A Web site with links to al Qaeda is operating through a server in western Canada, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review magazine’s February edition reports.
The Web site based in Kelowna, British Columbia — about 170 miles east of Vancouver — is called Supporters of Shareeah. It is the only Canadian Web site identified as terrorist-based in the MIT report.
Shareeah is a concept of Islamic rule.
The Web site is linked to radical Islamic fundamentalists with one of its directors — Abu Hamza al-Masri — now in jail in England for, in part, his alleged complicity in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
Rackforce, the company operating the server, told a local newspaper on the weekend it did not know where the people creating the content of the Web site posted through the server live, but said it was not Kelowna.
Spokesman Randall Robinson said he was unaware of the nature of the site and was investigating.
“We take this extremely seriously,” said Robinson. “We do not allow any hate-based sites. If this one needs to be reviewed by law enforcement agencies; we will take that step.”
Robinson could not be reached for comment on Sunday. Local police said the Web site had not been reported to them.
Rackforce’s network hosts some 80,000 Web sites, which are often changing and difficult to police.
The site singles out five people described as instrumental in advancing its causes, including Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, who was killed several years ago in what the site calls a U.S.-supported assassination.
Azzam is described in several Internet articles as, roughly paraphrased, the man who taught Osama bin Laden all he knows.
The International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism labels him “bin Laden’s spiritual mentor.”
Some of the research in the MIT article was provided by the SITE Institute — Search for International Terrorist Entities an organization based in Washington, D.C. — which tracks terrorist activities on the Internet. No one at SITE uses a last name, for fear of retribution from terrorist groups.
“Supporters of Shareeah (SOS) is a fairly radical Web site,” said Mike.
“The site has been bounced around for a while, but it found a home in Kelowna about six months ago. Rackforce is providing space, but they aren’t creating the content,” he said.