Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jihadi Websites Close Them Down Now” says PI Bill Warner on CBC Radio One “The Current” in Toronto Canada.

CBC RADIO ONE, Canadian Broadcasting Centre …..”The Current” with host Anna Maria Tremonti for Tuesday January 26, 2010, TORONTO ONT.

JAN. 26th. 2010, 8:05 AM……Jihadi Websites, close them down now says PI Bill Warner……click here for the Canadian Broadcasting Centre radio program.

Anna Maria Tremonti ….We aired some music from an on-line video made by Al-Shabaab, an Islamic insurgent group in Somalia. The video shows heavily armed fighters and people who have had their throats slit. Last year, the U.S. Government added Al-Shabaab to the list of groups it considers to be terrorist organizations. But despite that, Al-Shabaab still operates its website relatively unhindered.

People who monitor the websites of violent extremist groups are split about what to do about that. Some say sites such as Al-Shabaab’s should be shut-down. Others say that would throw away one of the only tools that international intelligence agencies have for monitoring the groups behind the websites.
Bill Warner is firmly in the “shut-them-down” camp. He’s a private investigator in Sarasota, Florida. And among other things, he spends his days trying to shut-down websites belonging to radical Islamic groups.

OR……Jihadi Websites, reason with them and try to convince them of the error of their ways, (what a load).

Not everyone thinks that pulling the plug on radical Islamic websites is a good idea. Christopher Boucek is an associate with the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Last month, he provided testimony about radical websites to The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. He was in Washington, DC.

Listen to Part Two of the Current: Jihadi Websites, close them down, click here, The current.  Canadian Broadcasting Centre Toronto Ont.

The 2006 Toronto terrorism case refers to a series of counter-terrorism raids in the Greater Toronto Area that resulted in the June 2, 2006, arrest of 18 people (dubbed the "Toronto 18") alleged to be members of an Islamic terrorist cell plotting a series of attacks against targets in Ontario, Canada.  They were accused of planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and to storm the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, the Canadian Parliament building, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Parliamentary Buildings' Peace Tower, to take hostages and to behead the Prime Minister and other leaders.
8:05 am January 25, 2010 CBC Radio “The Current” with host Anna Maria Tremonti.
Anna Maria Tremonti …..”That is online video music made by Al-Shabaab an Islamic insurgent group in Somalia, the video shows heavily armed fighters, it also shows people who have had their throats slit. Last year the US govt added Al-Shaaab to the list of groups it considers to be terrorist organizations, but despite that, Al Shabaab still operates its website relatively unhindered. People who monitor the websites of violent extremest groups are split about what to do about that, some say sites such as Al-Shabaab should be shut down., others say that would throw away one of the only tools that international intelligence agencies have for monitoring the groups behind the websites.

Bill Warner is firmly in the shut them down camp and is a private investigator in Sarasota, Fl. and among other things, he spends his days trying to shut down websites belonging to radical Islamic groups. Good morning Bill Warner.”
Bill Warner…..”Good morning.”

Can you describe some of the websites you have gone after?
“Well, the one you just spoke of uh, the Al-Shabaab website was hosted in Vancouver Washington from April2007 to January 2009, I spent all 2008 trying to get it shut down.. It was operated by Omar Hamammi who was out of Mobile, Alabama, spent almost a year in Toronto before he moved on to Somalia to be the media director for Al-Shabaab. So, yeah it is a big problem and during that time period numerous, numerous ah, Somalians from Minneapolis were recruited as suicide bombers on that website went to Somalia and completed their mission, it is A BIG JOKE, THEY NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN.”
You tried to shut them down and it didn’t work?

That was one ot the worst ones I had, most of the time I get cooperation from the news media people, tv and newspapers and they help me with ah, exposing these websites that are hosted in North America. The Al-Shabaab was a big problem in Vancouver because the local newspaper was staunchly against shutting it down speaking on freedom of speech.. Well, it turned out to be a big problem and they looked like a fool in the end because they were soliciting suicide bombers on that website.”
How do you go about investigating the sites you try to shut down?

“Well, first of all, errr, I find links to these websites and go to the actual websites, I either get on the websites with a phony ah, email address so I can communicate and find out what they are talking about, most of these websites now you can get a Google translation because most of them are in Arabic, but they have become basically mostly English orientated so it is very easy to find out what they are talking about and once I find out who they are and what they are all about, I find out where the website is based, what company is hosting that website in what city, and go to that web hosting company and complain that they are promoting Al-queda, promoting suicide bombers and recruiting suicide bombers. And they need to be shut down and these are designated terrorist organizations and you are supporting them. Which is against the law basically in North America. Ah, sometimes they refuse, in a couple of cases they have, then I go to the media and get with an investigative reporter and we dig into it, and then usually it gets shut down by the web hosting company when they realize what they are doing.”

