The Terror Finance Blog has some intriguing information on the spread of Hamas propaganda on the North American continent:
… while the U.S. government attempts to stop U.S. funds from benefiting Hamas, American companies continue to facilitate Hamas fundraising and incitement by selling them Internet and television services. They thereby enable Hamas — designated a terrorist organization by the United States in 1995 — to spread its virulent anti-American propaganda, and to recruit, communicate and raise money.
T.F. names names in this post:
Hamas purchased more than 61 percent of its Internet services for 18 Web sites from U.S. and Canadian providers.
According to the Patriot Act, everyone affiliated with or supporting them are also deemed terrorists. Thus, North American corporations that sell server space and IP services to Hamas aid and abet a terrorist network. [all italics are my emphases] The Lebanon-based “Palestine-info” operation, run by Nizar Hussein, takes marching orders directly from Hamas chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus. Its 20 or so Web sites include news, media, “security force,” civilian and chat-forum outlets in eight languages targeting Middle East and Western Muslims alike, as well as the international community.
Besides English and Arabic, Palestine-info also transmits in Farsi, Urdu, Russian (for Chechens), French (for North Africans), Malaysian and Turkish. Their domains include: Palestine-info, Palestine-info-urdu.com, palestine-persian.info and palestine-info.net.Hamas also operates other Internet and television sites, including: paltime.net; palestiniangallery.com; alresalah.info; fm-m.com; felesteen.ps; al-fateh.net; mujamaa .org; islamic-block.net; alkotla.com; palestinianforum.com; aqsatv.ps and tanfithya.com.
The U.S. network-access and domain-name register companies selling services to these Hamas Web sites include: Domainbank.com; register.com; Network Solutions LLC; OnlineNIC, Inc.; GoDaddy.com; eNom, Inc.; Defender Technologies Group; and Oversee.net.
Canadian firms selling service to Hamas include: Groupe iWeb Technologies. Inc., Tucows, Inc and NIC.ps.
Evidently, this is not news. Back in May, Senator Joseph Lieberman complained:
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[It is an] “irony of the digital age that that Internet — invented by the Department of Defense as a way to ensure undisrupted communications in the event of an enemy attack — is now being used to recruit and train the terrorists who plot such lethal attacks against Americans and other Western targets.”
While it may be an irony, as Senator Lieberman says, it does not differ in kind from the many other ways that terrorists have appropriated Western technology to further their aims.
The problem lies in our passive behavior in the face of these threats, and Terror Finance suggests some solutions:
While the United States blocks business and charitable assets of those linked to Hamas, and other Islamic terror organizations, it should enforce existing laws to stop American companies from doing business with terrorists. Designating more terrorist groups to the list — such as the Iranian Revolutionary Guards — would not be as effective as it could be if, like Hamas, they can continue to spread their propaganda and raise money through U.S. and Canadian Internet providers.
Congress could also further enhance the “Know Your Customer” requirements, as in the banking industry, for all Internet service providers, specifically for network-access and domain-name register companies. This idea was proposed previously but Congress has failed to act.
Particularly for our American readers, please bookmark the Terror Finance blog. It’s not comfortable reading, but it is certainly informative. The list of contributors is notable.