UPDATE: Suspected terrorist training site shut down

The closure of the London-based Sakina Securities Web site, which offered to teach young Muslims about explosives, follows the arrest of one instructor on terrorism charges

An Islamic Web site hosted by a UK Internet Service Provider (ISP) has been taken off-line for offering Islamic military training.

The Web site promoted the "ultimate Jihad challenge", offering workshops that promised to teach the arts of bone breaking and foreign firearm instruction, as well as gun-training sessions in the US at a live firing range. The course outline concludes with the guarantee that "students will receive the Sakina instructors certificate and oath of loyalty to the Unnah of Allah divine religious submission".

It is also known that the site provided visitors with a PGP (pretty good privacy) key, so that any communications with the company could be concealed.

The site belonged to the London-based company Sakina Security Service, which is alleged to have offered funding to the Afghanistan Taliban rulers. It is unclear who instigated the closure of the Web site, but according to reports, one of the Sakina trainers is currently being held on terrorist charges in Britain.

British ISP Freeserve is registered as the host of the sakina.fsbusiness.co.uk site, but declined to comment. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it has no complaints of the offending site on record, but had it received complaints it would have been required to pass them to the relevant law enforcement organisation.

"No one has such powers [to force an ISP to remove a Web site] other than the police acting through the ISP," said David Kerr, chairman of the IWF. But, he added, "If there is a terrorist-related Web site, a nationally-based ISP will look at its acceptable use policy, and may find a reason for taking it down."

According to Kerr, it is possible that Sakina Security Service was operating an "orphan site", where a valid domain name is registered for a blank home page, but a lower structure contains potentially illegal content. "This is a way of keeping content more discreet -- you can only [find] this content if you are given the full URL of a specific page," explained Kerr.

See the Internet News Section for full coverage.

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