"Open-Source Warfare" is IEEE's look at the ways irregular groups rapidly develop practices and share information. It's a good introduction to the topic.
In e-Qaeda terms, the major use of the internet in this article is for obtaining and sharing information about devices and technique.
Along those lines, there's a perfect information literacy exchange in the middle of the article, grist for the mills of those favoring or opposing Web 2.0. It turns out that the information most jihadists and insurgents have access to is, ah, imperfect:
...the technical information that goes up on such sites is not always to be trusted, notes Michael Kenney, an assistant professor of public policy at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg. “Some of the terrorist instructional manuals and online chat rooms that have received so much attention in the press are, in fact, littered with basic mistakes,” Kenney says. He had one of the world's leading explosives experts review some online training manuals. The expert found that “for every four or five recipes, one may work, [but] only a trained eye can catch” the errors, Kenney says.
Can social networking and social sifting help?
...terrorist groups are proving to be fast learners. They're able to change their activities in response to practical experience and technical information, store this knowledge in practices and procedures, and select and retain routines that produce satisfactory results. As they gain experience, their learning cycles will only continue to shorten.
(via John Robb)