Monday, May 31, 2004

I look forward to reading reports on this weblog fest in Iran:, The First Persian Weblog Festival
Middle East Online, 'Al-Qaeda winning the war against terror', Ideas of Imam Khomeini Inspire Intifada: Palestinian Ambassador
Aljazeera.Net - Pakistan's religious faultline
Al-Qaeda winning: Asian analysts -
The New York Times > Week in Review > What Is (Un)Known About Al Qaeda in America
Interesting perspective on the credibility of 'intelligence': The Sun News | 05/30/2004 | Credible intelligence question spurs debate: "Al Qaeda's intent to launch a major attack in this country has been no secret for some time, former CIA counterterrorism chief Vince Cannistraro said Thursday. 'The question is their capabilities, and that we don't have.'

"'Nobody is telling us details of an operation except people talking openly on the Internet, who know we are reading it,' Cannistraro said. 'If Al Qaeda is planning another [Sept. 11, 2001, attack], do you think they'll tell us on Web sites? Give me a break.'"
Pertinent piece by John R. Bradley: straitstimes, Saudi royals can't keep shifting blame - MAY 31, 2004: "What neither the ageing royals nor the equally clueless Bush administration realised, however, was that their secret partnership during the Iraq war, though banned as a subject for discussion in the Saudi media (and largely ignored in the American media), was common knowledge to any Arab who surfed the Internet or tuned in to Al-Jazeera; and that the aid, denied by Defence Minister Prince Sultan then in the name of Islam, would become the primary catalyst for the subsequent violence.", 'Nicolas Berg and the Continuing Search for Answers' by Ira Simmons
(DV) Maavak: Mission Creep: "The tools of the Patriot Act somehow can’t penetrate the borderless world of cyberspace to track down the source of these statements while cheap software can show you the IP address of an email source. This is made easier in Saudi Arabia, which has a major nodal point to monitor Internet traffic in and out of the country, a result of its fixation with porn."
'Big, magnificent man' killed by al-Qaeda - War on Terror -
IOL : Al-Qaeda message takes a stab at Berlusconi: "Stinging comments directed at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and attributed to al-Qaeda were widely reported in the Italian press on Monday, just days ahead of a visit to Rome by United States President George Bush.

"The message, posted on an Internet site and attributed to Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, the head of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, claims responsibility for the bloody weekend siege at a housing complex in the eastern Saudi oil city of Al-Khobar, in which 19 foreigners and three Saudis were killed."
New York Daily News - Home - Their throats were slashed big questions on how the gunmen escaped
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Saudi Authorities Hunt for Militants

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Al-Qaeda to clean Arabian Peninsula of infidels : AFP/ notes the site http// as the statement's source: "The website message, signed by the "Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Arabian Peninsula", headed by Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, a Saudi, said only one of the fighters was killed, naming him as "the hero Nimer bin Suhaj al-Baqmi"."
AP/Las Vegas SUN: Tape Claims Responsibility for Arab Attack

"A man identified as al-Qaida's chief in the Saudi region claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in the kingdom's oil hub on a tape posted on the Internet Sunday.

"The unauthenticated tape was posted on a Web site known for militant Muslim comment along with a written statement about the attack that was characterized by contempt for non-Muslims."

BBC NEWS | Technology | Instant messaging grows up
Jaish-E-Mohammad Rebaptised? links to Nizamuddin Shamzai story (below). Also see Tehrik al-Furqan page (and associated links)

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Sunni preacher killed in Karachi
Linux related story on Iraq -- I write about OS in a forthcoming paper, and really feel that this is a significant issue: Wired News: Slow Going for Linux in Iraq "Reports from inside the country say curious citizens are keeping Internet cafes filled to capacity, that eager students are returning to universities to learn how to program and that high-end computer workstations can be bought for as little as $150 in city marketplaces."
Top News Article | "An Internet statement purporting to come from Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network said it carried out the unprecedented hostage-taking, which raised the stakes in a battle the world's biggest crude exporter has waged against the group for a year.

"A later statement signed by the 'al Qaeda network in the Arabian Peninsula' vowed to rid the peninsula of 'infidels.'""

