An internet blackout throughout the Middle East and Asia (india) has hit internet traffic today except in Israel and Iraq. Many believe this is a preparation for a 911 event or a US assault on Iran. The blame is on cut under sea cables that "accidently" were hit by dragged anchors. Days before 9/11/01 Middle Eastern websites were attacked and pulled down by the FBI.
Be prepared for a shutdown and blackout.
Cable cuts force rerouting of Internet traffic around the world
Carriers report Internet delays with India, Middle East connections
By Matt Hamblen
(Computerworld) Two fiber-optic underwater cables that were damaged yesterday in the Mediterranean Sea near Egypt have resulted in Internet traffic delays for some U.S. users trying to link to India and the Middle East.
The congestion and delay on Internet links due to the rerouting of traffic is measured in milliseconds, and while not considered dire, is noticeable, according to industry officials.
A preliminary investigation has linked the cuts to a ship's anchor that dragged and ripped into the two cables while the ship was anchored in an unusual location because of bad weather, officials said. Repairs could take days.
"Any interruption in service is important to us," said Linda Laughlin, a spokeswoman for Verizon Communications Inc. in Basking Ridge, N.J.
Because two cables were cut, the normal rerouting of Internet traffic is more complex than if only one cable had been damaged, Laughlin said. Much of the Internet traffic between the U.S. and India and nearby nations that was normally traveling through the Mediterranean is now being passed the other way around the world, crossing the Pacific Ocean, resulting in milliseconds of delay, she said.
Laughlin couldn't estimate how many milliseconds, although one India-based company put the delay at one-third of a second.
Some Verizon customers in the U.S., including government agencies and Internet service providers with thousands of their own customers, have contacted Verizon to ask about the status of repairs, Laughlin added.
Verizon is part owner with a consortium of other companies of one of the two cables that was cut, referred to as the SEA-ME-WE4, while the other is owned by Flag Telecom Group Ltd. in the U.K. Yesterday, a Flag official said repairs to that cable could take 12 to 15 days.
Laughlin said the SEA-ME-WE4 consortium was preparing a ship to make the needed repairs. A grappling hook aboard the ship will be used to find each end of the cut cable, and then bring the two parts aboard ship where they will be spliced back together with a fresh segment of optical fiber in a clean room, she said.
Some Internet traffic has been routed to a nearby Mediterranean cable known as SEA-ME-WE3, but much more of the traffic is routed the other way around the world, across the Pacific Ocean between Asia and the U.S., Laughlin said. Verizon has the ability to route traffic over 65 underwater cables. Overall, only a small portion of Verizon's customers have been affected by yesterday's cable cuts, she said.
AT&T Inc. leases capacity on the SEA-ME-WE4, and some AT&T customers in the U.S. have been affected as well, a spokesman said today. "We are expecting to see some congestion just because multiple carriers are rerouting traffic," said AT&T spokesman Michael Coe. He said AT&T is awaiting word on a definitive cause of the cable cuts and the time it will take to repair them.
The ISP Association of India said traffic from India to the Atlantic region saw a 50% to 60% bandwidth reduction when the cables were first damaged, but others reported that reduction has been vastly improved as traffic was rerouted.
At Satyam Computer Services in Hyderabad, India, Internet traffic that used to travel through the Middle East is today being routed through Singapore, resulting in as much as 350 milliseconds of Internet traffic latency, which "isn't a big problem," said a network and systems director at Satyam.
link to computerworld.com
Internet provider in Emirates confirms undersea cable cut in Persian Gulf between Dubai, Oman, cause unknown
The Associated Press
Friday, February 1, 2008
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A leading Internet provider in the Emirates said an undersea cable had been cut early Friday in the Persian Gulf, causing severe phone line disruptions here and compounding an already existing Internet outage across large parts of the Middle East and Asia after two other undersea cables were damaged earlier this week north of Egypt.
Omar Sultan, chief executive of Dubai's IPS DU, said the incident was "very unusual." He said it wasn't known how the underwater FLAG FALCON cable, stretching between the United Arab Emirates and Oman, had been damaged.
"The situation is critical for us in terms of congestion" on international lines, Sultan told The Associated Press, but refused to speculate on the extent of the damage. DU said in a press release that the cause of the incident "had not yet been identified."
The owner of the FALCON cable, U.K. FLAG Telecom said the cable was cut at 05:59 GMT Friday, 56 kilometers (34.8 miles) off the coast of Dubai and that a "repair ship has been notified and expected to arrive at the site in the next few days."
