On June 25, a posting appeared on the jihadi internet forum al-Qal’a [www.qal3ati.net] calling for resources and assistance in the propaganda efforts. Their list of required information gives insight unto how they intend to proceed in the information war. The text of the original posting is as follows:
“Your brothers in the Katibat al-Jihad al-I’lami (Information Jihad Brigade) have need of information on the Crusader losses in their war against Islam, so as to use this to attack Crusader forums and confront them with these truths. A large number of pictures and films have already been collected, and the numbers continue to rise, …it would be nice to [amass such materials] from their celebrated journals:
· the costs of the war to date
· the number of killed
· the number of wounded
· the number of deserters from military service
· the number of troop transport vehicles destroyed
· the number of armoured vehicles destroyed
· the number of helicopters brought down
· the number of fighter aircraft brought down
· the number of remote-controlled aircraft brought down
· the number of mercenaries killed to date
· the average daily tally of Iraqi resistance operations”
The Internet forums, as with the example above, serve a direct strategic function for militant Islamists engaged in Iraq beyond simply providing a means of communication. It further illustrates the importance of the jihadi forums as an active vehicle of the new warfare, enlisting the participation of a diaspora of mujahideen and tacit supporters across the globe in a collective effort to translate, design and distribute the material, is well illustrated. (For more information, see “A Guide to Jihad on the Web” in Focus Volume II, Issue 7).
The brigade announced last March that they had “sent to the soldiers, their dependents and families frightening, terrifying letters to shake them to the core” in several languages and to innumerable forums and web groups, particularly in the United States, eliciting a reaction, they claim, beyond their expectations.