U.S. hacks, alters al-Qaida Web sites

May 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM
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TAMPA, Fla., May 24 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. government hacked Web sites run by a Yemen al-Qaida affiliate and replaced ads boasting of killing Americans.

Clinton said State Department specialists had replaced the posts aimed at attracting new al-Qaida recruits with ones emphasizing deaths of Muslim civilians in al-Qaida terror attacks, ABC News reported.

The specialists targeted sites run by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in which ads sought to attract new members by "bragging about killing Americans," Clinton said at a Special Operations Command dinner in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday night.

"Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al-Qaida attacks have taken on the Yemeni people," Clinton said. "We can tell our efforts are starting to have an impact because extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the Internet."

Clinton said the "digital outreach team" specialists, fluent in Urdu, Arabic and Somali languages, are "already patrolling the Web and using social media and other tools to expose al-Qaida's contradictions and abuses, including its continuing brutal attacks on Muslim civilians."

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