The U.K. company is also the owner of one of the undersea cables that were sliced Wednesday in the Mediterranean Sea. That damage triggered wide Internet outages, hampering businesses and private usage across the Mideast and Asia.
A FLAG official in India, speaking on condition of anonymity because of company policy, said workers were still trying to determine how the Persian Gulf cable was cut. He declined to comment on whether the cut was somehow linked to Wednesday's cut in Egypt, but said he did not believe FLAG's cables were deliberately targeted.
As in the case of the Mediterranean damage, which Egyptian officials said was caused by a ship's anchor when a vessel couldn't dock in the port of Alexandria, there was also speculation that an anchor had sliced the Persian Gulf cable.
DU said the incident "added further complications to the existing cuts on the FLAG Europe-Asia and SEA-ME-WE4 cables" off the coast of Egypt and that the Persian Gulf cut "impacted all international voice calls through the DU network," leading to "severe congestion and degradation of international voice calls."
It said national calls in the Emirates and Internet access were not affected.
DU serves large residential communities of expatriates in the Emirates, including residents on the man-made luxury islands off the coast of Dubai. The Internet provider also serves Dubai International Financial Center.
The full impact of the latest incident on trade in the Mideast's business hub will not be gauged until Sunday, the first working day after the Friday-Saturday Muslim weekend.
In Lebanon, Telecommunications Ministry officials met Friday with representatives of Internet companies operating in Beirut to discuss "a plan to contain the damage caused by a cut in the FLAG cable off Egypt's coast," the state-run National News Agency reported.
Earlier Friday, FLAG said that a repair ship was expected to arrive Tuesday at the site of the damaged cables off the coast of Alexandria, and that repair work would likely take a week.
The Mediterranean cut took place 8.3 kilometers (5 miles) from Alexandria, on a stretch linking Egypt to Italy, the company said but gave no explanation why repairs would take so long. Alexandria harbor has been closed for most of this week because of bad weather.
Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamil said Friday that the Internet service in the country would be up and running to about 80 percent of its usual capacity within 48 hours, revising an earlier statement that this level would be restored by late Friday.
"However, it's not before ten days until the Internet service returns to its normal performance," Kamil told the Friday edition of the state Al-Ahram newspaper. There are eight million Internet users in Egypt, according to a ministry count.
Kamil described Wednesday's damage as an "earthquake" and said the reason behind the cut would only be determined once repair teams with their robot equipment reach the damaged cables.
The official MENA new agency quoted Kamil as saying technicians managed to raise the level of the Internet service Thursday to about 45 percent and that Telecom Egypt would get soon a bandwidth of 10 gigabyte to be increased to 13 gigabyte close to the country's total capacity of 16 gigabytes.
But Internet access remained sporadic Friday.
The paper also said that state Telecom Egypt on Thursday "sealed a deal" for a new 3,100 kilometer (1,900 miles) -long undersea cable between Egypt and France, also through the Mediterranean that would take over 18 months to complete. It did not say who Telecom's partners in the deal were.
Pakinam Amer in Cairo, Egypt and Zeina Karam in Beirut, Lebanon contributed to this report.
link to www.iht.com
US pulls the plug on Muslim websites
Islamic groups have condemned a government crackdown on a Texan telecoms company as part of a "witch-hunt", writes Brian Whitaker
Monday September 10, 2001
Five hundred websites - many of them with an Arab or Muslim connection - crashed last Wednesday when an anti-terrorism taskforce raided InfoCom Corporation in Texas.
The 80-strong taskforce that descended upon the IT company included FBI agents, Secret Service agents, Diplomatic Security agents, tax inspectors, immigration officials, customs officials, department of commerce officials and computer experts.
Three days later, they were still busy inside the building, reportedly copying every hard disc they could find. InfoCom hosts websites for numerous clients in the Middle East, including al-Jazeera (the satellite TV station), al-Sharq (a daily newspaper in Qatar), and Birzeit (the Palestinian university on the West Bank).
It also hosts sites for several Muslim organisations in the United States, among them the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
In addition, InfoCom is the registered owner of ".iq" - the internet country code for Iraq.
A coalition of American Muslim groups immediately denounced the raid as part of an "anti-Muslim witch-hunt" promoted by the Israeli lobby in the United States.
Mahdi Bray, political adviser to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said: "We have deep concerns that this once again is an attempt to rush to judgment and to marginalise the American Muslim community. There is a pattern of bias that often permeates all of these types of investigations."