If this is against the law, how come the authorities are not shutting them down?

“Well, ah, the problem is basically the FBI, the problem with the FBI it they are over-taxed and they just don’t have the personal to , there are thousands of these websites and the keep popping up left and right all over the place and you can shut some of them down permanetly, but then they will come back under a different name and a different webhosting company. It’s a very difficult process, and just it needs to go thru the web hosting companies who need to police themselves.”

Now how many websites are we talking about?

“Hundreds, hundreds, most of them really er… directly linked to Al-Qaeda maybe 10 or 15, and you have a lot of pro Al-Qaeda websites run by you know affiliates, people in the United States, People in Canada that you know promote the Al-Qaeda websites on their web hosting company.”
Why do you think it is important to shut them down?

“Communication. Communication is key. It is a worldwide problem ah..the recruitment goes into Pakistan and Somalia and a lot too lately and the only way to reach these people is thru the internet. There is no other source. The web hosting companies that allow this to happen, it is just a huge, huge problem.”

Then, how dangerous then do you think these sites can be?

“Hugely, hugely dangerous. That’s where the recruits are coming from is thru the internet. There is no other source for them at this point. You know the US military in Afghanastan, Pakistan, Somalia, somewhat, Somalia they shut down what they can, you know on the ground, but they keep flooding in, they come from the UK, they come from Toronto, they come from ah, Tampa, they come from everywhere.”

What, how do you respond to those who say we need to keep them up so we can monitor these groups?

“They’ve been monitoring these websites for years, the one we talked about initially, the Al-Shabaab, that was monitored by the FBI, they let all those people go from Minneapolis to Somalia to become suicide bombers, they completed missions, they did not do anything about it. SO HOW IS THAT DETERRING ANYTHING? What information have they got, what have they done to shut down the Al-Shabaab recruiting? NOTHING.”

So when you go on these sites, with a pseuo name, what do you do?

“Communicate, talk, see what is going on, see if it is really an Al-Qeada based website you get links from the people who ah, communicate on the chat rooms, go to their links, and see what they are doing and can find other websites., it is just ever expanding. EVER.

But, but they think you are one of them in other words?

“At times, usually they catch onto who I am and I get kicked off the website, that’s fine.”

Do they say it is Bill Warner in disguise, how do they know it is you?

“They eventually track down the email address and they know it is me, yeah”

Conceivably, couldn’t there be others on there like you on there, pretending to be somebody they are not. How do you figure that out?

“You kind of go thru that, you always have to go to the original source of that they talking about, everybody has a link to one website or another and I am more concerned about the websites than the people on the web, you know in the chat rooms. I’m looking for legitimate Al-Qeada based websites.”

Again, how can you tell that they are, legitimate Al-Qaeda websites?

“You will find a lot of productions by, mostly Adam Gadahn, he basically is the media director for As-Sahab which is the media production wing of Al-Qeada. He is out of Orange County, California. His handprints are over a lot of different things, you will find him on a lot of different things, You tube videos, and internet videos, he is the main guy.”

And again, so you are saying that these sites actually encourage and recruit.

“Constantly, they put up the martyrs pictures, they write a bio about the martyr, about what he has done where he is from, of course they promote it all the time.”

What about those listeners who might be thinking now why do you think you know more about handling this than the FBI?

“I don’t, I agree that the FBI is working on this, but they are just over taxed and sometime the FBI runs into a problem when we get back to freedom of speech, again, how do they determine exactly what is right and what is wrong, the FBI gets themselves into a big problem with that because of freedom of speech, in the United States, which Al-Qaeda and their media groups take advantage of.”

And you can work around that because you are not part of that, that is what you are saying?

“Yes, of course, yeah, I can just complain, investigate, and expose what is going on to the local area web hosting company and it is up to them to decide well, this is a bad website we shouldn’t have it at our company.”

People call you a cyber vigilante, is that fair?

“It doesn’t bother me. I just do what I have to do to keep this up. It’s just ongoing all the time 24/7 every day of the week and we are losing the war of words with Al-Qaeda on the internet, BIG TIME.”

Bill Warner, thanks for speaking with me.

That is Bill Warner, he is a private investigator in Sarasota, Fl.
Bill Warner Director of CSPI..Covert Surveillance by Private Investigators at WBI Inc.