Sunday, February 29, 2004 Two Fatah operatives shot dead near Nablus as Islamic Jihad vows ''blackest days in Israel's history''
The Australian: Blair caught short by spy claims [March 01, 2004]"At the heart of the US-British eavesdropping system known as Echelon is a system called the "dictionary": massive computers that can target communications using specific telephone numbers, words or even voice-prints.

"Voice-printing technology is thought to have tracked down Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds of the September 11 attacks on the US, after he gave an interview to Al-Jazeera television."
Santa Fe New Mexican/AP, Militant Missionaries, Islamic extremists use missionary tradition to recruit fighters and spread anti-U.S. message across East Africa: "Maalim Mohammed Idriss, one of the most respected imams and Islamic historians in Zanzibar, said the tabligh and the Wahabis who sponsor them have perverted the Islamic missionary tradition -- which goes back centuries -- and represent a threat to the region's Sufi traditions.

'The Wahabis are dangerous ... the old men have become very disturbed, those following the old traditions have become very disturbed,' Idriss said in his office, where portraits of Zanzibar's historic Islamic teachers line the walls. He said traditionally only those men were qualified to be missionaries, not 'ignorant men' with radical ideas."
Islam Online- News Section, Riyadh Creates Body To Supervise Overseas Charity links to the net, because of the Web public face of many charities
Islam Online- News Section, War Coverage Will Be Censored to Suit Pentagon: Fisk thoughts of Robert Fisk on US censorship: "Fisk further said the new computerised system of script approval will allow authorised script approvers to mark scripts (reports) in a clear and standard manner."
The title of the Clash song 'Complete Control' comes to mind with this report: Islam Online- News Section, Pentagon Launches Multi-Million War News Service : "The Pentagon is launching a multi-million news service to cover the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, a move lambasted by some as a new attempt to further control the war coverage.

"The Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) project is expected to plumbing in news reports, video and photos as of April, reported the Arizona Daily Star on Saturday, February 28." story contains useful retlated links too.

The Jakarta Post - Digital Islamic library launched in Jakarta: "Assisted by U.S computer giant Microsoft and the Indonesia Internet Service Provider Association (APJII), the U.S.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) launched on Saturday a digital Islamic library" an unusual collaborative group, this one, which raises a number of questions (technical and religious perspectives). It would be interesting to find out more about this collaboration and its nature. Will Microsoft offer similar facilities for other Muslim perspectives?
New Straits Times -Malaysia News Online, Opinion: Malays trust ulama to tell the truth more than anyone else
intriguing headline - there's a small net link to this story:

"The Opposition newspapers only had a marginal influence on respondents while the Internet is slowly becoming the source of information on Islam for young Muslims."

I did research on issues associated with Islam in Malaysia several years ago -- this report is part of a general survey on Malaysian societies, on the question "Can an Islamic state allow for cultural and religious freedom and implement hudud?." [don't send your answers to me!]
Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi intellectuals under siege
Middle East Online, Iran's SIM cards for $1,200 apiece"Even though the SIM cards on offer will not be released for a year and cost a small fortune and customers still have to pay for the telephone itself, existing lines bought on the open market cost more than double.

"With the present rate for a SIM card currently hovering around the 1,200 dollar mark, any new lines are highly sought after. Just three million mobile phone lines are currently in service."

Friday, February 27, 2004

Blair battles to calm Iraq bugging row this has a tech edge
Aljazeera.Net - 'Honour killer' gets four months: "A Jordanian man who killed his sister for being unmarried and nine months pregnant has been jailed for four months." no excuses for this non-tech story appearing here
non-tech, appropriate reminder:
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | On the trail of the Ansar
MSNBC - Senators question cyber-security strategy: "Two senior U.S. senators yesterday sharply questioned the federal government's strategy for defending critical corporate and government computer systems from attacks by terrorists and hackers"
The Register: "MyDoom.F and Netsky.C have been sweeping across the Internet, deleting files, hijacking PCs and apparently attacking the Microsoft and the RIAA Web sites."
MSNBC - Reinstated - In a bittersweet victory for one of the FBI’s few Muslim agents, the bureau has taken the rare decision to overturn his controversial dismissal
MSNBC - Phone intercepts trigger search on Pakistan border includes video clip (for Windows users)

BBC NEWS | Technology | Hackers exploit Windows patches PanAfrica [document]: State Department Releases 2003 Human Rights Country Reports: reference to Muslim contexts and the net contained in this summary statement.
The Register, Cyber-terror drama skates on thin Black Ice review of Dan Verton's 'Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism', which refers to al-Qaeda. I think this is a useful technical assessment of the book, which I have read. I found aspects of the volume useful, and have cited it in forthcoming articles.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Islam Online - Services (Fatwa)This taken from a fatwa published today: "... it is the duty of Muslims to defend justice and spread peace throughout the world. This should be done through all possible legal channels. The Internet, in fact, is one of the most efficient and effective media outlets in the modern world. Muslims, therefore, should precede others in making use of the Internet to defend justice and spread the light of Islam."
ic Wales - Memo showed US power over UK spies

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Accuracy In Media - Weekly Column - The al-Zarqawi Letter discussion on allegations, letter had net circulation.
وزارة الاوقاف والشؤون الدينية - فلسطين Ministry of Waqfs Palestine site (see story below) includes a link to the Al-Aqsa Guide - note that this is a substantial PDF File, 21.9 MB ... so I'll wait until I'm on my ADSL connection before reviewing it for these pages!
Islam Online, Electronic Guide For Aqsa Mosque Released, Shrieking Sheikh Bakri this one came out a couple of years ago, around the time Omar Bakri Muhammad was suggesting the use of the net as a jihadi weapon. I thought it was worth bringing out of the archive.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Telegraph | News | Video games attract young to Hizbollah discusses 'Special Forces', which I refer to in Islam in the Digital Age
al-Jazeera, زلزال المغرب يودي بحياة 300 شخص graphic online coverage of the Morocco earthquake Did Reem love Allah more than her children?: "Many questions are unanswered, but one thing is clear - the occupation of Palestinian lands is a crime and must come to an end. However, do the 'means', in this case, justify the end? "
The use of campaigning websites has been crucial in campaigns regarding the development of 'the Wall' (a.k.a. 'security fence). It includes regular updates, webfeeds, and photos. Here are a few images. I was interested in the design of this one:

Here are a couple of recent photos of protests:

PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Taken from 'Stop the Wall' (see below) .

