Joseph Shahda Strikes Again

1206717457The Globe had a story yesterday about a Burlington Internet firm that unknowingly hosted a terrorist website, It was a strange piece. Acknowledging that the government played no role in the site’s closure, the Globe nonetheless spent all its time talking with a “senior U.S. counterterrorism official who asked not be identified because of his sensitive position.” Like the guy was a big get.

Well, the paper missed the bigger story: that a Boston-area man helped shut the site down.

We ran a story in January about Joseph Shahda, an engineer by day and terrorist hunter by night. Every night, for four hours a night, Shahda contacts internet companies and tells them they’re violating U.S. Code by hosting a terrorist website. The man’s had a surprising amount of success, much better than the government, in shuttering sites, and Leemedia is Shahda’s latest prize. This is what Shahda wrote in an email to me last night.

The gentlman who led the effort to shut down this particular terrorist forum is called Dr. Rusty Shackleford and he operates a forum called He has shut down many other terrorist websites and forums. He sent me an e-mail early March asking me to help in shutting down this Leemedia terrorist forum as he is well aware of my work in shutting down terrorist websites and forums.

And here’s the email Shahda sent March 4 to the internet service provider hosting

Subject: You are hosting an islamic terrorist forum called IP address: (This is not a spam please respond)

You are hosting an islamic terrorist forum called IP address: This website is spreading terrorist propaganda and violent terrorist materials. Please take the appropriate actions to immediately shut it down. Thank you very much for all your help.

Best regards

Joseph Shahda

I love that Shahda never gave himself a title to address his somewhat strange vigilance. Then again, what one would be appropriate? Freelance counterterrorist? Anyway, Shahda told me late last year that he’ll never quit hunting terrorist sites. So hopefully the Globe will acknowledge his contribution next time.

Photo of Joseph Shahda by Tanit Sakakini for Boston magazine.