Lawmakers: US Won't Stop 'Jihadi Websites'

Chairman of the House Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee said it was doubtful anything “useful” would come of trying to shut down extremist websites, Agence France Presse reports.

Instead, “it is more likely we will tie ourselves up in knots,” said Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), because of the complicated considerations over free speech.

YouTube, which has allowed videos promoting jihad from al-Qaeda, drew the ire of lawmakers at a Wednesday hearing of the House subcommittee.

“I don’t know how much money YouTube makes, how much its executives make, but they are endangering people throughout America for their own profit,” Sherman is quoted as saying by AFP.

Experts, such as Gregory McNeal, a law professor at Pepperdine University in California, said there was no legal recourse for the government to shut down such websites.

And if the government tried that course of action, there would likely be outcry from free-speech activists, McNeal added.

The American Civil Liberties Union offered written testimony against censorship of the Internet.

AFP also mentioned al-Qaeda’s attempts to use sophisticated online media to attract followers, including an English-language jihadist magazine called “Inspire,” which launched in June.

The inaugural issue of the magazine featured a piece titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” as well as “sleek pictures of sl-Qaeda leaders accompanied by sophisticated graphics,” AFP reported.

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