To show some 'balance', it should be noted that there are 'pro-wall' sites including web content as well (none from a Palestinian perspective) including Betar-Tagar UK's Why does Israel need the security fence?
Women against the Wall relates to the story below. There's a comprehensive site entitled Stop the Wall, which will take you to related areas of the web.
Israeli women keep eyes on army | article on Machsom Watch, whose website contains reports about checkpoints.
Al Qaeda's new young guard: a shift in tactics | "The younger acolytes, though, are believed to be at least as religiously zealous, better educated, more computer savvy, and better organization builders." | Broadcast | Al-Jazeera plans English channel
Newsweek- Iraq: Shiites Unbound non tech story
As more Westerners learn Arabic, Syria is increasingly becoming country of choice
Cyber Muslims@Southeast Asia research site for Ph.D. thesis by Nasya Yadi. This contains some of the chapters from the thesis (HTML format), with more promised in due course. I haven't taken a close look yet, but it looks interesting.

I should also mention that I received the 'Asian Cyberactivism' volume today, previously noted on this site. I haven't read it yet, but note that there are chapters on the net in Pakistan, Malaysia and Singapore which relate to the content of this blog. I'm going to review the book in the next few months.
Aljazeera.Net - Report reveals real al-Qaida chief: "The 'real' chief of al-Qaida cells in Saudi Arabia is Yemeni national Khalid Hajj rather than Saudi Abd al-Aziz al-Migrin, a Saudi newspaper reported on Monday."
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Al-Qaeda 'joins headscarf row': "Al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has reportedly criticised a French law that includes the banning of Islamic headscarves in state schools. "
Farrah's Bluster About Religious Intolerance (by Habib Siddiqui) - Media Monitors Network (MMN) - CIA Web site seeks Iraq WMD information - Feb. 12, 2004: "The CIA, under fire over its intelligence about Iraq's arms programs, has posted a notice on its Web site offering rewards for information on the elusive weapons. " - Google adds 1 billion pages to search - Feb. 18, 2004: "Google unveiled an even more powerful version of its leading search engine with the addition of 1 billion additional pages to its Web index, increasing its breadth by about one-third. Google's engine, the most popular on the Web, now spans 4.28 billion Web pages, up from 3.3 billion pages earlier this week. " - Analysis: Why Iran's reformists lost - Feb. 23, 2004

Monday, February 23, 2004

Times Online - Sunday Times, Islamic Britain lures top people I have yet to read the analysis on this:

"More than 14,000 white Britons have converted to Islam after becoming disillusioned with western values, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon.

"Some of Britain’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the strict tenets of the Muslim faith ...

"Muslim leaders are harnessing modern campaigning methods to promote their faith. Groups have sprung up on the internet publishing “trophy lists” of white converts."
Columbia Daily Tribune, Islamic radicals put MTV-style video to work another angle on Sheik Terra, discussed in this blog below (9 Feb). Not sure if I'd define this video as an 'Americanized' approach ...
The New York Review of Books: Tomorrow the World: Quote from 'An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror' by David Frum and Richard Perle, reviewed by New York Review of Books:

"Take a vast area of the earth's surface, inhabited by people who remember a great history. Enrich them enough that they can afford satellite television and Internet connections, so that they can see what life is like across the Mediterranean or across the Atlantic. Then sentence them to live in choking, miserable, polluted cities ruled by corrupt, incompetent officials."
IHT: Pakistan plans attacks on Qaeda and Taliban

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Aljazeera.Net - Scholars condemn US sharia threat: "The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has condemned Iraq's US administrator's remark that Islam will not be the main legislative reference in Iraq's temporary law." - Cell Phones Used to Stem Kashmir Attacks: "Security officials say that after fighting what appeared to be a no-win war for the past 14 years, providing easier access for Kashmiris to mobile phones, land lines and the Internet has paid off in fewer militant attacks and lower death tolls."
AP/Haaretz - Israel News: "A Palestinian militant group accused American and Israeli groups Saturday of hacking into its Web site and destroying it.

"Islamic Jihad, which has carried out suicide bombings in Israel, said the unidentified groups had destroyed the site to silence 'the Palestinian voice.'"
Yahoo, Linux servers 'attacked more often'

Aljazeera.Net - Saudi activists urge faster reform: "The petitioners also called for 'renewing the religious discourse, entrenching a culture of dialogue and tolerance, combating extremism, guaranteeing freedom of expression, enhancing women's role in society ... and respecting intellectual and confessional diversity'."
BBC NEWS | UK | MI5 expands to meet terror threat Situations Vacant - New Radical Islamic Terror Tape Surfaces : "U.S. intelligence officials said the video came from an unofficial Web site of Ansar Al-Sunnah, a group with ties to Al Qaeda."
The Slate, Unhip, Unhip Al Hurra - The Middle East hates its new TV station. By Ed Finn: "In its first week of broadcasting to the Middle East, U.S.-funded satellite station Al Hurra has earned little praise from its target audience. Al Hurra (which means 'the free one' in Arabic) started broadcasting Valentine's Day as a none-too-subtle answer to Al Jazeera and other regional media's unfavorable reporting on U.S. foreign policy."
The Slate, Who You Calling "Arab"? - Considering today's New York Times story about Arabs. I mean, Muslims. No, brownish people from the Middle East. Or possibly South Asia. By Jack Shafer
Al Qaeda Rebuffs Iraqi Terror Group, U.S. Officials Say: "American intelligence had picked up signs that Qaeda members outside Iraq had refused a request from the group, Ansar al-Islam, for help in attacking Shiite Muslims in Iraq."
Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Searching for the truth discusses a new book by Marianne Pearl (Daniel Pearl's widow) which includes: " ... her strange story of a journalist whose computer broke, resulting in his being offered a used laptop and a hard disk which belonged to al-Qaida, looted after a bombing raid. The hard drive contained documents which the WSJ took the unusual step of handing over to US intelligence then bragging about in print, perhaps endangering Pearl's life." I refer to this in 'Islam in the Digital Age' too.
Veil of Tears - Whatever happened to Arab feminism? By Lee Smith: non tech, but a live issue when discussed online