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Ex-pats predict exodus in Khobar
Reuters AlertNet - Chronology of events in Saudi oil city attack
Islam Online- London Draws Plan To Win Young Muslims' Hearts also see links below on Amr Khaled
Amr Khaled Official Website English tranlsations from Amr Khaled
Al-Ahram Weekly | Features | From Amr Diab to Amr Khaled

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Northeast Intelligence Network, Global Islamic Media: Archives (translated into English) of Global Islamic Media. these are primarily machine-translated from Arabic.
Northeast Intelligence Network: "28 May 2004 - Al Qaeda lists successes since 9/11 on Global Islamic Media; Includes 2001 downing of American Airlines flight 587 that went down over Queens"
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Gunmen Kill 10 in Saudi Housing Complex "Statements posted on Islamic Web sites claimed the attack in the name of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Brigade. One of the statements was signed the ``al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula.'' It says the attacks targeted U.S. companies and that a number of ``crusaders'' had been killed."
Independent, Abu Hamza: panto villain or terrorist mastermind?

Friday, May 28, 2004, Governing Body, U.S. Pick CIA Link Allawi as Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi gets the job 30 June on
just seems an appropriate place to put this link: The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > For Some, the Blogging Never Stops
Islam Online - Services (Fatwa), Iraqi Detainees Forced to Denounce Islam: Disbelievers? also discusses the treatment of prisoners in general
Islam Online have issued a 'fatwa' relating to zakah, and whether it is permissible to give it to the people of Rafah: Islam Online - Services (Fatwa), Food and Medicine for the People of Rafah
Given the attention paid to al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade online, I thought this piece from the Independent was relevant to this blog:, Zacharia Zubeidi: The marked man "Zacharia Zubeidi, head of the al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade in Jenin, has survived four assassination attempts by Israeli forces."

Related links (still functioning):

"A War for Peace" and "Sheikh Osama Bin Laden's Message to the People of Europe" Posters available on the site in pdf format [in case you haven't seen it -- please read my Content Disclaimer before proceeding]., Which one do you prefer - death penalty or life in prison? With Abu Hamza under arrest, al-Muhajiroun have issued this press release, with states (in part):

"Sheikh Abu Hamza, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad and many other Muslim political activists in the UK have been facing intense vilification by the media, who through lies and distortions have made them public enemy No. 1 for the British public. The arrest of Sheikh Abu Hamza today is therefore no surprise as the Blair regime gives in to the Jewish lobby (and the likes of the detestable pro-Israeli Andrew Dismore) and the lackeys of the Blair regime within the Muslim community known as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The arrest is also intended to appease the masses fearing another attack by Al-Qaaeda and to deflect the publics attention away from the US and UK fascist policies in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Shaykh Abu Hamza and Supporters Of Shareeah [IMPORTANT NOTICE] remains online, in this one page statement in support of Abu Hamza
"Elevating Arabic to equal status with English could revolutionise internet usage in the Middle East and lead to an explosion in the number of sites offering Arabic content." As discussed in Islam in the Digital Age Reuters/, Fully Arabised net has some way to go

The al-Jazeera copy of this article has a good photo accompanying it., I feared al-Qaeda would kill me: Roche - War on Terror - "Roche said that after returning to Australia, he saw the FBI's most wanted list on the internet. He recognised 'five, if not six of the people... as a result of seeing them in Afghanistan'."
Missoulian: More collateral damage in war on terror - Friday, May 28, 2004, Cleric charged in bid to start al-Qaida training in Oregon: "Al-Masri also tried to establish a computer lab in Afghanistan to help the Taliban, an effort that started in the spring of 2000 and continued until just five days before the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.
The indictment also said Al-Masri used a Web site called Supporters of Shariah to encourage donations to the Taliban. "

The website is discussed in Virtually Islamic and Islam in the Digital Age.
JINSA Online (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) -- Al-Qaeda: Is the Past Prologue? refers to use of the Internet by al-Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda.
The Sun, Gun cops seized Hamza The Sun highlights its campaign against Abu Hamza on its front page, together with previous front pages and detailed coverage (it appears to be the only newspaper to be on-site during the arrest).
Reuters, Britain wants speedy Hamza extradition

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Straits Times,What the Islamic ummah really means - MAY 27, 2004 includes Internet reference
gg2: Police arrest firebrand cleric for extradition allegations: "Abu Hamza is known for damning the US and calling for the overthrow of Arab leaders. He spends his time answering emails on the Internet or organising conferences for Muslims in secret locations across Britain.", Qaeda Leader Beheads U.S. Civilian in Iraq latest conspiracy theories and opinion relating to the Nick Berg videotape

