Al Qaeda Sites Go Dark

Al Qaeda has been offline for 11 straight days—the longest period of time its forums have remained dark since the sites went online eight years ago. The group’s main website, Shumukh al-Islam, went offline on March 22, and four others have since gone dark in an apparent cyberattack. The administrator of one al Qaeda site recently posted a message on an online forum saying “the media arena is witnessing a vicious attack by the cross and its helpers on the jihadi media castles.” But some experts aren’t entirely convinced that hackers are behind the blackouts, since several of al Qaeda’s most prominent sites remain online. The last time the group’s sites went dark was in the summer of 2010, when British officials intervened in the launch of a violence-promoting online magazine produced by al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate.