My hero on SO many levels...
From Mike Boettcher
OCEAN CITY, Maryland (CNN) -- A self-proclaimed Web warrior says he enlisted in the United States' war on terror by mounting an incursion into an Internet site said to be run by al Qaeda.
From his beachfront home, Jon Messner uses his keyboard as a weapon against the enemy's site -- first reported by CNN four months ago -- that posts statements from high-ranking al Qaeda members.
When Al Neda site visitors, whom he says he believes are al Qaeda members, discovered the covert operation, they cried "Infidel!" -- Messner 's real job is running an Internet porn site.
"I created the amateur housewife-next-door genre...," he explains. "I bought a digital camera and convinced my wife to get naked for the Internet."
Al Qaeda is led by terrorist Osama bin Laden, thought to be the instigator of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
"I wanted to do something and I thought, 'What do I know? I know the Internet,'" Messner said. "I made it my business at that time to do anything and everything I could to disrupt the communications of the terrorists on the Internet."
Messner, using the aggressive tactics he's employed to run his adult site, says he "hijacked" Al Neda for five days and recorded a "virtual Who's Who of every hostile message board and site on the Internet."
Traffic to the site increased under his control, most of it coming from Saudi Arabia, he says. The majority of the September 11 highjackers were from Saudi Arabia.
Messner says he contacted the FBI and told them he was secretly monitoring Internet activity on an al Qaeda site -- offering an opportunity he believes the FBI neglected to capitalize on.
"We could have put whatever we wanted on their Web site and they would think it was coming from one of their own, not from their enemy," he said.
Although an FBI agent did visit him, Messner said, his Web site takeover had been discovered.
"Suddenly a message was posted," Messner said. "It said, 'The infidels have taken over the site. They are tracking you. The man doing this is an infidel, a pornographer.'"
The adversaries retaliated with digital attempts to crash his Web-based business --but Messner doesn't care. September 11 changed him.
His Porsche and its vanity plates memorializing his success in adult entertainment are, he believes, a testament that he and his family are living the American dream, as, in his own way, he fights an American war.