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Crash sparks Saudi driving debate
non-tech, although the topic has appeared in net chat rooms

BBC NEWS | UK | Hamza faces 11 US terror charges
Strange world: Web reveals much, government little: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Adam Gadahn and his 'inspiration' via the net:

"If an Internet account attributed to him is true, he grew up on 'an extremely rural goat ranch' in Southern California, was once 'obsessed with demonic heavy metal music,' and became a Muslim in November 1995 after being inspired by online religious discussion boards."
Wired News: Wartime Wireless Worries Pentagon, UK Police Arrest Firebrand Cleric for Extradition
"For weeks, Washington officials have been discussing among themselves the increased level of "chatter" being intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA). From a military base outside of Washington and from listening posts all over the world, the NSA uses supercomputers to monitor overseas phone and Internet traffic. The last time the NSA raised the chatter alarm was during the summer of 2001."
BW Online | May 27, 2004 | Does Terrorists' Chatter Matter?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

"154 Jihad Verses in the Koran -- Passages in the Quran about Islamic Holy War" compiled by Yoel Natan This listing links to -- I haven't read it through yet

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Radical cleric 'stopped bomb plot'
non-tech, but links into Jemaah Islamiah discussions (referrred to in Islam in the Digital Age.
E-mail and the net are part of this ongoing case relating to the suicide bombings in Tel Aviv:
BBC NEWS | UK | Brother 'shocked' at suicide bomb
: "Mr Sharif said he had not tried to contact Omar after hearing he was on the run.

"'If something like that happened, the last thing you would think of doing was to drop off in an internet cafe,' he told the court.", Terror Suspects Named by U.S. Officials | News for Oregon and SW Washington | AP Wire: Al-Hussayen case hots up, now the defence is in place.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US 'faces summer terror threat'

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

see the original on
Wired News: Are You a Potential Terrorist?
BBC NEWS | Technology | Wi-fi lifeline for Nepal's farmers accessibility model that could work in other contexts | News for Oregon and SW Washington | AP Wire: "After more than six weeks, attorneys for Sami Omar Al-Hussayen have their chance to show jurors that the University of Idaho graduate student is not the Internet terrorist the federal government claims. "
The New York Times > International > Middle East > Only a Few Spoke Up on Abuse as Many Soldiers Stayed Silent links to article below:
"Mistreatment was not only widely known but also apparently tolerated, so much so that a picture of naked detainees forced into a human pyramid was used as a screen saver on a computer in the interrogations room. Other soldiers easily stumbled onto photographs of naked detainees left on computers in the Internet café at [Abu Ghraib] prison." (Kate Zernike, "Only a Few Spoke Up on Abuse As Many Soldiers Stayed Silent," New York Times, 5/22/04) cited in ZNet | Iraq | The Last Man Standing
Guardian Unlimited | World dispatch | 'Its best use is as a doorstop' "Brian Whitaker explains why a book packed with sweeping generalisations about Arabs carries so much weight with both neocons and military in the US." The book in question is The Arab Mind, by Raphael Patai. I cannot say that I am encouraged to read this.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Islam Online- Syria, Muslim Brotherhood Turn New Leaf
Islam Online- Scotland Yard Reaches Out To British Muslims I think 'reaches out' has to be defined here, as the long arm of the law stretches into Muslim communities.

""Stop and Search rates have become one of the most visible indicators of racially biased policing practice in London ," said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, in a statement published on the MCB's website Friday."
Jerusalem Post, France: Hackers silence a leading Islamic website this refers to the termporary loss of The Post's opinion is that :

"... is the mouthpiece of Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic new wave extremist theologian and a proven anti-Semite. Ramadan, grandson of Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Islamic Brotherhood, is the darling of the French-speaking left and the guru of the young Muslim generation."
Journal Gazette | 05/24/2004 | Technology changing how we see war: Up close
Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro's Official website, Uniting The Human Family, Islamic sites This is the Syrian Grand Mufti's site, including translations of khutbahs in several languages. (Located via Little Green Footballs, diolch!). It also links to The School of the Qur'an- The AbuNour Islamic Official website which has an Internet section. The English Qur'anic commentaries are derived from Mawdudi, rather than Kuftaro, and I was wondering if they had considered the implications of this(see Islam in the Digital Age)? The site is regularly updated, with lectures, a biography and other materials, in Russian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Turkish, France, Arabic and English. It includes photos of Pope John Paul II's visit to Syria in 2002.

