Al-Qal3ah, Qal3ah, or Qal3ati (Arabic: القلعة, al-Qalʿah — "the castle"; the 3 is an ASCII representation of the Arabic ع ) was an Internet forum infamous for being the site of announcements and discussions by Islamic extremists. Postings included several videos of the decapitation of hostages by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's group in Iraq. The website had upwards of ten mirrors, but all are down as of 23 February 2007. The Islamist-extremist watchdog group Society for Internet Research claim that the forums were owned by the Muslim reformist Sa'ad Al-Faqih (or al-Fagih). On the same day as the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the Qal3ah forum carried a posting which took responsibility for those bombings. But on July 9, 2005, The Guardian reported that al-Faqih denied ownership of the site and claimed that the accusation was a "Zionist smear."
Al-Qal3ah was registered in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. The site officially distanced itself from terrorist and pro-terrorism activity, maintaining that it was a discussion forum for religious and political views and issues. However, it has been labelled as a cover for a "jihadi forum" by SOFIR. Such claims cite as evidence that Sa'ad Al-Faqih has been identified by the United States Treasury as having financially assisted Al Qaeda. The mirrors' Internet Service Providers included Everyones Internet and PIPEX.
- SOFIR article on the web presence Sa'ad Al-Faqih, May 2005
- Society for Internet Research (SOFIR)
- UK-based dissident denies link to website that carried al-Qaida claim, The Guardian
- US Treasury blacklists Sa'ad al-Faqih Archived July 6, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.