Islamist and jihadist organizations make extensive use of the Internet for purposes of recruitment, collaboration, and mutual encouragement in their quest to establish worldwide Muslim supremacy. Many of the websites used for these ends are based in non-Muslim, Western nations including, most prominently, the United States. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) explains:
“Some of the Arab countries in which Islamic extremists are most active employ highly restrictive supervision measures against individuals and groups involved in online terrorist activity. As a result, Islamist organizations and their supporters prefer to use Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the West -- and especially in the U.S., which is a key provider of Internet services -- and thus exploit Western freedom of speech to spread their message. In many cases, Western countries even host websites of organizations that have been officially designated by these very countries as illegal terrorist organizations. It must be stressed, though, that the ISPs themselves are frequently unaware of providing services to extremist elements.”
MEMRI further reports that “Islamist sites tend to be transitory and impermanent -- new sites appear and others close down or are shut down on a daily basis. Sites also frequently change their URLs.”
This section of DiscoverTheNetworks examines how jihadists exploit the Internet for their nefarious ends. It also contains a directory of Islamist and jihadist websites. The directory is divided into four categories: (a) websites based in the United States; (b) websites based in nations other than the U.S.; (c) websites whose operations are based partially in the U.S. and partially abroad; and (d) websites whose home base is unknown.