Journal Gazette | 05/24/2004 | Technology changing how we see war: Up close - AP Regional: "Prosecutors looked for one last boost to their terrorism case against a University of Idaho graduate student on Monday before turning the witness stand over to the defense attorneys for Sami Omar Al-Hussayen. ", Hate on the Web attracts attention - 05/25/04

"The Southern Poverty Law Center, a Birmingham, Ala., group that fights intolerance, said the number of U.S.-based hate Web sites rose 12 percent to 497 in 2003 compared with the previous year."

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | 'Wedding video' clouds US denials
FrontPage :: Berkeley Intifada by Anneli Rufus
Easy to Use / What do Macs and Islam have in common?: "In a world where the vast majority of computers are PC, where Islam is perceived as the enemy, why would someone choose to be a Mac user or a Muslim? Bias against both is rampant. Those who we rely on to educate us -- the media -- are themselves neither Muslim nor Mac users. " - Mullah as Agent for Reconstruction and Recovery - Minn. coffee chain battles rumor of terrorist link
Times Online - Beheading of Berg – now it's a conspiracy

Friday, May 21, 2004

Al-Ahram Weekly | Region | Image and reality
E:M | Crack down on ISPs "A dozen of small and medium-sized Iranian ISPs have been shut down over the last couple of weeks for various reasons: providing VoIP, failing to filter blacklisted websites, etc."

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Asma Gull Hasan on hijab, being an American Muslim woman, and tight jeans. --
Aljazeera.Net - Israeli court finds Barghuthi guilty: "He has reportedly used mobile phones smuggled into his cell to help broker short-lived ceasefires between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel."
Human Rights, Islam and the Charlatan Activists (by Habib Siddiqui) - Media Monitors Network commentary on cyber-postings and their authors.
Daily Local News: "Sageman compared the terrorism networks to the Internet -- they cannot be disrupted simply by taking out one prominent member like al-Zarqawi or even bin Laden."
Daily Local News includes profile of and speculation on al Zarqawi:

"Sageman compared the terrorism networks to the Internet -- they cannot be disrupted simply by taking out one prominent member like al-Zarqawi or even bin Laden." [as discussed in Islam in the Digital Age]
FrontPage :: The Enemy is Not Just Al-Qaeda by Robert Spencer: opinion piece, with Internet references to Ryan Anderson:

"Anderson, who is now under arrest for attempting to betray his country and join the jihad, chose his words carefully. A convert to Islam who had spent considerable time cruising for radical Muslim Internet sites, Anderson knew that what Americans think of as one unified organization — Al-Qaeda — is in reality a loose affiliation of many organizations, or even an American conceptual grouping of people who share common motives and goals."
I was interested in the comments of Reuven Paz as this trial rolls on, and his inclusion as a prosecution witness. Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho, Expert says sites linked to overseas terrorists
Testimony looks at Internet's role in Hussayen trial
: "A terrorism expert told the jury in the Sami Al-Hussayen terrorism trial Wednesday that articles posted on Web sites associated with the former University of Idaho student, including four religious decrees advocating suicide attacks, appeared to be propaganda to help recruit and raise funds for Islamic resistance groups in Chechnya and Palestine." - Pentagon says it attacked fighters -- not wedding - May 20, 2004, Israel condemned over Palestinian deaths

Substantial coverage elsewhere on this issue. In terms of this blog's remit, see the powerful application of graphic imagery in the montage on Palestine-Info (Arabic pages) -- reproduced below.

I am temporarily locking into electronic-intifada's newsfeed (see sidebar) as a demonstration of the application of the net as an activist platform (whilst being aware that there are many other perspectives on this issue).
MEMRI, The Official Website of Yasser Arafat: Pictures, His Human Side, and Daily Chores reviews President Yasser Arafat's website. I was intrigued about Arafat's chores -- alas, another term may have been more appropriate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

