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Andrew Aaron Weisburd of Internet Haganah: Cyber Terrorist

Why is the FBI protecting an online terrorist?

Andrew Aaron Weisburd of Internet Haganah: Cyber Terrorist

A Critique of the Claims in the Article "Watchdogs Seek Out The Web's Bad Side"

Statement in Article Translation
A. Aaron Weisburd slogged up to his attic at 5 a.m. to begin another day combing through tips he had received about possible pro-terrorist activity on the Internet.

It did not take long for one e-mail to catch his attention: was offering instructions on how to steal people's personal information off their computers. It was a new development for an Islamic discussion site accustomed to announcing "martyrdom operations," or suicide bombings, against U.S. troops and others in Iraq.

A. Aaron Weisburd, who works from his home in Carbondale, Ill., has established a Web site dedicated to fighting back against offensive and dangerous sites. Weisburd's online site has more than 30,000 unique visitors each month.

Weisburd quickly listed the discovery in his daily log of offensive and dangerous sites, alerting his supporters. A few days later, Ekhlaas experienced an unusual surge in activity, the hallmark of a hacker attack, forcing the company hosting the site to take it down.
Having no life of is own, A. Aaron Weisburd got up at 5 a.m. to begin another day of harassing people online.  Though, in the example, he claims to have been investigating an Islamic discussion site, his long history under the project KOBE proves that his motivation has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with an irrational hatred for Muslims.  When he states that the website was announcing "martyrdom operations", you can be sure that what he read was nothing more than discussion of the news about such activities.

Weisburd's KOBE operation openly discusses and publishes information about how to hack anarchist websites.  His group hacks anarchist websites and steal personal information from his target's personal computers.  Therefore, his concern about someone publishing some comment about stealing people's personal information on the Islamic forum is utterly fake and hypocritical.  Moreover, since Weisburd's operation has a history of publishing such comments under the names of his targets, his own organization probably posted the offensive material in order to provide "justification" for an attack.

Weisburd, then, sent his group of mentally deranged cyber criminals after the website to commit various crimes such as denial of service attacks and harassment of the website's host.

If the site was, in fact, a threat to national security, Weisburd prevented the FBI from monitoring the website and gathering valuable information concerning terrorist attacks.  Without the website there, the FBI could not monitor it.  As a consequence, assuming Weisburd's claims that the website was a terrorist website, Weisburd increased the probability of a successful terrorist attack against Americans by denying the FBI the opportunity to monitor communications on the website.  Anyway you look at it, Weisburd is a criminal, harasser and assistant to terrorism.

It was another small victory for Weisburd, one of a new breed of Internet activists. Part vigilantes, part informants, part nosy neighbors, they search the Web for sites that they say deal in theft, fraud and violence. Let's make it clear exactly what kind of activities Weisburd and associates are engaged in.  Also, let's make it clear there is nothing new, from a political standpoint about their behavior.

(1) Weisburd's operation does not merely "inform."  Weisburd's operation publishes forged article and posts in the name of his targets to frame them.  They file false reports with government agencies to provoke investigations (a crime).  They libel and slander their targets.

(2) They are not "nosy neighbors."  They are online stalkers who illegally hack into the personal computers of their victims and steal personal information.  They use this information to harass their victims.  These activities are criminal.

(3) Weisburd's operation deals in theft, fraud and violence.  They have provoked violence against some of their targets through false allegations.

(4) There s nothing new in this behavior.  The only new twist is that most of it takes place online.  Past examples of this same behavior in other venues include Hitler's brownshirts, goon squads in Latin America, and rightwing vigilante harassment of leftists throughout US history.

(5) Weisburd's operation is racist.  He targets Arabs and Muslims and does not target Israelis, even when engaged in similar activities.

Weisburd said he and his supporters are responsible for dismantling at least 650 and as many as 1,000 sites he regards as threatening, especially Islamic radical sites.

"I'm sort of like a freelance investigator," Weisburd said.

