The Internet has long been a critical domain of terrorist and extremist groups around the world. Perhaps the most notorious cyber terrorist was an individual know as "Irhabi 007." He was later identified as Younes Tsouli is a 23-year-old son of a Moroccan diplomat.
For nearly two years, Younes Tsouli was sought by global intelligence sources. The online terrorist communities Tsouli created trained terrorists who congregated in those cyber communities. The training included hacking, programming, executing online attacks and mastering digital and media design. He suddenly went underground in September 2007 after Scotland Yard arrested a 23-year-old West Londoner believed to be tied to Younis Tsouli.
Scotland Yard believed that Tsouli participated in an alleged bomb plot they were investigating. British counter-terror agents and investigators stormed Tsouli's top floor flat and discovered stolen credit card information which is believed to have funded much of his activities. They also found that the cards were used to pay American Internet providers on whose servers he had posted jihadi propaganda.
In addition, Tsouli Irhabi used countless other web sites as free hosts for material that the jihadists needed to upload and share. The true extent of his material distribution network is still not known. He is credited with the large scale distribution of a film produced by Zarqawi called "All Is for Allah's Religion."
His arrest struck a significant blow to al Qaedas cyber terrorism weaponry.
With cyber weaponry only requiring widely available knowledge and skills and the only equipment required a computer that can be purchased anywhere, cyber weapons proliferation cannot be controlled. These facts coupled with the recent cyber attacks on utilities that blackout cities and regions show this is a serious threat.Spy-Ops profile on Irhabi 007:
-- Kevin Coleman
Younes Tsouli is a 23-year-old male and studied computers at a London college. Tsouli is a computer nerd from Shepherd's Bush, West London. He is the son of a Moroccan diplomat and arrived in London in 2001. He was recruited by al Qaeda in 2002 when he began his cyber campaign of propaganda and terrorist training. is online legend (cover name) was "Irhabi 007" derived from combining the James Bond reference with the Arabic word for terrorist. He published a manual on computer hacking on one of the many al Qaeda's web sites. He joined the closed message forum known as Muntada al-Ansar al-Islami that provided military instructions, propaganda and recruitment.
He became the web master for al-Ansat, a forum used by 4,500 extremists to communicate. He rose to become the top cyber jihadi expert and directed all Internet-related activities. He also posted a 20 page website hacking manual called "Seminar on Hacking Websites," on the Ekhlas forum.
Tsouli used stolen credit card information on 37,000 cards to pay American Internet providers on whose servers he had posted jihadi propaganda. He was apprehended as he was in the process of building and deploying a new website called YouBombIt.
Captured in his London top floor flat was a PowerPoint-style presentation on how to build a car bomb. His capture led to the arrest of several Islamic terrorists around the world, including 17 men in Canada and two in the US.
His hacking skills are categorized as moderate to advanced compared to todays standards. In December of 2007 his sentence was increased from 10 years to sixteen years in prison.