NPR : NPR Ombudsman : May 2004, a Turning Point for Some Listeners
AFP/ | tech news Decapitation pics top web searches: "The Terra Lycos group said that 'Nick Berg', 'War in Iraq' and 'Muntada al-Ansar', a militant Islamic group, were the top three searches made in the week to May 15."
the latest from Boise, Idaho on the trial of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, in which web pages have been shown as evidence: AP/, Terror-trial prosecutors gain leeway to show Net material : "Prosecutors hit jurors with a new wave of provocative Internet material after a federal judge agreed there was enough evidence to argue that a University of Idaho graduate student conspired with a Muslim group to foster terrorism."
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | US soldier jailed for Iraq abuse
BBC NEWS | Programmes | This World | 'Cyber brides' vulnerable to abuse? has implications in cyber Islamic contexts
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Muslim groups infuriated by anti-terrorism poster
After my post yesterday on, I checked it again today using Windows platform + Internet Explorer. Search engine still not functional; audio channels appear to be OK (choice of 4 recitors); text accessible (Arabic + English translation); side-bars buggy but functional, with a frustrating series of errors preventing any serious use of the site at present. Early days.
"The university [al-Azhar] has changed over the millennium. It now stretches far out into the suburbs of Cairo. Students no longer sleep on reed mats in the open air but in air-conditioned, modern dorms. They access the Koran on CD-ROM, communicate via satellite, internet and e-mail. They study computer technology and tourism (the current careers of choice). Their tastes intermingle East with West: blue jeans with headscarves, Coca-Cola with falafel, Umm Kulthoum with Smashing Pumpkins."

How many times have the Smashing Pumpkins and Sheikh Tantawi appeared in the same article? Well, they do here. It's an interesting piece, one of a series from Yvonne Seng at the Daily Star (Lebanon). The Daily Star - Arts & Culture - Tantawi engages with questions of modernity - Muslim CEOs of U.S. firms fight terrorism, 'stop evil': "Those who go to sleep at night with the threat of terrorism on their minds might be surprised to learn that Muslim CEOs are running companies that watch over our safety." / News / World / U.S. forces and cleric's militia fight in holy Iraqi city: " ,,, a group linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for Monday's car bomb assassination of the Iraqi Governing Council president in a statement posted on a militant Islamic Web site.

"The head of the Monotheism and Jihad Group is believed to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian wanted by the United States in connection with numerous terrorist attacks. He is suspected of strong links to Osama bin Laden's network. It was the second group to claim responsibility. ", Sivits Found Guilty in Iraq Abuse Case

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Middle East Online, Egypt fires warning shot at Muslim Brotherhood after muscle-flexing "The arrest of 54 Muslim Brotherhood members by Egypt's authorities was seen Tuesday as a warning shot to the banned but tolerated organisation after it tapped popular sentiment in well-supported demonstrations on Iraq and the treatment of the Palestinians."
Healing Iraq, Nicholas Berg blog commentary
Baghdad Update blog 'live' from Baghdad, with some interesting insights.
Healing Iraq, Unbelievable Internet cafe stories light relief amongst the eheadlines
Radical Islamic Writer On MSN Groups - Jeremy Reynalds Reynalds discusses his observations of MSN/Yahoo bulletin boards, in particular the output of one Shayhka Maulani Aeisha Muhammad.
This article relates to the fanfares surrounding the launch of the domain, offering multilingual content. English and Arabic pages were not fully functional at the time of writing (basic searches for 'sura'/'surah' and other basic terms came up with no results). Side bars didn't function (at least, via Mac/Safari platform -- have yet to test with Windows). It certainly has the potential of being a useful resource, but is this another case of a premature launch?? I'll return to this site at a later date., Madinah Printing Complex Launches Qur’an Website: "There are Qur’anic interpretations prepared by Ibn Jarir, Ibn Katheer, Al-Saadi and Al-Baghwai online in addition to a database about major interpretations and books written about the Qur’an plus a database of answers to frequently asked questions. The site contains recordings of the Qur’an by four famous readers." News & Analysis latest news from Gaza and Rafah, demonstrating the application of the net as a campaigning tool by
Latest update on this case: Local News - The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho: "Curt Rose, a computer forensic expert and key witness for prosecutors, testified Monday that his examination of two computer hard drives taken from Al-Hussayen's Moscow apartment indicated Al-Hussayen was the administrator on several Web sites, including, which would have meant he had ultimate control of all content.

"But Rose, under cross-examination by Nevin, admitted that anyone could log into a Web site as an administrator if they were given the appropriate password. Rose also told Nevin he did not know how many people worked at or how much content was posted on the site."

