Group loads jihadist files onto Arkansas FTP server

An Arkansas government File Transfer Protocol server doesn't usually top the list of likely terrorist targets, but that didn't stop it from getting walloped this week by a group of terrorist sympathizers that loaded it with online videos of Osama bin Laden and other multimedia jihadist materials.

Officials at the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department received an anonymous tip Monday morning about the files, which were labeled in a foreign language.

The FTP server had been used by contractors for sharing files for eight years without incident. 'This is the first time something like this has happened," said department spokesman Randy Ort. "We're looking at developing a protocol to avoid this in the future.'

'People who are looking to hijack servers such as this "have certain utilities that search out and find specific bandwidth,' Ort said.

Ort said the department turned the files over to the FBI for further investigation.

Links to the terrorist files on the server were posted to the message board of an al-Qaida-linked group called al Ansar, which features photos of bin Laden and the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers.

(Story revised July 20, 2004)

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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