A World Wide Web of terrorist plotting

The Internet has become a virtual operations center replacing the Al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

By SEBASTIAN ROTELLA
Los Angeles Times

April 16, 2007 – The Scrooge Report Post

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA — They never met face to face, but the two young zealots became brother warriors in the new land of jihad: the Internet.

Investigators say their bond made them central figures in a terrorism network that spanned eight countries, involved more than 30 suspects and hatched plots in Washington, Toronto, London and Sarajevo.

Maximus was the online moniker of Mirsad Bektasevic, a lanky Bosnian refugee with a dark stare and a hunger for action. At 18, he returned from Sweden to this war-scarred city, where he assembled an arsenal for a suicide attack and filmed a “martyrdom” video.

Irhabi007 was Younis Tsouli, a Moroccan living in London with his diplomat father, investigators say. Hunched day and night over his computer, the diminutive 22-year-old allegedly served as a pioneering cyber-operative for Al Qaeda, oversaw Bektasevic’s mission and was at the hub of other plots.

Their case shows that the Internet has become a virtual training camp and operations center replacing the Al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Bosnia that produced a legion of fighters, formed them into cells and launched them at targets.

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