The Islamists’ War on the Internet

Danish Muslim Cartoons - Click to enlarge Michelle Malkin discloses that she was subject to a denial of service attack last week over her publication of the Danish Mohammad cartoons. I was aware of this because we use the same technical advisor and there was initially concern that problems that kept OTB down for most of a Saturday were related (they weren’t). This is apparently an ongoing concern:

Last night, my hosting service notified me that it is receiving ongoing threats from individuals vowing to take down this site–and others along with it–which will presumably continue until I take down the cartoons. For now, we are on guard and continuing with business as usual.

She also compiles similar reports from Security News, the International Relations and Security Network, and the Counterterrorism Blog.

Andrew Cochran sees something more sinister than an angry crank afoot:

This escalation in the cyberwar is an intentional attack to deny our Constitutional right to free speech and expression, and it warrants a response by the entire tech and internet community and the federal government. Moreover, such a blatant attempt to take down a highly visible and influential voice in the fight against terrorism could not have been undertaken by amateurs. I wonder if a terrorist group with internet expertise has started to target her and other allies.

A possibility, I suppose. My technical knowledge is exceedingly limited. My guess is the ability to launch a denial of service attack is well within the grasp of a reasonably competent amateur hacker, though.

Regardless, he’s absolutely right to dub this “cyberwar” and to call for a strong response by the government and tech community to protect free speech.


See the twelve cartoons that sparked the protests in full size at my Danish Muslim Cartoons page.

Related stories below the fold.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Terrorism, US Constitution, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jack Ehrlich says:

    I wonder if the islamic world recognizes the fact that we, meaning the free people of the world, have the means to eradicate islam from the earth. Our belief in religious tolerance can only be pushed so far. After all, we can drill through glass to get oil.

  2. Christopher says:

    LOL! Good one, Jack.

    Of course not all Muslims are bad. But it would be nice if the “good” ones would speak up not just a little more, but a lot more!!!

  3. Herb says:

    This makes one wonder why the terrorists are picking on the Bloggers and not the Main Stream Media.

    Could it be that the MSM is considered “Friendly” to the terrorists movement and they know the MSM will not print anything negative about the terrorists and their followers.

  4. Mook says:

    This whole act reminds me of a child who needs attention and the only way to get it was to act out. The difference is children do not seek to kill the weak and innocent of the world to get the point across that they want to be noticed.
    So what is the answer? The same answer that any good Parent would give. Punishment swift and strong. You punish a child to get their attention. Punishment is something a child can understand. If I do something out of line I will get punished. I donÂ’t like punishment so I will behave.

    So, these radical need to be punished in a manor that they will understand. And it needs to come from those who would be akin to their parents ie the Muslim Leaders. That is also an issue as there seems to be very little organization in the Muslim world. Anyone can seemingly be a leader. You just have to have a beard and you are in. (sorry for the stereo type)

    However, if no Muslim leaders will step forward it will fall on our shoulders as usual to be the big brother of the world. As Hilary would say “it takes a village” so our leaders need to step up and make the punishments are meted out in the correct proportion. I think the American people are a fed up with talking. I want to see some punishment handed out that is warranted based on the kidnappings, beheading, murderbomings, and all other cowardly acts perpetrated in the name of a God I do not believe really endorses the actions.

  5. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Christopher, If the good Muslims speak up, they will be slain just any of us would be. Look at what they do, look at how many places, these dudes are strait off evil and they don’t even care that we all know.

  6. Mook says:

    GA That is true. However in our own nations history. Our founders were wanted for treason and to be put to death for wanting freedom from tyrants. If we fear doing what is right to save innocents or to stand up to evil. We will all have to face our maker and answer for our LACK of action.
    If the Muslim religion is so peace loving. They have a strange way of showing it. I agree that not ALL Muslims are radicals. So where is the majority standing up for the Peace that Mohamed would so desire?
    I understand fear.So did Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Churchill, Revere. All of these and many more ordinary people accepted the fear took courage and changed the world for the better.
    Let us all take courage and stand together against these evil doers. You cannot negotiate with evil or those who do will not turn from evil ways, evil must be eradicated as it/they can NEVER be trusted. Only a fool would trust a Rattle snake not to bite him. One more dead fool.