Friday, February 20, 2004

Where is Raed ? Salam Pax on Google as an 'authority' on religion, and 'Eid Al-Ghadeer' Islamic campaigning website discusses the latest announcements regarding the release of five British prisoners from Guantanamo.
iranFilter | Live election reports from Persian blogs I've just been taking a look at the accounts from bloggers around Iran, talking about the election. The accounts of empty polling stations reminds me of elections here in Wales, where officials can on occasions outnumber voters. However, the resemblance ends there. There's some interesting and highly-significant material here - especially the account by 'Zeitoon'.

By the way, my main site was down today. Apologies to my reader. This was due to editorial error, rather than censorship.
Independent, Saudi gays flaunt new freedoms: 'Straights can't kiss in public or hold hands like us': John R Bradley's report from Jeddah has an internet component:

"... the kingdom's Internet Services Unit, responsible for blocking sites deemed 'unIslamic' or politically sensitive, unblocked access to its home page for gay Saudi surfers after being bombarded with critical e-mails from the US.

"A S Getenio, manager of, said Saudi Arabia seemed concerned about the bad publicity blocking the site would bring, 'at the time it was involved in a multi-million dollar advertising campaign in the US to improve its image'."
Editor: Myself | Hossein Derakhshan's weblog (English), Bloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran

"I'm trying to encourage Iranian blogger to go out tomorrow, the election day, and report what they see and hear in their city and blog it. I also plan to gather all posts related to it in one place either in my own Persian blog or in Sobhaneh, the collective news blog.

"I also consider a place in iranFilter for those Iranian who know English to provide translations the reports that are gathered in Persian.

"This can be the 9/11 for Persian blogosphere. It's the first event that potentially engages every body in every city in Iran and blogs can play a huge role in reporting the news, rumors, and all those things that traditional journalists usually miss."
Blogging is receiving substantial coverage in relation to Iran. I was reminded of the eyeranian whilst reading the story below. It's a significant time to be taking a look at the variety of Iran-linked blogs. This (and is one of the best places to start. Also see the associated
CNEWS - Blogging boom in Iran defies media control: "Pedram Moallemian, an Iranian who runs the English-language from San Diego, reaches many of those Iranians with observations on everything from the Iranian elections to U.S. news programs.

"'The blog in Iran is truly an amazing phenomenon,' Moallemian said. 'It shows that Iranians are saying, 'Look, we're part of the world as well.' '"
CNEWS - Weather forecasting, banned by Taliban, makes a comeback in Afghanistan refers to Internet connections (or lack of them) in Kabul.
American academe in trouble By Albadr Al Shateri refers to academic websites relating to Middle East Studies in USA being 'monitored' by Campus Watch.
Iran, Iraq, and two Shiite visions |
Hi Pakistan: "The president said Internet facilities had been extended from 87 to 1,800 cities while fibre optic technology had been extended from 29 to 420 cities and added that establishment of seven IT universities in the country had brought revolutionary changes in this sector." - Gaza enclave `jail inside jail' non tech, interesting story about al-Muwasi enclave in Gaza, CIA struggling to spy in Iraq and Afghanistan: "Confronting problems on critical fronts, the CIA recently removed its top officer in Baghdad because of questions about his ability to lead the massive station there, and has closed a number of satellite bases in Afghanistan amid concerns about that country's deteriorating security situation, according to U.S. intelligence sources.
", Tehran muzzles reformist media ahead of election: "Iran's beleaguered reform movement suffered a new blow yesterday, ahead of today's parliamentary election, as the judiciary moved against reformist newspapers and news websites."

Thursday, February 19, 2004

FrontPage, Opening "the Locked Gates of Jihad"
Many Iranians flaunt their style | "'Girls and boys coming out like this are only pretending to be free,' he says, waving toward flirting couples. 'What do you call liberty? Uncovering your hair? This is not freedom. The true liberty is expressing your idea.

'With the Internet and satellite TV, people are understanding more and more every day,' he adds. 'This is the atomic age, and each person knows better if they are on the right path. I know what is right or wrong.... I don't need anybody else to tell me.'"

Aljazeera.Net - Iran gags reformist papers ahead of polls
: "Iran's hardline controlled judiciary has ordered two reformist newspapers to be shut down after they published a letter critical of the Islamic republic's supreme leader." So people will go to the net more for their reformist perspectives.
Wired News: At the Front in the Virus Wars

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Yahoo! News - Kurds Keep Their Chins Up Over Reunification With Iraq brief internet reference
Infoshop News - Personal Voices: A Hysterical Librarian: "Let's say you don't know much about Muslims, and you've decided you want to educate yourself, so you order materials from the library on Islam. At the same time, you're having trouble with moles in your backyard. You're desperate, so you ask the librarian to get you whatever information she can find. She sends you materials which include how to blow up the poor little buggers. You're also one of those people in town who's always protesting something. Using the authority of the Patriot Act, the FBI has obtained your name from a list of anti-war demonstrators. They decide to investigate you. They go to the library and find out you've been studying Islam and explosives. In their eyes, you are now a terrorist. " - Yahoo rolls out new search in split with Google

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I have been doing some work on the Somali community in UK, focusing on the Welsh dimension - and proving a welcome diversion from my normal politics and religion diet. It shows how Muslim communities/individuals can apply the net to network, and also to provide their own sense of history online: Somaliuk Your News Portal; South East Wales (discussed Bute Town); Bay People - An oral history of settlers in Cardiff's Tiger Bay ; Camels and Curran's; A Seafaring Tale, By Isman Hassan Ali; Butetown History & Arts Centre
Iranian militant group offers $100,000 for killing Rushdie - The Times of India: "An Iranian extremist Islamic group calling itself the General Staff for the Glorification of Martyrs of the Islamic World has offered a $100,000 reward for the killing of British novelist Salman Rushdie.

"According to the hardline Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on Sunday, the tiny and little- known group called on 'all volunteer Muslims to sign up on its Internet site... to kill Salman Rushdie.' "
The News - Jang Group, Hizbul Tahrir activists held in Tajikistan: "Tajik police have arrested two men accused of distributing pamphlets and books calling for the creation of an Islamic state in central Asia, the interior ministry said on Monday.

"The ministry said the two men, both in their 20s, were suspected of belonging to the banned radical Sunni movement Hizbul Tahrir, or Freedom Party, one of the most active radical Islamist groups in central Asia, which has thousands of adepts in Tajikistan." News - Latest News - Preacher Jailed for Inciting Racial Hatred Launches Appeal
alt.muslim, "US Public Relations Machine Needs Some Good PR" appropriate comments on al-Hurra: "Fresh out of the gate with $62 million and an Arab staff of 200, the channel began its broadcast with a surefire winner among Muslim viewers - an interview with President George Bush. (Memo to Al-Hurra: Host a focus group, take notes.)"
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Postcards from Iran: Surfing the net "In a country where the media is still strictly controlled, the internet offers a unique window on the world. It's a safe and easy way for young people to make new friends, to keep in touch with each other, and to find out what's going on both at home and abroad." article + photos. To be read in conjunction with yesterday's note on the 'Editor: Myself blog'
Islam Online- News Section, "Palestinians Campaign Against Separation Wall":

Monday, February 16, 2004

MSNBC - Bremer will reject Islam as source for law
Comedians Shazia Mirza and Azhar Usman both have content-rich websites, worth checking out. Shazia's contains audio materials.'s (Editor:Myself) listing of Persian blogging stories, itemising those which have appeared in the press recently. Hossein Derakhshan's 'Editor: Myself blog has some interesting materials about the current state-of-play in relation to Persian blogging, and its influence in Iranian society.
Times Online - Sunday Times, Friends, Muslims countrymen, lend us your ears
opinion piece by Roger Scruton
Times Online - Sunday Times, Iran split as fun-hungry young spurn rigged poll Report from Marie Colvin, with net references:

"They are a powerful force by sheer weight of numbers: an estimated two out of three Iranians are under the age of 30. Most of them are more likely to turn to the internet for guidance than the mosque. They do not agree with Khomeini’s edict: “There is no fun in Islam.”

"Perhaps the most prominent of the new generation is Zahra Eshraghi, Khomeini’s granddaughter. Despite her credentials, she was among more than 2,000 reformist candidates that the Guardian Council, a 12- man unelected conservative body that vets candidates for their adherence to Islamic law, banned from standing in the elections."
Shujaat's cartoon perspective on the headscarf issue in France. Scroll down to the end of this al-Jazeera page for the cartoon section. - The stealth worm era: "Many people might wonder why virus writers aren't simply rounded up and arrested for producing their creations. But in most countries, writing viruses is not illegal."
An Al Qaeda blueprint for terror : "A terrorist survival kit reveals how the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and their sympathisers are preparing to survive the US-led war against terror, reports UPI.

"The kit has been printed in several languages -- Arabic, Dari, Pashto and Urdu -- and is distributed secretly among the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Review of Virtually Islamic from Bratislava, Slovakia: in HIERON, religionistiká ročenka, VI.-VII./2001-2002, 104-5
The Seattle Times: Local News: Military goes high-tech in bid to win recruits "The military is going after Internet-savvy prospective soldiers on their own terms — even using the Fort Lewis Army base and its units as the backdrop for a computer game and a commercial geared toward recruitment ...

" ... Recently computer-software developers watched an anti-terrorist-training mission by the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, a Stryker combat team at Fort Lewis.

"Soldiers barreled through buildings in a mock-up of a city in Iraq. A "grenade" permeated the air with daffodil-yellow smoke, and Arabian music blared above "gunfire" and soldiers' shouts."

ZDNet UK - News - Bin Laden ploy spreads IM adware: "Instant messages purporting to bring news of Osama bin Laden's capture instead install insidious adware

"Beware of instant messages bearing news of Osama bin Laden's capture.
Several victims told CNET on Wednesday that a new Trojan horse advertising program, called BuddyLinks, masquerades as a news Web site with a story on the al-Qaida leader's capture, in an attempt to fool users of America Online's instant-messaging program into downloading software and receiving advertising. "

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Muslim convert in Seattle gets 2-year term for aid to Taliban more on webmaster Ujaama (discussed below)
The Black Hand Side: Introducing Al Hurra - America's Newest Propoganda Organ
Islam Online- U.S. Launches Arabic-Language Channel To Polish Image "Al-Hurra, or the free one, will be broadcast to the Middle East and the Gulf region and debut with 14 hours a day of programming, to expand to 24 hours within weeks, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"It will be available to viewers in the Middle East on the region's two major satellite systems, namely, Arabsat and Nilesat.

"According to its website, Al-Hurra is operated by the Middle East Television Network (MTN), a body financed by the Congress, which earmarked $62 million for the channel’s 2004 budget."

al-Hurra's website is somewhat sparse at present, in comparison with its 'competition', but can be found at
ThisisLondon: "James Ujaama, 38, was arrested in July, 2002, following an investigation into a Seattle mosque. The government filed a complaint alleging that Ujaama brought money, computer equipment and a recruit to Taliban officials in Afghanistan.

"Prosecutors did a deal and in exchange they wanted to hear what he knew about London cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, whose web site Ujaama once ran."

Refers to Supporters of Shariah website.

Aljazeera.Net - Shia cleric slams Aljazeera
: "An Iraqi Imam has accused Aljazeera of trying to spark a civil war between the country's Sunni and Shia Muslims.

