Monday, January 23, 2017

Why does the GCC need its own electronic army?

ara.tv, Why does the GCC need its own electronic army? "In Saudi Arabia, a study by the local Sakina Campaign, a non-governmental program, found an estimated average of 90 tweets per minute (129,600 per day) were being sent to Saudi users calling for violence, to join extremist groups, attack others verbally or physically, or to destabilize security.



 "So it is probably no wonder then that decision-makers within the Gulf Cooperation Council have recently expressed interest in building their own electronic army, a digital forensics expert confirmed to Al Arabiya English."

Life Under IS Group: Staying Online in Dangerous Times

VOA News, Life Under IS Group: Staying Online in Dangerous Times "During Islamic State’s two-and-a-half-year rule of eastern Mosul, many forms of communication were banned, with rule breakers facing imprisonment or death. Despite the danger, the Internet was still available in much of the city. From his home in Mosul, Bilal Ahmed, 27, tells VOA the story of how he kept his neighborhood online through beatings and threats for nearly two years. He spoke in Arabic and his story is edited for clarity"

The Spectre Of Radicalised Minds Is Back To Haunt Kerala

huffingtonpost.in, The Spectre Of Radicalised Minds Is Back To Haunt Kerala, Via Internet, Courtesy Of The ISIS, 30 Dec 2016 "Kerala is no stranger to radical Islam, but the ISIS influence, spreading through the internet, is altogether more insidious."

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Saudi women afraid to go home

CNN, The Saudi women afraid to go home, 17 Jan 2017 "Throughout the summer Saudi women began tweeting, detailing the injustices of the guardianship system -- risking the wrath of their guardians and the government in doing so."

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Intelligence Community Releases Final Abbottabad Documents

Office of Director of National Intelligence, Closing the Book on Bin Laden – Intelligence Community Releases Final Abbottabad Documents "Today marks the end of a two-and-a-half-year effort to declassify several hundred documents recovered in the raid on Usama bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound in May 2011."

'al-Risalah' issue 4

Bridget Johnson, pjmedia.com, Pick Up Five AK-47 Bullets for a Buck, al-Qaeda Magazine Tells Jihadists, January 11, 2017 "The fourth edition of al-Risalah, which is published by al-Qaeda in Syria, features a full-page graphic of a grenade composed of typewriter keys with the quote, "Half of jihad is media.""

Allegations: 'University research into IS women was carried out by IS sympathiser'

NRC - DutchNews.nl, University research into IS women was carried out by IS sympathiser, 18 Jan 2017 article on allegations relating to research conducted at the University of Amsterdam - "University of Amsterdam research into women who have joined the terrorist movement IS was partly carried out by a researcher who has herself praised the violent jihad on internet, according to the NRC." Details of the original research are here: Navest, A., de Koning, M. and Moors, A. (2016), Chatting about marriage with female migrants to Syria, Anthropology Today, 32: 22–25. doi: 10.1111/1467-8322.12241

The Swedish Kings of Cyberwar

Hugh Eakin, nybooks.com, The Swedish Kings of Cyberwar, 19 Jan 2017 "In fact, the very qualities that have made Sweden and Norway successful models of advanced democracy may also have made their populations more susceptible to government spying. In Norway, the government committee that put forward the mass surveillance legislation now before parliament has argued that such measures “can be justified as necessary in a democratic society.” And as Swedish and Norwegian scholars point out, Scandinavian citizens are inclined to assume that if the government says it needs certain powers, then it probably does."

What Islamic State will do in 2017

Raffaello Pantucci, New Statesman, What Islamic State will do in 2017, 18 Jan 2017 "In retreat across Syria and Iraq, will the newer terror group emulate the strategy honed by al-Qaeda?"

UN Meeting Says No to Anti-Muslim Hatred

ipsnews.net, UN Meeting Says No to Anti-Muslim Hatred "The rise in anti-muslim attitudes around the world prompted a special UN meeting Tuesday, just days before the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump whose controversial policies have drawn on anti-Muslim sentiments."

Terrorists are winning the digital arms race, experts say

csoonline.com, Terrorists are winning the digital arms race, experts say, 17 Jan 2017 "Twitter removed about 250,000 accounts connected with ISIS in one year, but the terrorist group uses 90 other social media platforms, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol said Tuesday. Terrorist groups have begun to live stream their attacks, and they are using the internet to launch "innovative crowdfunding" campaigns, he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland."

Bangladesh human rights

Human Rights Watch, Bangladesh "Bangladesh witnessed a spate of violent attacks against secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, foreigners, and members of religious minorities in 2016."