The FBI, meanwhile, insisted the search had nothing to do with religion or Middle East politics. "This is a criminal investigation, not a political investigation," a spokeswoman said. "We're hoping to find evidence of criminal activity."
Several Muslim groups have linked the raid to an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 13. Written by Daniel Pipes, director of the foreign policy research institute in Philadelphia, it called on the US to "support Israel in rolling back the forces of terror" by shutting down websites belonging to the Islamic Association for Palestine and the Holy Land Foundation.
"The federal authorities should use the tools it already has in closing down these websites and organisations," the article said.
Daniel Pipes appears regularly in the US media, where he is regarded as an authority on the Middle East. Arab-Americans, on the other hand, regard him as a Muslim-basher and a staunch supporter of Israel.
In one magazine article Pipes wrote: "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene... All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most."
In 1995, after the Oklahoma bombing (for which former war hero Timothy McVeigh was eventually executed) Pipes wasted no time in pinning the blame on Muslim extremists. He told USA Today: "People need to understand that this is just the beginning. The fundamentalists are on the upsurge, and they make it very clear that they are targeting us. They are absolutely obsessed with us."
It is unlikely, however, that the FBI could have obtained a warrant to search InfoCom on the basis of Daniel Pipes's remarks in the Wall Street Journal. They would have to demonstrate "probable cause" to a judge, but in this case the reasons may never be known because the judge ordered the warrant to be sealed.
InfoCom's lawyer, Mark Enoch, said that whatever the company was suspected of, the FBI had "bad information"; InfoCom was innocent of any wrongdoing.
According to the New York Times, citing unnamed government officials, the purpose of the search was to discover whether InfoCom has any links to the militant Palestinian organisation, Hamas.
Under an anti-terrorism law introduced in 1996, it is illegal in the US to provide "material support" for Hamas or other organisations on the state department's banned list. Although Israeli sympathisers in the US have been clamouring for prosecutions, there have been no major cases so far and some lawyers question whether the 1996 law is constitutional.
Just across the road from InfoCom's offices, in Richardson on the outskirts of Dallas, is the headquarters of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Apart from their physical proximity, InfoCom and HLF are intimately connected through two brothers: Ghassan and Bayan Elashi. The Elashis are of Palestinian origin and of a religious disposition. Ghassan is chairman of HLF and vice-president (marketing) of InfoCom.
InfoCom is a small but apparently successful company with a global business in computers, networking, telecommunications and internet services. Established in 1982, it moved to the area of Texas known as "Telecom Corridor" nine years ago. Its business in the Middle East has been expanding largely because of its expertise in Arabic-language databases. It recently won a contract in Jordan for a website where people can buy and sell cars.
Asked about the company's ownership of ".iq", the Iraqi national internet address, Ghassan Elashi said: "We were one of the pioneers of the internet at a time when all the upper domain names were available for everyone. We searched the lists and found Iraq was available for registration."
To avoid any trouble over sanctions, InfoCom informed the state department that it had registered ".iq", Elashi said. The state department replied with a "ridiculous" list of restrictions which mean that the company has never been able to make use of the Iraqi domain.
He said he had no idea what the task force was looking for in raiding InfoCom's offices, though the staff were giving them full cooperation. He added: "Over the last four to five weeks we have experienced some unusual hacking - mostly by pro-Israeli hackers."
The HLF, on the other side of the street, is a tax-exempt charity established in 1989. Most of its efforts are focused on helping Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon and the occupied territories, but it has also sent humanitarian aid to Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya, as well as earthquake relief to Turkey and flood relief to Mozambique.
According to its website, the HLF has provided sponsorship for more than 1,800 Palestinian orphans and 450 families living in refugee camps. It has funded several medical projects, including Dar al-Salam hospital in Gaza, al-Razi hospital in Jenin, al-Ahli hospital in Hebron and a rehabilitation center for the handicapped located in Amman, Jordan. In Lebanon, it provided safe water supplies for 72,000 refugees in the Palestinian camps.
For several years the HLF has been the target of attacks by Israeli sympathisers. A letter sent to news organisations by New York senator Charles Schumer accused it of "raising millions of dollars for the Palestinian cause in the Middle East, some of which has been knowingly channelled to support the families of Hamas terrorists."
A more specific claim, mentioned on the website of a Jewish organisation, the Anti-Defamation League, is that it has provided "monthly stipends to the families of terrorist suicide bombers in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza".
