Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palestinian Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood goes viral online

In the cyber age, literally everything becomes a tool for both recruitment or incitement - from Facebook to the latest Hamas vehicle – (Jerusalem Post):
Hamas has launched an Internet site called AqsaTube, a file-sharing resource enabling users to upload videos. While its format and design are similar to the popular YouTube site, the Hamas version is devoted entirely to propaganda and incitement, according to the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

AqsaTube joins more than 20 Web sites, in eight languages, managed and directed by Hamas. AqsaTube ( features videos inciting against Israel, glorifying terrorism (the "resistance") and preaching the doctrines of radical Islam.

There is also a link to Hamas's satellite channel, Al-Aqsa TV, which increases the number of its viewers and enables it to bypass restrictions on its broadcasts, according to the Ramat Hasharon-based ITIC, a think tank closely associated with Israel's intelligence community.

The ITIC says AqsaTube is registered under the name of Abu Nasser Skandar from Dubai, and its Internet service provider is the French firm, OVH. E-mails to OVH were not returned by press time.

The overwhelming majority of AqsaTube videos come from Hamas, but it is possible to find those of other Palestinian terrorist organizations. The videos are divided into categories: the Hamas movement, Fatah, the children of Al-Aqsa (i.e., children motivated by Hamas ideology), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and others.

The site has many videos produced by the information office of Izzadin Kassam, Hamas's "military wing," documenting terrorist attacks and training. They include masked operatives firing rockets and training with weapons. One is devoted to one of Izzadin Kassam's special units, and is accompanied by a song encouraging suicide attacks: "Oh suicide bombers' unit, oh heroes of the attacks. Our great hope is death for the sake of Allah."

AqsaTube, until Tuesday, sold advertising space to commercial companies through Google's AdSense advertisement serving program, which automatically displays ads according to page content. Some of the ads were for Israeli companies.

After inquiries from the Jerusalem Post Google's AdSense dropped AsqaTube as a client.

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