Germany Opens Trial Against 'Cyber-Jihadist'
In groundbreaking case, Iraqi accused of inciting terror online
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2007 12:32 PM CDT
Audio and video files downloaded and shared by the defendant included clips by bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Sarkawi, the now dead leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as occasional appearances by the defendant...   (Shutterstock.com Composite)
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(Newser) – Deutsche Welle reports on a landmark trial in Germany, where an Iraqi-born Kurd has been accused of using the internet as a terror weapon. Prosecutors charge that over the 18 months German intelligence monitored his internet use, he posted material intended to incite terrorist attacks. The lead prosecutor has accused him of waging  "personal jihad on the computer."

While web communication has been linked to previous terror attacks, this case breaks new ground because Ibrahim R., as the defendant is known, has been charged only with actions online. His posts included messages from Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures, and personal appeals to others to participate in jihad. Whether his actions constitute free expression or incitement to terror will be the focus of the trial, which should continue until January 2008.