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Alneda.com is back ... again!

By Jeremy Reynalds
web posted July 22, 2002

An Arabic web site recently known as alneda.com and believed by U.S.officials to have been used by al-Qaida to deliver messages possibly connected with further attacks, has resurfaced yet again, this time with the address: http://66.132.29.71/. It appears the site is hosted on servers owned by Trident Networks of Dayton, Ohio.

After the original alneda.com site was pulled when the United States government requested its removal, the site reappeared under the name drasat.com, which was located on servers owned by www.liquidweb.com out of Lansing, Mich. Liquidweb.com pulled the drasat.com site soon after its existence was brought to the company's attention.

Cyberterrorism expert Ben Venzke told USA Today recently that the original alneda.com site was "one of the only sites, if not the only site, for statements by al-Qaida and the Taliban." However, drasat.com and http://66.132.29.171, of which this new site appears to be a non-updated duplicate, appear to be mainly reprinting anti-American statements from other sources.

Alneda.comFor example, just like www.drasat.com, this site contains a variety of anti-American quasi news and commentaries, including approval of the fires that have recently ravaged many parts of America. There is also a prayer that appears to read in part, "Oh god burn on them their houses and (set) their graves (on) fire ." The article continues by saying that there are fires in 19 American states and 1.84 million acres have been burned. Evacuation of cities is possible."

Note that because this site is in Arabic, this column makes use of a poor but nonetheless still relatively helpful automated Arabic-English translation tool available on line at http://tarjim.ajeeb.com/ajeeb/default.asp?

The question could be asked, "What's the big deal?" if the site contains old material. Well, here's a guess at what I think could be happening. I was alerted last night about the reappearance of this site under its new address by an e- mail from a mailing list I signed up for with jehad.net, another terrorist site. (That's also the site which showcases one of my articles on line as an example of anti-Jehad writing at http://www.jehad.net/images/anti-jehad_2.gif). The individuals at jehad.net evidently thought the reappearance of the site was important enough to mail everyone on their list. I can't imagine why they would do that if they didn't have plans to update the site quite quickly and start using it again as an important tool to pass messages to their operatives and other interested parties.

The e-mail I received from jehad.net came from an address traced to Virtual Development Inc, an internet service provider based in Clifton New Jersey.

The million dollar question that I'd like to see quickly answered is this. Why isn't the FBI onto the re- appearance of this site? It amazed me that by the grace of God I was one of the first (if not the first) to discover the existence of drasat.com, and I'm willing to bet that I am probably among the first "anti-jehad" to find out about this one as well. Somebody needs to offer some explanations–and darn quick too.

However, on a more positive note. The azzam.com web site, hosted by burst.net out of Scranton, Pa., which I told you about recently, is down – pulled off line for a violation of terms of service. A reader sent a copy of my story talking about the azzam.com site (described by one commentator as "the web site of the main ideological direction of the global Jihad,") and and burst.net's initial unwillingness to take it down, to a Pennsylvania newspaper. A reporter started snooping around and asking a few questions and the site was pulled by the end of the day.

However, I thought you would be interested in seeing the company's response to an e- mail I sent them congratulating them for "seeing the light," and removing the site. This response was from Jason R. Brozena, vice-president of Marketing and Public Relations at BurstNet, (jason@burst.net) and I'm reprinting the note exactly as Brozena sent it.

"Mr. Reynalds, I dont appreciate, nor do I care what pleases you or not. The fact that you just cant seem to understand that there are bigger things in this world then a peon freelance writer who suddenly thinks there on to something, and goes out of there way to think they have made headway, and actually gotten something done is a joke. Please, pat yourself on the back. Monitor our activities all you want in the future, your pen, your words and your constant pointed and negative emails do not in any way sway decisions that are made, here or anywhere else.

Furthermore, the fact that you -actually think- you were instrumental in the site in question being taken down is laughable, to say the least. As I stated before, you obvioulsy can't take a hint, and I am sure the people who are responsible for taking it down...will be in touch with you very soon.

... Grow up, get a real job (as we all know freelance really means unemployed) and report on real news. I have had enough of the spam emails from you, and whoever else you have so kindly sent my email address to. If it continues, I will see that you are dealt with by the proper authorities. I'm sorry, but I have had enough. Good day, Mr. Reynalds."

The question begs to be answered. If I (along with some readers and the Pennsylvania reporter) weren't instrumental in the site being removed, was it absolute coincidence that the site was removed the day some local people started asking questions about burst.net's hosting of the site?

And I'm looking forward to meeting the people who WERE responsible for taking it down, Mr. Brozena. I'll be asking them some real hard questions about just what's going on with burst.net, azzam.com, and terrorist sites in general. (Oh, the way that comment was phrased, it sounded like a threat. Surely not!).

Jeremy Reynalds is a freelance writer and the founder and director of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter. He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico and is pursuing his PhD in intercultural education at Biola University in Los Angeles. He is married with five children and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work can be viewed here and weekly at www.americasvoices.org. He may be contacted by e-mail at reynalds@joyjunction.org.

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