"Imam Jalal al-Din al-Saghir, during the Friday sermon, urged the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council to permanently close down the Qatar-based satellite channel's Baghdad bureau. "

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi police hit in daring resistance raid

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | A stranger in Saudi
non-tech story
Asia Pacific Media Network :: WORLD: Al-Qaeda publishes magazine on the Net: "Al-Qaeda has published the third menacing edition of its online magazine al Battar Camp, offering counsel to would-be terrorists on everything from physical fitness to weapons training."
Guardsman outspoken on Islam, patriotism / Front Page -The Olympian: "Anderson, who grew up in Everett, made his appearance in the Muslim chat room shortly after he graduated from Washington State University in 2002, Junejo said. He converted to Islam three years earlier.

"His e-mails to the group included references to his skill as a marksman and his desire to teach others how to shoot guns.

"Concerned, Junejo said, he appealed to the Web site's administrator to boot Anderson off. Denied that action, Junejo appealed to Anderson, telling him the remarks were inappropriate and that Islam is a religion of peace."
Reuters AlertNet - Spanish judge hailed for Guantanamo extradition
Sting Suspect Stressed Military Prowess ( "The tank crew member, 26, arrested Thursday at nearby Fort Lewis, where his unit is training for deployment to Iraq, has posted scores of self-revelatory messages on Internet user groups. His writings portray a young man infatuated with guns, prone to exaggeration and eager to make sudden commitments to new religious beliefs."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Top Chechen separatist dies in Qatar bomb blast "The Chechen separatist website,, said Mr Yandarbiyev had "become a Shakhid" - a martyr in the Islamists' holy war."
AP> : Chechen Separatist's Killing Probed

Friday, February 13, 2004

The Seattle Times: Local News: Local soldier accused of trying to give al-Qaida info More information about Anderson: "About two years ago, a young man using the screen name 'akagunfighter' joined a local Islamic Internet chat room."
Asian Cyberactivism : Freedom of Expression and Media Censorship interesting new book being launched
Reuters Microsoft Code Leaks Onto Web (potential) hacking related story -- ironically, an ad for Windows XP popped up with this story.
Times Online - US soldier arrested over al-Qaeda spying

"Mr Anderson became a Muslim five years ago and graduated in 2002 in military history with an emphasis on the Middle East at Washington State University.

"Officials said that Specialist Anderson signed onto extremist internet chat rooms and tried to get in touch with al-Qaeda operatives, offering them information on US military capabilities and weaponry.

"It did not appear that he transmitted any information to them."
PRISM Occasional Papers no. 1 Vol. 2 (2004) -- Reuven Paz -- Hizballah or Hizb al-Shaytan: Recent Salafi-Jihadi Attacks against the Shiite Group PDF file. From Israel's Project for the Research of Islamist Movements.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Totally Jewish - News Channel, Islamist Video Probed more of Sheikh Terra (sic), whose music has attracted the attention of Scotland Yard. Full details were blogged below (9 Feb 04). - Osama's Navy, Bin Laden has bought fleet of 15 ships for terror attacks

Yahoo! News - Hamas Vows Suicide Attacks After Gaza Raid
Guardian Unlimited | Online | Audible revolution: "Online radio is booming thanks to iPods, cheap audio software and weblogs" -- expect this to extend into Islamic contexts
Independent, Saudi Arabia enrages Yemen with fence
Evan Kohlmann on al Qaeda & Saudi Arabia on National Review Online: "An authentic al Qaeda video released on the Internet in early December featured scenes of black-clad, hooded men carrying out indoor urban-warfare training exercises at a camp inside Saudi Arabia known as Al-Istirahat Al-Amana (the Guesthouse of Goodness). The footage was allegedly filmed during mid-2003, and at least one of the featured trainees was later killed during a confrontation with Saudi security forces. No matter how one chooses to characterize the Al-Istirahat facility, there can be no doubt as to the intentions of those who received terrorist 'refresher' courses there. Following their recorded training exercises, the men gathered closely together, brandishing their automatic weapons and singing jihadist tunes. One of the men — Abdallah Al-Utaibi — goes on in the video to read a martyrdom will while sitting in the Al-Istirahat camp, begging God to 'destroy' the United States."
Israel to fly ‘evidence’ to The Hague to justify barrier : "The Israeli government is, for the first time since the intifada erupted on Sept. 28, 2000, projecting the unadulterated horror of a suicide attack directly to the public through a graphic five-minute, 38-second video of the Jerusalem bus bombing on the Foreign Ministry’s website. The graphic video, filmed by an official cameramen given access to the grisly scene before the media, shows body parts scattered around the smoldering wreck. It received 600,000 hits in the first three days it was on show.
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage, Slain filmmaker's "Death in Gaza" debuts

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | 'Oldest' Hajj pilgrim back home there is a net link to this...
BBC NEWS | Magazine | The secret war against al-Qaeda
Back to Iraq 3.0 I blogged v.2.0 a year or so ago, but here's 3.0 -- independent journalist Christopher Allbritton seeks to go back to Iraq to carry on his work. See what he has to say here (plenty of food for thought).
CBS 2: World Wire, Al-Qaida document: Foreign Islamic fighters must accelerate action
Islamicorp Releases "Virtual Jum'ma": Exciting Software Debuts "Plug and Pray" Technology :: Islamica News :: News You Can Lose satirical slant on technology Palestinian prime minister linked to sale of concrete for Israeli separation wall: "Palestinian officials have denied claims that a cement company owned by the family of Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has been providing materials for the construction of the controversial separation wall. " non-tech story Islamists vs. Mariah Carey just for the headline, really, Intelligence gathering and due process are at odds in the US, Rima Merriman, News & Analysis: Crusaders and Allah's Soldiers
Arab Times/AFP, 2 wanted Al Qaeda men killed in Saudi Arabia : "Two members of Al-Qaeda have been killed in Saudi Arabia where they were wanted by the security forces, according to a statement published Wednesday on the Internet in the name of the terror network's Gulf branch. 'Amer bin Mohsen al-Zeidan al-Shihri and Abdul Ilah al-Utaibi fell as martyrs during a clash with the forces of the apostate regime of the (ruling) al-Saud in the al-Suweidi district of Riyadh,' says the statement on to be found at ."
Evan Kohlmann on al Qaeda & Saudi Arabia on National Review Online: " ... the interior minister has contradicted not only himself, but also compelling visual evidence distributed on the Internet confirming the presence of al Qaeda safehouses and training camps inside Saudi Arabia. " The IRI in Iran: Its End is Sure, But What Will Follow? By Mark Dankof "There is yet another notable quandary for Khameini and the Guardians–how to cope with an age of Internet communication which has made the IRI regime’s domestic control of the dissemination of information and news-spin all but impossible. This is self evident, as Tehran dailies parroting the line of the Guardians like Jomhouri-e-Islami and Siassat-Rouz are contradicted by Internet and Farsi language short-wave radio communications which link Iranian human-rights dissidents and larger masses of indigenous listeners to lines of news and analysis which threaten the aura of deification that once surrounded the Islamic regime. As is the case with all forms of totalitarianism, the IRI and its chief theocrats are losing the war for the minds of its people. With the beginning of this process is the predictable end of Islamic theocracy in Iran."

