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Codename 'Reynard' - Hunt Terrorists In Virtual Worlds

The codename 'Reynard' denotes a U.S. government project to find terrorists who are accessing virtual worlds via the Internet. Details were found in a report to the US Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

The report described Reynard as "a seedling effort to study the emerging phenomenon of social (particularly terrorist) dynamics in virtual worlds and large-scale online games and their implications for the intelligence community."

According to experts, most use of the Internet by terrorist groups is limited to password-protected forums, email, virtual message boards and Youtube. However, some efforts to use virtual reality realms like Second Life have surfaced.

Also, it appears that terrorists are even using cartoon websites to lure kids into a terror lifestyle. Hamas maintains a site called Al-Fateh, or "the conqueror," which combines songs and stories with colorful cartoon drawings that promote suicide terrorism.


(Hamas Al Fateh website)

Al Qaeda is believed to operate about 5,600 websites and hundreds more appear each year.

Terrorist organizations are also distributing free online games for radicalization and training.

One such game is the "Quest for Bush," aka "Night of Bush Capturing," a free online game released by the Global Islamic Media Front, a media outlet of Al Qaeda. Armed with a rifle, a shotgun or a grenade launcher, players navigate missions that include "Jihad Growing Up," "Americans' Hell" and "Bush Hunted Like a Rat." In the final stage, the player’s task is to kill President Bush.

The earliest depictions of the Internet in science fiction books and stories like Vernor Vinge's True Names and John Brunner's Shockwave Rider describe conflicts between individuals and groups and various technological means of advancing one's aims and frustrating your enemy's.

Read more at Yale and BBC via The Raw Feed.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/6/2008)

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