Weisburd has not merely "dismantled" websites.  He has harassed individuals engaged in perfectly legal online dissident, threatened their family members, harassed their employers, and harassed their web hosts.  He regularly uses lies, disinformation and threats to accomplish these goals.  Weisburd decides what is "threatening."  He has decided that effective criticism of George Bush, for example, is threatening.  He has decided that display of upside down US flags on websites is threatening.  He considers all effective dissent threatening.
Like the foes they pursue, online crusaders like Weisburd are adept at using the Internet's unique characteristics -- its anonymity, speed and ability to reach across nation-state boundaries. Some work alone and in secret; others like Weisburd have managed to put together well-organized operations that run almost like companies. Their causes can vary widely, be it stopping spam or holding large corporations accountable for poor products or service. There are groups that investigate murders and those that fight terrorism and other crimes. Many of Weisburd's "foes" are innocent Americans exercising their right to free speech.  Making any kind of equivalence between these innocent Americans and Weisburd is absurd.  In fact, Weisburd is the biggest menace to the Internet.
The activists often operate at the boundaries of what is legal and illegal. For his part, Weisburd insists that he uses only legal means to go after his targets. A posting on his site explains that in fighting crime he does not think it proper to commit one, but he admits he cannot always control the actions of those who help him. Weisburd knows that those who help him are violating the law, yet he continues to solicit there help.  Therefore, he does condone illegal activities and recruit others to engage in illegal activities.  His argument is no stronger than the arguments of members of White Aryan Resistance who claimed that their calls for action, which resulted in the murder of a Jewish radio host, were not their own fault for they did not explicitly ask for the murder.  A jury found that their actions encouraged illegal activities and the founder of White Aryan Resistance was successfully prosecuted.  What Weisburd is doing is encouraging others to engage in hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and Anarchists.
Government agencies and others are not sure what to make of him. Some law enforcement officials praise his efforts. Kenneth Nix, a police detective from Missouri who is on the Internet Crimes Task Force, said Weisburd often provides information that "we didn't have before." Weisburd and his volunteers obtain their information illegally by:

(1) Hacking into the personal computers of their targets.

(2) Getting "volunteers" inside of web service providers and telecom companies to illegally provide the information.

These activities are criminal.  Weisburd provides this information to police who use it harass innocent Americans engaged in First Amendment free speech.  The police are actively and knowingly protecting an individual who engages in criminal activities on their behalf.

But others say that he is making more trouble than he is doing good. Some U.S. officials think that they can learn more about terrorist operations by monitoring suspicious sites as they operate. Weisburd said an analyst from a federal agency recently wrote him a scathing letter calling him a "grave threat to national security" because his work was interfering with its investigations.

Marshall Stone, a spokesman for the FBI, said that while the agency encourages citizens to report alleged wrongdoing, it believes any attempt to stop criminals should be left to the government.

Weisburd is a grave threat to national security.  He shuts down online communications exchange points that the Federal Government monitors to find possible information on terrorist threats, thereby making it more difficult for federal authorities to do their work.  Weisburd reports innocent Americans engaged in legal dissent to federal authories provoking wasteful investigations which take resources away from the fight against terrorism.
Without due process, evidence could be tainted and become unusable in court cases or, worse, targets could be condemned as guilty when they are really innocent, said Paul Kurtz, executive director of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a coalition of tech company chief executives. "When we all become 'law enforcement officers' justice becomes very blurry," he said. Police cooperation with Weisburd has already resulted in police involvement with online racial hate crimes against the family members of a dissident in Massachusetts (specifically, the Dedham Police Department).  Not only does his compromise the police, he recruits them to commit civil rights crimes.

Websites associated with Weisburd:

Things You Can Do To Stop Andrew Aaron Weisburd
  • Report him to the FBI:  Visit his local FBI field office online by clicking this link or telephone them at (816) 512-8200.  Ask to speak with Special Agent Marshall Stone and ask them why they have not investigated Weisburd for online terrorism.  Point out that their failure to prosecute Weisburd is an example of the FBI's current practice of not providing equal protection under the law, a violation of the US Constitution.  Ask them if Weisburd has been involved in harassing American anarchist websites.  Request information on how to file a formal complaint against Weisburd and follow through with the information.
  • Report him to Homeland Security as a threat to national security and to the Internet.
  • Report him to the Secret Service as a cyber threat to Americans.
  • Ask the Carbondale, Illinois Police Department to investigate his online crimes (hacking, unauthorized network intrusion, emailing viruses, etc).
  • Contact Ariana Eunjung Cha author of the article Watchdogs Seek Out The Web's Bad Side and ask her to investigate these allegations.
  • Ask the IRS to investigate whether or not he is correctly reporting his PayPal income.  It is difficult to believe that his operation is wholly funded by investigations and their are rumors that a foreign government is financing his operation (the donation mechanism is a cover).

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Re: Andrew Aaron Weisburd of Internet Haganah: Cyber Terrorist

Great critique of this article! It's good to see that someone is doing their homework and keeping up on the crap that some of the "cyber terrorists" are putting out.

This guy and the kind of operations he runs should not be underestimated. They ~ruin~ lives and drive some people over the edge.

Since we now cannot even trust the Washington Post most of the time, this article underlines to me the importance of (real) Indymedia.

Thank you for your insight.


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