African women form a united front in the battle for equality – podcast

Guardian, African women form a united front in the battle for equality – podcast "Gender equality remains a distant dream for women in Africa. Less than a third of all agricultural land in Africa is operated by women, nearly one in five of whom do not have access to contraception. In addition, almost a quarter of African women are likely to experience violence from their partners. Kary Stewart finds out how women have been working to bring about gender equality. There are contributions from Awino Okech, lecturer on gender studies at Soas, University of London; Jessica Horn, director of programmes for the African Women’s Development Fund; Patricia Isabella Essel, programme manager for Women in Law and Development in Africa; and Hakima Abbas, director of programmes for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tunisia attack: Report warned UK about resort security

BBC News, Tunisia attack: Report warned UK about resort security

The Linguistic Labyrinth of Arabic News

Ben Hubbard, NYT, The Linguistic Labyrinth of Arabic News, 14 Jan 2017 "Far from being independent brokers of information, these channels have powerful backers who deploy them to bolster their agendas and undermine their foes. What that means for the viewer, and for the student of Arabic, is having to decipher a complex code of politically charged vocabulary whose usage can swiftly betray someone’s political views."

Turkey says captures nightclub attacker who acted for Islamic State

reuters.com, Turkey says captures nightclub attacker who acted for Islamic State "Two pistols, mobile phone SIM cards, two drones and $197,000 in cash were also seized, Sahin said."

All by myself: Single mother asks for help causing meltdown in Egyptian social media

albawaba.com, All by myself: Single mother asks for help causing meltdown in Egyptian social media "Social media is divided on the issue, reports Al Bawaba. While some have come out in support, others have labelled it as adultery and indecency, calling her derogatory names. Twitterati was quick to respond with viral hashtags "single mother" and "I support Hadir Makaqi.""

Mawlana - the movie

albawaba.com, Controversial Islamic film 'Mawlana' dominates the Egyptian Box Office, 17 Jan 2017 "After its debut on January 4, Mawlana has continued to rank first in terms of revenues in cinemas, despite the piracy of the movie which is available in high quality on the internet."

Man accused of trying to join ISIS but just wanted to live 'off-grid'

Daily Mail, Man accused of trying to join ISIS but just wanted to live 'off-grid'

Boxing coach arrested in San Sebastián on suspicion of running Isis recruitment cell

thelocal, Boxing coach arrested in San Sebastián on suspicion of running Isis recruitment cell, 16 Jan 2017 " "The accused was very active in finding new recruits and would approach young people at risk of social exclusion, easily influenced and emotionally unstable, and make the most of his position as a boxing coach to win their confidence," the ministry said."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Twitter Must Do More to Block ISIS

NYT, Twitter Must Do More to Block ISIS, 13 Jan 2017 "Like many Americans, the two of us have strong reasons to hope that 2017 is better than recent years. On Nov. 13, 2015, Beatriz’s daughter, Nohemi, was killed in the Paris terror attacks by an Islamic State cell operating out of Brussels. On March 22, 2016, Cameron’s husband, Alexander, and her sister-in-law, Sascha, were murdered at the Brussels Airport by terrorists from the same cell. One hundred and fifty-nine others also died in those attacks, and more than 600 people were injured."

Pakistan Human Rights Commission Pressures Police To Find Missing Activists

rferl.org, Pakistan Human Rights Commission Pressures Police To Find Missing Activists "The National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan (NCHRP) has urged the Interior Ministry to locate five rights activists and bloggers who have been missing since last week."

Fighting the hard-liners online

Bagus Aditya, thejakartapost.com, Fighting the hard-liners online, 13 Jan 2017 [opinion piece] "Researchers have found that online behavior is dominated by “homophily”: a tendency to listen to and associate with people like yourself, and to exclude outsiders. People come together when facing a shared “antagonist” that they think is too strong to be faced by individuals. This behavior makes social networks bad at helping you empathize with people not like you."

Rohingya Muslims and the Internet

An important subject, clearly underrepresented in the news at present:



Austin Bodetti, motherboard.vice.com, Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims Look to the Internet for Justice, 11 Jan 2017 "For the targeted civilians, the internet has come to mean life or death. Internet activists often champion the idea that the World Wide Web can catalyze democratic change. And the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority community in Myanmar (the Southeast Asian country also called Burma) have taken this message to heart. They hope that the internet can spread word of their plight, but censorship, fake news websites, and propaganda make it hard to convey the right message."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

UK: Google-hosted Muslim leaders summit linked to Home Office Prevent unit

middleeasteye.net, Google-hosted Muslim leaders summit linked to Home Office Prevent unit, 10 Jan 2017 "According to a source, Imams Online is one of a number of ostensibly grassroots and community-led counter-extremism campaigns being run by Breakthrough Media through third party groups on behalf of RICU which has the final say on content and messaging and funds the work."

Islamic State ramps up recruitment in Pakistan

irinnews.org, Islamic State ramps up recruitment in Pakistan, 11 Jan 2017 "Obaid’s life-plan began to change when a man identifying himself as Qari Abid contacted him via Facebook last August. As their correspondence deepened, Khan became more and more convinced that he needed to join the “jihad against infidels”, according to his elder brother, Hanifullah, whom Abid attempted to recruit as well."