One of Al-Qaeda's main Internet sites has accused "enemies of Allah" of taking it down for several days, but said it was now back up stronger than ever, according to a US monitoring service.
Researchers who track jihadist movements said this week that Shamukh al-Islam, one of Al-Qaeda's two main websites, went dark on March 23 and reappeared online on Monday April 2.
The unprecedented blackout was most likely the result of a cyber attack, either by a government or by private hackers, the experts in the United States said.
In an announcement posted online on Wednesday, Shamukh al-Islam acknowledged that unknown hands had taken the forum down as part of "a lowly, cheap and failed campaign", according to a translation by the SITE Monitoring Service.
"The enemies of Allah amongst those who claim freedom didn't spare any effort to harm our blessed media after they became bothered by its rapid development, its unique performance, its exposure of the machinery of falsehood, lies, and deceit, and its dissemination of the truth...
"They didn't know that behind them are hidden, pure hands that Allah preserved, helped, and dedicated, and these prepared not one solution but many, and instead of one network, tens of networks, and in the place of one man a thousand men, praise and bounty be to Allah," the SITE translation said.
The outage hit several websites including Shamukh al-Islam and al-Fida, which serve as a channel for Al-Qaeda forums, providing a stamp of approval for any associated sites, the US researchers said.
They said the last time Al-Qaeda's sites faced a major outage was when British intelligence sought to disrupt the release of an online magazine from Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen in June 2010.