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Letters from Iraq 'last post' for this blog, from a serviceman in Iraq.
Islamic Terror Trial Opens in New High-Tech German Court | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 10.02.2004: "Three members of an al Qaeda affiliated group, accused of plotting attacks on Jewish targets, face trial Tuesday in Germany’s first maximum-security court designed especially for terrorism trials"
An al Qaeda Hit List? - American Daily (Jeremy Reynalds) "Apparently determined not to be outdone by the United States, the terrorist group al Qaeda (or a sympathizer) has released a video with a deck of cards featuring its own most wanted.

"The "cards" (dangling above flames), could be considered an al Qaeda hit list. They feature a wide variety of individuals including Bush administration figures, lawmakers, the Spanish and Italian prime ministers and conservative American media personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O' Reilly."

One link given by Reynalds is down, for violation of ISP service. The other was working today: - it's a substantial download time, if you are not on Broadband.

Aussie tourist stabbed in Cairo - - "The interior ministry identified the assailant as Hussein Ahmed Hassan, a 30-year-old internet cafe owner from Cairo who had no previous criminal record."
ShortNews - the News-Community, Israeli 'Special Arms' Info Found On Internet

Monday, February 09, 2004

There has been substantial online coverage of a jihadi rap track/video, produced in the UK, entitled 'Dirty Kuffar' by Sheikh Terra. This includes a report from Al-Sharq al-Awsat.

The Investigative Project have placed links to copies of the video on its website. The Project's Steven Emerson (writer of the book 'American Jihad') notes:

"Posted on a radical Islamic website based out of the United Kingdom, the video is undeniably entertaining, as professionally produced as any video you might see on MTV. Consider the irony: radical fundamentalism, sworn to destroy Western culture and beliefs, uses that culture to market its hate."

More on this can also be found at
Jihad Watch: Jihad rap from Britain This is Jihad Watch's article on 'Dirty Kuffar', which pre-dates the Observer/Guardian piece below. Jihad Watch have also placed a range of readers' comments on the video into their pages . There's more at Internet Haganah too.

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Red box | Islamic rappers' message of terror

"It's rap, jihad-style. A music video with blood-curdling images, fronted by a young British Muslim rapper brandishing a gun and a Koran is the latest hit in radical Islamic circles.

"The rap song is called 'Dirty Kuffar' - Arabic for dirty non-believer - and it praises Osama bin Laden and the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

"The video has recently been posted on the British website run by the Islamic extremist Mohammed al-Massari, the UK-based Saudi Arabian dissident who has lived in Britain since 1994. Al-Massari claims that the video has been selling in large quantities at mosques to the younger generation and is in heavy demand overseas.

"The rapper fronting the video calls himself Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew - a take on the rap group So Solid Crew. 'Salah' is Arabic for faith."

Al-Massari's Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights (CDLRL website is

I write about CDLR in 'Virtually Islamic'. This is not the only example of music videos promoting forms of 'jihad', and certainly not the only example of 'Islamic' rap (both discussed in 'Islam in the Digital Age').
MSNBC - Online search engines lift cover of privacy "Sitting at his laptop, Chris O'Ferrell types a few words into the Google search engine and up pops a link to what appears to be a military document listing suspected Taliban and al Qaeda members, date of birth, place of birth, passport numbers and national identification numbers." Well, hardly shocking, but this is a useful reminder of what can be found online. 'Google hacks' provide further surprises ...
Yahoo! News - Prince Charles Tours Bam on Historic Visit to Iran not a tech story, although it will generate discussion online
Dispatches: Looking for Intel on the Intel
IHT: Memo urges Qaeda to wage war in Iraq
U.S. asks access to terror figure - The Washington Times: World more on Mullah Krekar and Ansar al-Islam: "... the CIA believed Krekar was using the Internet to "order suicide bomb attacks in the last months of 2003."
SwissInfo, Appointment of Muslim scholar causes unease in US refers to Tariq Ramadan's appointment at Notre Dame, and also the Internet response to this from some sites., Proposed Law Could Limit Iraqi Women's Rights Links to an audio report, and a photo: "US Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao browses the internet with a group of Iraqi women at the Fatma al-Zahra Women's Rights Center "
The Wall Street Journal (via, - A Battle for Ears and Minds --- As Technology Gives New Voice to Dissent, a Saudi Vies to Be Heard, 4 Feb 04
"The 41-year-old head of the London-based Saudi Center for Human Rights has been engaged in a battle of wits against Saudi Arabian authorities who have sought to get his satellite-based radio and television stations off the air. He has scored notable victories -- such as radio broadcasts that last year led to the first demonstrations for human rights in the Saudi capital of Riyadh -- but also defeats, including a run-in with a Saudi bureaucrat who finagled transmission details out of one of his subcontractors."
The first of three dispatches from MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), whose perspective (in case you haven't checked their pages before) can be determined through reading the 'About Us' information on their main page.

