescapable).

The MSM is playing us all like marionettes and most of us don't even know it.

5/08/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

But Allen,
Americans demand pizza, if not illegal aliens who would deliver them? All caucasian children will grow up to be lawyers, brain surgeons, or politicians. Who will stock the shelves at Walmart?

5/08/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

When a shame/honor culture meets its shame (its chronic backwardness) 24/7, it will do the honourable thing - hari kari, ritual suicide.

There are different kinds of Honor/Shame cultures. The Japanese respond(ed) to shame by ritual suicide. The Arab culture responds to shame by an attempt to remove the source of the shame, which generally means killing the person who shamed them. In this way they regain their honor by taking it back.

This explains the so-called honor killings in Arab culture and in part explains the general bloodiness of Arab culture.

5/08/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Back in '84 I subscribed to Time. Back then it was a reputable magazine. What tipped me was I counted up the area between the covers and how much was used for content and how much was used for advertising. I realize that more than half the magazine was devoted to ad space. You pay to be advertised to. Now you pay to proselytized to. Who wants to get this message to you?

5/08/2007 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

annoy mouse,

That Malkin link goes on to cover the role Dix played in refugee relief. Possibly, this generosity and openness made Dix a soft target in minds of these alleged terrorists.

Of the six, only one was a citizen, while three were illegal. It would be worth knowing how the illegal immigrants gained entry into the US and how they were sponsored.

Pizzerias are as common around military bases as title-pawn shops and used car dealers. I doubt that New Jersey would be responsive to an examination of employment practices.

5/08/2007 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"Your government hates you and wants you to die. "

Ethnic Albanians want to kill you. Your government wants to bring the Albanians to a neighborhood near you.

5/08/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

As Aaron pointed out at Internet Haganah, you cannot depend on Alexa for internet measurements. Alexa installs spyware on your PC to track your browsing habits. Both ad-aware and spybot identify Alexa as spyware and delete it. Serious Jihadis will not allow Alexa on their PCs, and in fact anyone who has an anti-spyware program won't allow such programs to run.

All this survey really shows is the behavior of naive, unaware people.

This survey and any survey that depends on Alexa is dead on arrival.

5/08/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

annoy mouse

immissible can be found it the
dikshunairy fur dum shits

while in most others it'll be found under it's correct spelling

5/08/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...


One thing we might find refuge in is our Presidential election history.

Only two men have made the leap from the Senate to the WH in our history. John F Kennedy and Warren G Harding.

5/08/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger J. Kevin said...

Has anyone ever asked themselves what a Muslim is doing owning/working in a Pizza parlor?
Sausage - Pork
Ham - Pork
Canadian Bacon - pork
Pepperoni - Pork? (mystery stuff)
It just seems odd on the face of it. There are Middle Eastern owners of pizzerias here in California too.

5/08/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

j. kevin

great point ..kinda like why did the NFL allow Ryan Leaf to play quarterback?

actually it has nothing in common with Ryan Leaf, I just was unimpeeded to the quarterback and took a shot

5/08/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Sparrowhills said...

The US and the Muslim Brotherhood
By Patrick Poole
Western media and Beltway foreign policy establishments are engaged in a push to rehabilitate the image of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to convince US diplomats to initiate a dialogue with the organization.

Islamic Bro's

Why don't we just rent them the WH basement in which to contruct their bomb?

5/08/2007 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I didn't think the post, not the comments were up to standard. And I pulled it for that reason before too many comments got on. There was just the two.



5/08/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

99 out of a hundred aren't bad Wretchard!

5/08/2007 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If a withdrawal in defeat from Iraq is mandated, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and even Kurds will seek refuge, because whatever turmoil results in Iraq will seek the petroleum deposits of Kurdistan too.

Then it would be a repeat of France after its withdrawal from North Africa. The Battle of Algiers simply moved to Paris.

One British General compared a possible withdrawal from Iraq to the British withdrawal from the United States after the War of Independence and concluded that because no catastrophe overcame Britain then, no catastrophe would overcome America now. Somehow I find the comparison less than convincing.

5/08/2007 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

"We have a big job ahead of us and deluding ourselves into believing that there is this big block of Muslims waiting to help us defang their violent religion is simply a false hope."

I did a year in Wahhabi land in 1980...I didn't find a bunch of violent killers waiting for me...or even anyone that particularly disliked Americans. Pakistani's, Indian's, Americans, Phillipino's all working side by side trouble free.

The problem we have the that legitimate grievance is being channeled into destructive behaviour and hatred.

It is fundamentally the same problem a child psychologist faces when treating an abused child. The child can not safely blame the parental abuser(the least worst outcome is ostracism from the family..the worst outcome is more abuse) the anger gets channeled to the child psychologist because it is 'safe' to blame the child psychologist.

5/08/2007 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

I recall reading this on "Day 1".

“Fear of escalation clouded Olmert's strategic judgment. On the first day of the conflict, Mossad chief Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan recommended that the Israeli air force target Syrian sites. Instead, Olmert sought to placate.”

Israel Matzav


Michael Totten

Despite the facts, politicians, diplomats, and blog commentators will choose to believe what they please. Being wrong about Lebanon, Syria and Iraq has cost these dreamers nothing, they think. One day, their luck will run out.

5/08/2007 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

peterboston said:

There can be good human beings who identify as muslim but there is no good islam. Let's stop kidding ourselves and stop qualifying every comment about islam with "We understand not every muslim...yadayada"


I can't disagree that, based on their own scriptures, Islam is a violent religion. However, I disagree with what seems to be your sentiment.

First, even if we were to accept that extermination of all Muslims was the only way to stamp out Islamic terrorism, it's simply not practical on a number of levels. And while every analogy breaks down eventually, the first one that comes to my mind is that we have largely defeated the threat of communism without having to kill all of the communists (and there are still plenty of communists around).

The more important problem I have with this line of reasoning (correct me if I'm wrong) is that it assumes that all Muslims inherently accept and have the potential to act on the parts of their scripture that allow for or perhaps even endorse violence.

A less tenuous analogy is Catholicism. If you said "Catholicism is a religion that rejects most forms of contraception", I would agree with you. However, it is also true that for a variety of reasons, a large portion of practicing Catholics choose not to practice that part of their religion.

I'm not trying to paint a rosy picture of how the west is viewed by the typical Muslim, or more importantly by the numerically significant portion of Muslims that really are willing to hurt us, but I think that an approach that is this broad and indiscriminate is counterproductive for the west, even if we're only considering the needs of the west.

5/08/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Sparrowhills said...

Annoy Mouse

Back in '84 I subscribed to Time. Back then it was a reputable magazine.

AM, I'm not sure of your age but if you were into your 60th year as I am you would never make the above comment.
Print and electronic journalism in this country, already mildly leftest, took a sharp turn leftest after Tet, MLK and RFK's assassinations in 1968 and have been there ever since.
Time magazine was no different in their transition from reporting to propagandizing during that time. By 1984 if you did not have the advantage of perspective you would not have had the historical insight to perceive the difference.
The press more than the yellow journalism of Wm R. Hurst became an adversarial organ with it's zenith reached with the Watergate scandal and Nixon's departure from office. It reamins a propaganda organ today.

5/08/2007 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I write plainly enough. I never suggested punishing any group of individuals let alone exterminating them.

I have voiced my opinion that Islam the ideology is fundamentally flawed, and I'm sticking to it.

I do think it important, however, that you make an attempt to think through things a bit more clearly.

5/08/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger PierreLegrand said...

Thank you for the explanation Wretchard.

5/08/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mervyn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/03/2007 07:27:00 PM  

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