Israeli 'Terrogence' Officers Stop Threats Online

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Israel has been at the forefront in the battle against terrorism for years. Now, the company "Terrogence" is working via the Internet to uncover new online threats.

Former Israeli intelligence agents scan the Web visiting jihadi Web sites and Islamic forums for the group-- looking for solid clues that will stop terror before it happens.

On any given day, one forum can have hundreds or thousands of posts. The years of experience in the intelligence field among Terrogence workers give them the ability to determine which threats could be real.

"We see successes in what we do, meaning we were able to provide early warnings to things that were not known," explained Gadi Aviran, Terrogence founder and chief intelligence officer.

About a month before Christmas, the group found a post by a leading activist giving advice on smuggling explosives.

"You can ignite a detonator chemically, take a medical capsule and put concentrated sulfuric acid in it, and then place it over the explosive material," he claimed.

The same technique was used by the so-called Christmas bomber on Northwest flight 253.

They also find postings linked to visits of dignitaries. That was the case in 2008 when a man said he'd be close to former President George W. Bush on a visit to Israel and asked others for suggestions.

"What we can say is we have found the information, we found it on time, ahead of time actually in the area of the visit," Aviran said.

He added that people don't understand how widespread jihad is on the net.

"The forums or the sources that we track, I would say on an average every day, on any given time there's at least 5,000 to10,000 people playing there, meaning participating in it," he explained. "Over a range of time you would add up to millions."

It's rare, however, to find information about a specific plan of attack.

"The next attack is going to be in the place that they think they can attack," Aviran said. "We're already seeing messages on the Christmas bomber saying 'listen guys, now the airport security is getting tight. Why don't you move to something else.'"

"I's very hard so you've got to have practical successes," he continued. "No, you're not going to win the war on terror because nobody ever has won the war on terror. What you can do is mitigate, minimize, defend yourself better.

*Originally aired on February 4, 2010.

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