By ASSOCIATED PRESS —
TAMPA, Fla. – The State Department has launched a different sort of raid against Al Qaeda – hacking into its websites in Yemen.
In a rare public admission of the covert cyber war against extremists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says U.S. cyber experts based at the State Department hacked tribal websites, replacing Al Qaeda propaganda that bragged about killing Americans.
“Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll Al Qaeda attacks have taken on the Yemeni people,” Clinton said Wednesday. “Extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the Internet.”
Speaking alongside Adm. Bill McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Clinton said the effort is part of a multipronged attack on terrorism that goes beyond raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden to include diplomats working alongside special operations forces to shore up local governments and economies and train local forces.