Uncovering Al Qaeda Websites in America
by Laura Mansfield and Jeffrey Epstein
Note: Special thanks to our friend and colleague, Joe Kaufman, who worked with us on this story with us.
In a war that is being fought in Cyberspace as well as on the battlefield, it is common to find calls for attacks on westerners deeply embedded in US websites.
Abu Musa'ab Al Suri, widely credited as the chief of Al Qaeda in the UK, has his official website buried inside a real estate website owned by a man in the US town in Solon, OH.
Internet records show that the website for the For Sale By Owner Association, FSBOA.COM, is owned by American Capital Funding, and has as its administrative contact a man named Alan Isham.
What connection, if any, does the owner of the real estate site, have with the notorious Abu Mus'ab al Suri, one of Al Qaeda's top ideagogues? (Al Suri, whose real name is Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, and who also is called Umar Abd al-Hakim, had a $5 million reward on his head by the US government, and is now reportedly in US custody.)
We're not sure.
But it does appear that a website which Isham controls is home to Al Suri's own website. In an article published in March 2006 about Abu Mus'ab al Suri, the Jamestown Foundation described the site located at http://www.fsboa.com/vw as "his own website al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya al-'Alamiyya, ("The International Islamic Resistance") hosting his works and statements". (Source: http://www.jamestown.org/news_details.php?news_id=171)
Jarret M. Brachman, Director of Research at the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, in an article published in the Summer 2006 edition of the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs noted:
Senior jihadi strategist Abu Musab al-Suri dedicated his most recent book, Da`wah lil-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-`Alamiyyah (A Call to Global Islamic Resistance), to catalyzing a global Islamic revolution via new media technologies, particularly through the Internet and satellite television. He published the book online in 2004 at the culmination of his career directing and thinking about jihad. The book can be accessed online at www.fsboa.com/vw/index.php?subject=7&rec=27&tit=tit&pa=0
In fact, some analysts point to Al Suri's writings as the basis for the recent upsurge in terrorist bombings targeting tourists in the Sinai Peninsula. Reuven Paz of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies wrote:
On September 25, 2005, a known Al-Qaeda supporter, nicknamed Abu Muhammad al-Hilali, published a unique analysis on the Internet, combining it with instructions for Jihadi terrorist activity in Egypt, mainly the Sinai Peninsula The analysis is based upon the two series of terrorist attacks at the Taba Hilton hotel and two resorts in Sinai in October 2004, and the attack at the Red Sea resort Sharm al-Sheikh in July 2005. The message has gained particular significance in light of the Israeli warnings of possible terrorist attacks against Israeli tourists in Sinai in recent days. The Sinai is a popular destination season for thousands of Israeli visitors, especially during the Jewish holiday season.
Al-Hilali's analysis is very detailed, yet brief. Yet, its uniqueness lies in the fact that it seems to be the first analysis of this kind to be based upon the 1601-pages long book on Jihad by Abu Mus'ab al-Suri4 , published through the Internet in January 2005.
Paz references the FSBOA.COM website as the source of the Al Suri book. (Source: http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/eng_n/pdf/new_front.pdf)
A quick check of the website shows that the book remains available for downloading today.
It's not surprising to most of us to find this information on the internet.
What is more surprising though, is that jihadi propaganda encouraging the wholesale murder of tourists is being hosted on a website belonging to an American business, and has remained on that site for nearly a year. It's equally surprising that it has been almost completely unnoticed that the site is part of an innocuous looking real estate classifieds website.
If you remove the subdirectory name from the URL, you'll find yourself at the website of FSBOA.com, which offers to help "buyers and sellers meet their real estate goals".
But what a difference a simple directory name makes! If you visit www.fsboa.com/vw/ you end up with an Arabic language website promoting jihadi propaganda, as shown below.
The real estate section of the FSBOA.com website appears to gather little attention, and shows no signs of recent modification. However, the Arabic language portion was updated with new jihadi propaganda on April 26, 2006, as the following screen shot verifies:
What do we know about the FSBOA.com website?
Whois records show that the site is registered as follows:
AMERICAN CAPITAL FUNDING
34208 AURORA RD. #237
SOLON, OH 44139
Domain Name: FSBOA.COM
Administrative Contact :
34208 AURORA RD # 237
SOLON, OH 44139-3803
Phone: (440) 519-1318
Fax: (440) 519-1913
Jeffrey Epstein, of America's Truth Forum, contacted Isham by telephone. Isham told Epstein that he was a silent partner in the FSBOA website, and that the site was basically no longer operating.
About the authors
Jeffrey Epstein is the CEO of America's Truth Forum. To learn more about how to secure the United States from terrorism, please attend the upcoming America's Truth Forum symposium, 'Understanding the Threat or Radical Islamist Terrorism,' taking place in Las Vegas this November 10th and 11th. Go to www.americastruthforum.com for more details.
Laura Mansfield is an author and counter terrorism consultant. Her most recent book is "His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri'. Laura's website is at http://www.lauramansfield.com/