I have had a few posts on “PSY Acts”, those things you do rather than say. Recently the Al Qaeda digital magazine Inspire suffered a bit of a cyber casualty. See “US Disrupts Al Qaeda magazine at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/officials-describe-how-us-disrupts-al-qaedas-online-magazine/2013/06/11/6a9196c6-ca07-11e2-9245-773c0123c027_story.html?wpisrc=al_excl.
According to the article, the US ‘covertly’ sabotaged the magazine and within a half hour the problem was corrected and the site was back up. Inspire has been cited as a primary motivator behind the Boston attacks - see picture.
While I’m not a Counter Terrorism expert, I believe that there are a large number of disaffected individuals and small groups who intend to do us harm. I also believe that a significant number of these enemies have no natural command and control chain and seek to fly under the radar until they feel that the time has come from them to execute. They need inspiration, financing, references and support. The magazine appears to be something they need and attacking a Center of Gravity is a proven military strategy.
One should never under estimate one’s enemy. The magazine surely knows it is on the US (and other countries’) ‘radar’. They also know that the US and our allies have cyber capabilities. Their half hour reaction time is likely to be better than many business entities although electronic media is among the up and coming buyers of information security products and services such as Managed Security Services.
Perhaps we can analyze this attack on Inspire with a boxing analogy. This attack was one of many left jabs that are being thrown at the opponent. While I don’t believe there will likely be a single knock out punch, we need to demonstrate more persistence and long range thinking in our PSYOP/MISO targeting to keep our enemies off guard.
May I quote one of my favorite philosophers: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!"