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The co-founder of a top jihadist discussion forum was sentenced to eight years in prison after his appeal was denied by a Tunisian judge on Tuesday, the European television network ARTE reported.
Nabil Amdouni created the Shumukh al-Islam forum in 2007.
It was billed as the “largest jihadist forum in the world” and attracted adherents from both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, two factions that often found themselves in conflict online as they have during bloody ground wars in the Middle East.
Amdouni, a French-Algerian who lived in Tunisia, was arrested in 2012 in Paris and received the eight-year sentence from a Tunisian judge. He had been under investigation for a year prior to his arrest.
Shumukh al-Islam hosted discussions, fundraising, strategy sessions on media and propaganda, information exchange, and recruiting. Private messages were said to be encrypted but it’s not clear what kind of tech underlaid the forum.
At the time of Amdouni’s arrest, nearly 12,000 members populated the password-protected forum.
Shumukh al-Islam continues on today. It serves as a launching point for popular jihadi propaganda videos and a discussion forum of the war in Syria even four years after Amdouni’s arrest.
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.