This part of Duncan Campbell’s talk is dedicated to the detailed review of known jihadist literature which is intended to facilitate terrorists’ activities.
After 9/11, U.S. legislators made a final attempt to bring in key escrow and to clamp down on Internet cryptography, but the new cryptography control bill collapsed in October 2001 when the U.S. Congress passed the very far-reaching Patriot Act, and Patriot Act did not include curbs on cryptography.Just 6 weeks later, the world got the first insight into how terrorists encrypt or, at least, were taught to encrypt. This was because in December, they were desperate to get the Bill, the Patriot Bill, through the Senate; the U.S. Government published what they chose to call an “al-Qaeda Manual”. And this is it, that’s URL, it’s still live, right here, right now (see image), and it says it was found during a search of an al-Qaeda member’s home. It was found in a computer file described as the “military series” related to the “Declaration of Jihad”. The manual contains 18 lessons in terror techniques. The original of the Manual is on John Young’s “Cryptome” site (see image). It’s originally in Arabic, and at the time it was written Osama bin Laden was helping run a guest-house for fighters attacking the Soviets, they were all supported by the West. The Manual was actually a war souvenir kept by a former fighter who’d been settled in Manchester. And you can tell it dates back 1999, because here, even in the American Government’s translation, it’s still referring in the last line to people in Russia, in the Army having to be in the Communist Party. This is what the actual Manual (see image), you can see it’s a rather unusual sort of computer file. It isn’t a computer file at all in fact, it’s a hardbound paper document. Lesson 13 in this Manual is “Secret Writing and Codes, and Ciphers”. They set up various options for use with the 28-character Arabic alphabet. They are numerical, symbolic, and table encipherment documents, but nothing more complex than that. All of the ciphers in the “Jihad Manual” are actually simple monoalphabetic substitutions.
If you want to have a longer look at those instructions, they are not in the version put on the Department of Justice website; they are, however, in John Young’s “Cryptome” website which I put up earlier, you can go there and see it all translated into English. The full text is also in a special speaker folder for DeepSec participants, it’s been arranged timely by the organisers, that’s the address:
that’s the password: RPGogU4FNX3 .
In the mid-1990s some American Islamists, the Amriki, arrived in the Pakistani jihad scene, they were people who were growing up in the United States, and they spoke English, they also spoke Nerd, and in February 1996 one of them who used the nom de guerre of Abdul Aziz, launched the project to enlarge the Encyclopedia as much as possible and to make it fully electronic for distribution. Here on the right is his checklist, this is the front of it, this is v.2, you can recognize the way the information is structured as being more intrinsically Western than Middle-Eastern, and it does have in 2.1, which is the 4th section down, “Computer Privacy”. You’ll find it’s nothing special, it’s something that any of you might have seen, if you’d been downloading from user lists during the 1990s, it’s just absolutely orthodox Western stuff, hacker stuff that doesn’t actually contain anything about cryptography. They put out “Computer Privacy” in ’96.The next edition of the Encyclopedia came as a set of CD-ROMs (see image). They were sold in the bazaars and souks of South and East Asia from 1998 onwards. And they started out as not much more than scans of that huge paper previous edition. And at this stage “The Encyclopedia of Jihad”, “The Muswada”, was not an al-Qaeda project. These Amrikis did PDFs, of course, by 2000 there were over a hundred “Encyclopedia of Jihad” PDF files being circulated, and they ranged from military and sabotage manuals to ideological tracts and recipes for explosives.