MEMRI: Egyptian Government Daily: Suicide Bombings are Legitimate Even if Children Are Killed

"An editorial in the Egyptian government daily Al-Masaa praised suicide/martyrdom operations, and called on Palestinian organizations to not publish the names of the bombers so that their families' houses would not be demolished. The article focuses primarily on female suicide bombers, following the debate in the Arab media over Hamas's dispatching of Reem Al-Riyashi, a mother of two, to carry out the January 14, 2004 bombing in Gaza."
MEMRI: "Grand Ayatollah Montazeri Interview: 'The Guardian Council Manipulates the Laws; It is a Betrayal of the Revolution'

"Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri , the highest ranking Iranian cleric, who led the Islamic Revolution along with Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini 25 years ago, gave a recent interview to the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera . In the interview, he expressed his views on the conflict between reformists and conservatives in Iran, between the Majlis (Iranian parliament) and the Guardian Council , which recently rejected 3,600 of the 8,157 candidates for the coming election on February 20th."

MEMRI: New Muslim Brotherhood Leader: Resistance in Iraq and Palestine is Legitimate; America is Satan; Islam Will Invade America and Europe translation of interviews with new Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Mahdi Othman 'Akef .

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Middle East Online, Explosive belts bring new menace to Iraq. "Suicide bombers wearing explosives belts blew themselves up in twin attacks Sunday on Kurdish political parties in northern Iraq, bringing a new threat to US-led coalition forces and their Iraqi allies."
Aljazeera.Net - Bahrain plans smart ID cards "Al-Khalifa said the "comprehensive" Bahraini programme would be the first of its kind in the Arab world and only the third globally after Malaysia and Hong Kong."
New York Times, The Virus Underground got worms? profile of hackers and affiliates: "These moral nuances fall apart in the case of virus authors who are themselves willing to release worms into the wild. They're more rare, for obvious reasons. Usually they are overseas, in countries where the police are less concerned with software crimes. One such author is Melhacker, a young man who reportedly lives in Malaysia and has expressed sympathy for Osama bin Laden. Antivirus companies have linked him to the development of several worms, including one that claims to come from the ''Qaeda network.'' Before the Iraq war, he told a computer magazine that he would release a virulent worm if the United States attacked Iraq -- a threat that proved hollow. When I e-mailed him, he described his favorite type of worm payload: ''Stolen information from other people.'' He won't say which of his viruses he has himself spread and refuses to comment on his connection to the Qaeda worm. But in December on, a discussion board for virus writers, Melhacker urged other writers to ''try to make it in the wild'' and to release their viruses in cybercafes, presumably to avoid detection. He also told them to stop sending in their work to antivirus companies." There's a discussion of hacking and Islam in my book 'Islam in the Digital Age'
2nd Muslim Group Out Of Marriage Alliance ( "After being accused of links to extremists, one of the nation's largest Muslim organizations has withdrawn from the Alliance for Marriage, an interfaith coalition pushing for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

"The Islamic Society of North America, an Indiana-based association of 300 mosques and Muslim professional societies, is the second Muslim group to resign from the alliance under similar circumstances." Homegrown Terror -- Feb. 16, 2004 ricin recipes online -- refers to al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam.
MSNBC - Serious Muslim Seeks Spouse—Online: "The numbers tell some of the story. “When was launched in 2002, the site attracted few visitors,” Aisha Khan, the London-based site’s administrator, wrote in an e-mail to NEWSWEEK. Today, probably the Web’s most popular Muslim matrimonial site, boasts 47,648 registered members and 1,500 first-time visitors a day. “Within the last 2 years, online matrimonials have taken a quantum leap forward in terms of social acceptability within the Muslim community,” writes Kahn, “whereas it would have been their last point of research, if not an outright shameful act, a few years back.” Ali Rizvi, whose Texas-based caters specifically to Islam’s minority group, points out that he launched his site in 1999 with five or six users (including himself, his brothers and his cousins) and has since seen the active membership logs surpass 9,000."
Islam Online- Health & Science Section, The Brave New Era of Biomedicine: Where Do Muslims Stand? 
"Muslim intellectuals and scholars, in addition to advocates of Islam, have for the most part focused on refuting the recent barrage of criticism by explaining the basic teachings of the religion and Islam’s contributions to Western civilizations. Although this forms a very important steppingstone for attaining a higher level of understanding of the Islamic faith, Muslims seem to be stuck on the historical rhetoric rather than dealing with contemporary social issues in science and technology that are in much need of their attention. The participation of Muslims in the controversies centering on the impact of life science technologies on human lives, morals and values remains negligible."
Times Online - Sunday Times, Islamists in Britain plot Israeli attacks: One of a couple of stories in today's Sunday Times citing Mossad/Shin Bet sources: "“Britain is the largest hotbed for exporting potential suicide bombers,” said Reuven Paz, a former head of Shin Bet’s research department who has been investigating the Islamic terrorist network in Britain." The tech thread is that 'Islamist' organisations are utilising the web as part of their communications strategies.
Times Online - Sunday Times, Spy boss reveals Mossad considered killing Vanunu comments from the head of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Israel - whose output has featured in this blog before.
Times Online - Sunday Times: "A SAUDI Islamic militant based in the breakaway republic of Chechnya is suspected of being behind last Friday’s bomb attack on the Moscow metro, which killed 39 people and wounded more than 130.

"Abu-al-Walid al-Ghamidi, 36, has been identified by the FSB, the Russian intelligence service, as one of the most powerful figures in the Chechen rebel leadership. As the commander of several hundred Arabs fighting alongside the rebels, he is thought to have been responsible for a wave of suicide bomb attacks that have killed more than 200 people in just over a year."

Friday, February 06, 2004

Islamist group claims twin suicide attacks - SpecialsWarOnIraq -

"It was not possible to independently verify the statement posted on the website,

"The statement expressed sympathies with the "brothers" of the militant group Ansar al-Islam, which Kurdish political groups have fingered in the attack and which is suspected of links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network."

