A man who says he is a “grandpa,” claims to be the hacker taking down jihadist websites and forums. Is he real? Don’t know, but someone sent al-Qaeda and their sympathizing forums and message boards into an empty cyber darkness.
“Just another infidel defending cyberspace for God and country,” (Twitter Bio)
Calling himself a patriot acting on behalf of U.S. troops serving overseas, The Raptor claims to be behind last month’s attack on Al Qaeda’s main online forum, Shamukh Islamic Network, and a handful of other sites and forums, including Ansar al-Mujahideen, where jihadists gather online to issue threats and exhort one another to acts of terror. The sites went down on March 22, and most remained dark for nearly two weeks. As the websites stayed offline, The Raptor taunted his targets on Twitter, daring them to “bring it.”
The Raptor’s Twitter handle: @Th3Raptor:
“Bow. Wave. Exit Stage Right. Curtains. Applause,” he tweeted after Shamukh, the main site used to blast out Al Qaeda content, was taken out of commission, only to return days later with a message blaming the outage on “Enemies of Allah.”
In the online world, where posters and hackers alike take on false personas and play a virtual game of cat and mouse, it is difficult to know if The Raptor is who he says he is, someone simply claiming credit, or if the hack attacks are part of some larger, government-related operation.
“Who is taking it down is an interesting question, but does it matter?” asked Jeff Bardin, cyberterror expert and former Air Force Arabic linguist who is now a principal at the private intelligence firm Treadstone 71.
If experts can’t be sure who is taking the jihadist sites down, it is unlikely the extremists who run them and post on them can, either. But it is all but certain they’ve been stung by the taunts of someone calling himself The Raptor, or as his Twitter handle is spelled, “the3raptor.”
Government officials say they played no role in the cyber attacks.
1) Shamukh – 26+ 2) Ansar al-Mujahideen – 5+ You got that Ayman? Every time you open your mouth, bad things happen to your forums. Bring it
You go Gramps!