UN says Somali fighter achieve better results in cyberspace

Armed opposition groups in Somalia are using the Internet for fundraising and recruitment, a United Nations report said.

UN says Somali fighter achieve better results in cyberspace

Armed opposition groups in Somalia are using the Internet for fundraising and recruitment, and they achieve better results through the Web than they do on the ground, a United Nations report said.

The report by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia also highlighted how the fighters use the Internet to spread information about making bombs and religious rulings.

It cited a three-day, live fundraiser in May last year and another online forum in March 2009 attended by senior members of al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, the two main armed groups fighting the Western-backed government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.

"Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam have regularly conducted joint forums, achieving a greater degree of cooperation in cyberspace than they do on the ground," the report said.

Al Shabaab launched a two-week online fundraiser for its fighters in August 2009, which drew senior regional fighter leaders and hundreds of participants in the Somali diaspora, the report said.

Forum participants made pledges totalling more than $40,000 during the event at which the leaders told of the hardships facing fighters and their families.

"The Internet continues to play an important role in propaganda, recruiting and fund-raising by Somali armed groups," the monitoring group said.

The most active al Shabaab online outlet is www.alqimmah.net, established in September 2007 and registered in Sweden.

Last August it posted a 47-page what they say religious ruling, or fatwa, against the Djibouti peace process, which is aimed at putting together an inclusive Somali government.

Alqimmah.net has also posted a link to a book entitled "The Science of Explosions and Explosives".

"The intention of the posting was apparently to make available to Shabaab supporters and sympathizers knowledge pertinent to bomb-making," the report said.

Al Shabaab is also using Internet forums to highlight its cooperation with foreign fighters who have joined its cause.

Other sites used to disseminate materials by al Shabaab cited in the report include somalimemo.com and ansarnet.info, while Hizbul Islam has links with jabiso.net, somalimirror.com and cadaalada.com and halgan.net.

Despite its internal turmoil Somalia boasts some of the fastest Internet connections in Africa.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mart 2010, 18:08
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