Aljazeera.Net - Quran study may save Iranian convicts
: "Three hundred clerics and 200 theology students are currently taking classes in the Islamic republic's jails" [non-tech story]
TWinds of Change.NET: "The Future of the Moslem Mind, Part 5:
The Fall of the Oppressors and the Emergence of the Sword"
Healing Iraq Iraqi blog (in English) that is also a useful pointer to other Iraq related blogs -- beyond Salam Pax. Located via an article about which I read in this month's Wired. Phew! All worth reading. Wish the day was longer.
Wired 12.02: Three Blind Phreaks This is an interesting article about the Badir brothers - 'Israeli Arabs' whose computer crimes caused the Israeli telecom industry serious headaches some years back.
Wired News: Iran's Most Wanted: Filmmakers

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Fears over US hawala crackdown
There is a net linkage to hawala (a money transfer system)
more on the tapes:
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Tape 'shows al-Qaeda attackers'
'Broadband Britain, in the Public Interest': by Michael Fabricant, MP :: :: eGovernment & public sector IT news from : "Cyber terrorists could attack our nation’s infrastructure. Our electricity and gas supplies are all computer controlled as are our national broadcast networks so all are vulnerable to attack. Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations may well adopt this tactic in the future. I believe that we need to be more prepared." Conservative MP on Spam and cyber terror
" - Saudi Al Qaeda bombing caught on tape?:

"A video purported to be from accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network shows Saudi militants planning, training for and carrying out what it said was the Nov. 8 bombing of a housing compound for foreigners in the Saudi capital Riyadh that killed 17 people."

The 90-minute video, viewed on an Islamic Web site in Dubai, shows a vehicle driving up to what it says is the Muhaya compound in Riyadh before loud explosions and gunfire erupt. That portion is blurry and badly lit and the building is not visible"
Malaysia marches to '2020' economy - The Washington Times: World Briefings Article about Vision 2020 has an Internet edge

"Ahirudin Attan, editor of the government-backed Malay Mail ('The Paper that Cares'), said online publications like Malaysiakini debunk the myth that Malaysia has no press freedom.
  "In a column recently published in the local state-controlled Nuance, he wrote: 'When they invented the Internet and Malaysians started surfing and polluting the websites, the whole issue about press freedom was settled ... surf some individual websites run [by] ex-journalists and journalist-wannabes. Tell me if that's not absolute press freedom.'
"Steven Gan, Malaysiakini's editor, said: 'The Internet alone cannot bring about democracy.'"

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Dionach, Hundreds of Public Sector Web Sites Hacked "More than 150 local websites were hacked and defaced in a three-day period over the Jan 16-18 weekend, according to the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT)" The majority were using Linux OS, e-TQM College adopts new multi-lingual solution to deliver online courses in Arabic and English Arabic Blackboard system developed, Al-Oroush links negotiations to approval of Amazigh as an official language, 2 Feb 2004 This is not an area I have previously addressed in this blog; an initial google of the subject revealed a number of online networks associated with Amazigh, including an online forum and the AmazighOnline website, which claims to be a portal to the Amazigh world.
Wired, The New Face of the Silicon Age, Feb 2004
Yahoo, Open Source Gaining Traction in Asia this fits in with what I feel will be a significant development during the coming years, regarding accessability to technology (also discussed elsewhere in this blog).
Not sure whether this fits as a tech/Islam story: TBWA\Chiat\Day is poised to break the TV, print and Internet component of a $50 million global Adidas effort featuring Muhammad Ali on Thursday. "SAN FRANCISCO--TBWA\Chiat\Day is poised to break the TV, print and Internet component of a $50 million global Adidas effort featuring Muhammad Ali on Thursday."

"Almost invariably, Western commentators have concluded that the essential cause lies in the “failed” societies of the Arab world, in their absence of democracy, their abuse of human rights, their economic mismanagement, their oppression of women, their exploding populations, their soaring unemployment, their poor education, their technological backwardness, even their lack of internet access! The list of Arab ills is a long one. "
Daily Star (Lebanon), It’s time to clarify the roots of ‘Arab rage’ interesting piece by Patrick Seale (although I don't endorse all its points)
Media Monitors Network, The misdirected goals of textbook revision refers to the Internet. Writer is Yusuf al-Khabbaz
Talon News, Terrorist Group Parades Pictures of Bush, Blair in Coffins, 2 February 2004 Discusses Ansar al-Islam and, whcih I have been writing about recently (due for publication late 2004).
BBC, Bomb victim's family praise video The graphic video appeared online "Israel was right to release a graphic video showing the results of a suicide bombing, a victim's brother has said.
The ministry of foreign affairs posted the gruesome video on its website following a suicide bombing on Thursday that killed at least 11 people. "
BBC, Row over Morocco's 'commercial' Eid, 30 Jan 2004 OK, not a tech story - but an interesting perspective on the commercialisation of Eid, that reflects current discussions online.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Aljazeera.Net - Makka imam talks oppression
: "Makka's Grand Mosque imam has lashed out at Israel, condemned Iraq's continued occupation and called for unity among Muslims in the face of oppression." Expect this sermon to circulate on the net - it was also broadcast by satellite worldwide

Aljazeera.Net - Hajj pilgrims killed in stampede at Mina
: "Some 244 pilgrims have been trampled to death during the 'stoning of Satan' ritual at Mina, near Makka, during the annual hajj pilgrimage."

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Stampede brings carnage to Hajj

BBC NEWS | Technology | Linux steps into the limelight
"Major global computer companies are now embracing Linux. IBM, for one, is currently running a series of television and online ads proclaiming that the future is open, as in open source computing.

"They have even enlisted author Kurt Vonnegut to help promote the open source ideal of sharing your computer code with others."

IBM and Vonnegut - what a combination. I'm interested in how this might have implications in terms of Muslim contexts, in particular the development of cheaper applications for those with low access to IT. Open-source is definitely the way to go. Not sure if it will tear me away from Macs, though.