The evidence against the HLF presented by the League in a 1998 press release was somewhat tenuous. It said that Israel had banned a Jerusalem-based organisation called the Holy Land Foundation (which it described as the "apparent counterpart" of the Texas charity) on the grounds that it was a front for Hamas.
Also, the League said, the Texas-based Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) had urged its members to send donations to the HLF. The League noted that the IAP had also "distributed official Hamas literature in the United States" and that its fundraising letter described the Palestinian struggle as "jihad" - "a term regularly used by Hamas".
More recently, HLF and several other Muslim charities have become the target of a $600m (£409m) lawsuit by the parents of David Boim, an Israeli-American student who was shot dead in the West Bank in 1996. Using the 1996 anti-terrorism law, the family are claiming compensation from the charities, alleging that they provided "material support" to Hamas and were therefore responsible for David's death.
Ghassan Elashi dismisses all these allegations. "The Holy Land Foundation is as clean as crystal water," he says. "We have never been bothered by any government agencies."
But to the alarm of America's Arab and Muslim minorities, there are signs that the climate may be changing. Assistant New York state attorney general Karen Goldman has recently been pressing for a tax audit of HLF to "enforce the laws applicable to exempt organisations". Another Muslim charity, the Islamic African Relief Agency, is engaged in a legal dispute with the state department after it revoked US aid grants worth $4.2m.
It is, of course, a duty of governments to ensure that charities maintain financial probity. The concern is that some charities may be getting singled out for discriminatory reasons.
The catch-all nature of the 1996 law against providing "material support" to banned organisations is also arousing controversy. "It makes any support whatever a crime," one Arab-American said last week. "Simply giving blankets to the wrong kind of hospital could be a violation of the law." http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0
F.B.I. Shuts Down Websites on Orders of Zionists
InfoCom Corporation in Texas raided by scores of federal agents. Zionist directed action is designed to hurt the Palestinian cause.
La Voz de Aztlan
Los Angeles, Alta California - September 6, 2001- (ACN) La Voz de Aztlan has learned that approximately 50 federal agents are still inside the business offices of an Internet Service Provider after an early morning raid yesterday. The InfoCom corporate building in Richardson, Texas was first surrounded and then evacuated in the early morning hours. The FBI has shut down servers that host many websites serving the refugee Palestinian community. At least one of the websites was for the purpose of charity. The website for the Holy Land Foundation raises funds in the United States to help countless Palestinians that have been adversely affected by Israel's racist apartheid policies. Other websites that have been shut down include those for the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and for the Islamic Association for Palestine
This is an ominous development and a trampling of the First Amendment Right that should anger every decent American that believes in the U.S. Constitution. There are extremely powerful elements in our society that are now utilizing the police powers of the federal government to suppressed freedom of speech, expression and of the press. There have been repeated attempts by Zionists to shut down La Voz de Aztlan as well. Recently the Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Weisenthal Center made some comments in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles that were designed to call the attention of the Zionist community to our publication. Soon after the publication of the rabbi's comments, we started receiving a barrage of hate e-mail, computer viruses and pressure from our own Internet Service Provider.
The raid on InfoCom Corporation came after similar commentary by hateful Zionists who write for the Wall Street Journal of New York. Writers Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes, called upon the federal government to shut down the web sites of the Islamic Association for Palestine and of the Holy Land Foundation which the FBI did yesterday. Emerson and Pipes wrote in an August 13 column in the Wall Street Journal: "The time has also come for the US to support Israel . . ." "The federal authorities should use the tools it already has in closing down these web sites and organizations," they wrote.
The Zionist owned media in the United States has a lot of power to influence the federal government. They want to be the only ones with the ability to disseminate information which includes opinions about important issues affecting the world such as the crisis in the Middle East. They are very concerned about the Internet because it is about the only truly free medium that they can not control (yet). The Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Weisenthal Center, for example, has a multi-million dollar budget exclusively to lobby the U.S. Congress for laws that will enable them to control the content of the Internet. Rabbi Cooper never mentions the horrible pornography on the Internet but focuses on websites like ours that have published editorials critical of the Zionists. Recently, a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles admitted that he had "put together over 18 million dollars for Rabbi Cooper" while he was Speaker of the California State Assembly.
We can not sit back and allow the Zionists to gradually erode our sacred rights guaranteed by the greatest political document men has ever written and that is the United States Constitution. Presently most of the members of the U.S. Congress are in the pockets of extremely wealthy and powerful Zionist business interests. We must turn the tide and expose these Zionist lackeys before all Americans are enslaved and then it will be too late. We are already suffering the consequences of the ever tightening noose.