Electronic war shuts down Arab portal's forum

Published October 11th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A Jordan-based Arabic Internet portal has shut down its forum amid a barrage of unsolicited anti-Arab and anti-Muslim electronic mail blamed Tuesday by its editor in chief on Israeli Internet surfers. 


"For three hours from Monday evening we were bombarded with hundreds of thousands of messages posted on our forum and for three hours we were sitting there deleting and they were posting," Ramzi Khouri told AFP. 


He said the barrage went unabated from 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) until midnight when Al-Bawaba (Gateway in Arabic) found a way to stop all traffic to its forum service, he said. 


"The messages were posted by Israelis. We could tell that from the way they were angry at Al-Bawaba and our coverage of the violence in the West Bank and Gaza and angry with the (pro-Palestinian) opinions posted on the forum," Khouri said. 


He said typical messages carried calls to "kill all Arabs", while others were rife with insults against Arab leaders, and all of them were "heavy" and contained attachments "aimed at taking down the forum server". 


"I think they basically wanted to attack Arabs and make Al-Bawaba founder," Khouri said. 


Programmers at the portal were working Tuesday to find a mechanism aimed at controlling unsolicited mail in order to allow Al-Bawaba to reopen the forum later in the day. – (AFP, Amman) 


© Agence France Presse 2000

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