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Shock and defiance over IGC killing
has useful internet links to reaction from al-Ra'y, al-Quds al-Arabi, al-Jazirah and others.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Northeast Intelligence Network, Summary & Analysis - 'Kidnapping & Hostage Taking', excerpted from Camp al Battar Issue 10, 16 May 2004 PDF file providing a perspective on the latest edition of al Battar
A war of pictures - World - "We are told that a picture is worth 1000 words, and in a war that is almost always true. We are told that the camera never lies, but does it tell the whole truth? In this internet age, how does one find out?"
Tallahassee Democrat | 05/17/2004 | We won't defeat terrorism by using its methods
The Daily Star - Politics - Why watch a decapitation?: "Although the video of the beheading of American civilian Nicholas Berg in Iraq, available on the internet, has provoked condemnation, outrage and disgust from citizens in Beirut and abroad, many internet users here have downloaded the graphic, five-minute video."
Hello From the land of the Pharaohs Egypt comments on current affairs + - Insult-happy Web guns fall quiet, Blast kills Iraqi leader Abdel-Zahraa Othman a.k.a. Izzadine Saleem (Dawa Movement) killed

Sunday, May 16, 2004

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Film deal for 'Baghdad blogger' time for the film of the blog -- I hope they get a decent director/writer for this.
Zensiert, verhaftet, exiliert: "In meinem Weblog fühlte ich mich frei" - Netzwelt - SPIEGEL ONLINE about Iranian blogging (in German)
In relation to my research, I am going to be focussing on blogs more in the next few months. I revisited The Religious Policeman via The Guardian Online today. It asks the interesting question: "Why are you publishing a Blog? I'm a great believer in the Internet, and in the power of information to cast a light into the darker corners of our world. I'm addressing an English-speaking audience, in the hope that they will recognize that on the whole we are good folk, just like anyone else, but caught between an ultra-conservative Royal dictatorship on one side, and terrorists on the other. I am hopeful that this will inform their opinions of us. I would also like to encourage my fellow-countrymen to become fellow-bloggers as well."

The same blog also links to Mahmood's Den - which is a very interesting read. : People Seek Haven From Too Much Data "E-Serenity, Now! Some Say It's Time to Reclaim the Mind" back to the information overload issue, something of an occupational hazard ...
this is a critical question for those of us studying the web: : Commentary: Will Digital Memories Last?
Sydney Morning Herald, A hostage to misfortune tries to buy his way out : "More bad news is going to come out of Iraq. There are also American sex tapes taken inside the Abu Ghraib prison which haven't made their way onto the internet - yet. And Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, the exposer of America's dysfunctional intelligence community, has more damaging revelations in this week's issue, that Donald Rumsfeld authorised harsh interrogation of prisoners for intelligence purposes."

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Foreign Policy Association - Resource Library, Joseph Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics
MSNBC - Different shades of condemnation in Arab world to Berg killing
Slashdot | Egyptian Linux Advocates' Replies This is an extremely interesting and insightful dialogue about computer use in Egypt, with a Linux edge -- recommended!!
Turning Points ( "Thanks to satellite dishes, shortwave radios and the Internet, Muslims have longingly watched societies from South Africa to Chile to the former Soviet republics shed odious ideologies and repressive regimes. Many haven't wanted to be left behind; they've wanted much of what we've wanted for them.", The Shock and Awe of Prison Images: "The 'shock and awe' of the battlefield has now given way to the 'shock and awe' of gut-wrenching pictures and videos which will resonate in global memory for time immemorial." | 2 DJs fired after airing audio of beheading | Utah Muslims join in condemning terrorism refers to CAIR Internet petition:
AP/Detroit Free Press, Teachers Placed on Leave for Berg Video "At least three teachers have been placed on paid leave following complaints they showed students the videotaped beheading of American Nicholas Berg in Iraq."
The trial of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen (alleged contributor to continues. The site remains active: Judge lets jurors see web site with suicide boming justifications
Berg execution website shut down | The Register

Al Qaeda boss confused phone SIM with cloaking device | The Register
I think I missed this one first time around (from March 04)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

AFP/Yahoo! News - Militants' use of horror images changes rules of propaganda game: historian: "The internet broadcast of video footage showing the decapitation of a US hostage by Iraqi militants signals a new era in wartime propaganda, according to war historian Phillip Knightley. "
AP/Yahoo! News - Online Co. Shuts Down Site With Beheading "The al-Qaida-linked Web site that first posted a video of American civilian Nicholas Berg's beheading was shut down Thursday by the Malaysian company that hosted it — because it was drawing too much traffic. ...

" ... Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government to investigate the possibility that "Malaysia is hosting a master network of international terrorist Web sites."
Aljazeera.Net - New prisoner abuse images 'far worse'
A number of conspiracy theories have started to surface, which I place here for documentation purposes. Aljazeera.Net - Bloggers doubt Berg execution video

"The Jordanian accused of the beheading Berg is himself believed to have been killed in March, according to two Islamist groups.

"An eight-page leaflet circulated this week in Falluja, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniya mountains of northern Iraq during a US bombing.

"But even if it was the Jordanian, one discussion room member observes his face is so well-known that "why would he bother to cover it?" - AP World News, "Saudi Official Condemns Berg Decapitation"
Palestine Chronicle, Hezbollah Condemns 'Un-Islamic' Berg's Beheading
Independent: "The story of Nick Berg - a tale that haunts America"
Haj and Umra Magazine (59:3, May 2004) has an article on the application of the internet, with references to fatwa sites and also hajj applications. The magazine's own pages are not uploaded at present, but the article itself is worth tracking down, and also has some nice graphics.
More on the Berg killing, this time an opinion piece from the Bahrain Tribune. The emphasis in this blog on this killing reflects the application of the web as a medium to disseminate the video, and the associated symbolism. Coupled with the ways in which the images from Abu Ghraib have been circulated online, I think this marks a significant shift in the development of cyber Islamic environments. Bahrain Tribune Daily Newspaper, Bahrain: "The 'live' beheading of the American hostage, whoever is behind it, is a terrible act, as heinous as the mental, moral and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners."
New York Post Online Edition: Even Hezbollah can't stomach sickening images - Net sleuth helps catch Guardsman seeking to aid Al-Qaeda "A Montana city judge who doubles as an Internet sleuth helped catch a National Guard member accused of trying to help al-Qaeda, according to testimony given Wednesday at a military hearing for the guardsman."
The Daily Star - Editorial - Berg's death augurs ill for Arab societies: "Not only did an innocent civilian lose his life in appalling circumstances, but the Arab and Muslim worlds have been dealt a severe body blow by the same blade that ended Berg's life."
The Daily Star (Lebanon) - Politics - World appalled by beheading of American
More on the killing of Nick Berg: Haaretz - - U.S. Jew beheaded in Iraq was becoming more religious: "In Beirut, the Hezbollah movement denounced the decapitation. 'It will give [the Americans] more excuses to carry out uglier actions against the Iraqi prisoners,' the statement said. "
Haaretz - - Listening to Allah versus 18 million SMS messages "The voices of sharia scholars like al-Ghamidi, who lament the loss of the Islamic way in the face of Western "decadence," of programs mimicked by the Arab stations, can hardly compete in the new arena created by satellite television and the Internet." - Muslims: Judge us not by un-Islamic acts of few
Mosques urged to help Malays find love - MAY 13, 2004 this refers to Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) in Malaysia -- I did some fieldwork there several years back: "... a national religious organisation has urged Malaysian Muslims to look for love in the mosque, not on the Internet."
The Advertiser: Click here for killers camp [13may04] More information on the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment report, which I blogged yesterday. - the Edge: Web of terror: Radical groups using Abu Ghraib photos, Internet as recruiting tools, Kurt Nimmo: Dirty Nukes and Jefferson's Grand Experiment: "I wonder if these terr'ists have IP addresses. Or maybe they post from internet cafes in the deepest darkest recesses of Afghanistan."

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

MSNBC - Feds urged to reopen restricted Web sites
Forsvarsnett: FFI explains al-Qaida document "Since the Madrid bombings on 11 March there has been considerable media interest in a document found on radical islamist websites some months ago by researchers at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)."
Rachel Ehrenfeld on Islamic Terrorism and the U.K. on National Review Online
Northeast Intelligence Network, Al Qaeda Beheads American and Releases Video This network has a copy of the video available for download -- personally, I have no wish to view this.

The Drudge Report also has extremely graphic screenshots.
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Media Outlets Won't Show Beheading Video, منظمة مجهولة تعلن إعدام أميركي في العراق : U.S.: Berg Had Been Advised to Leave Iraq "The video is of poor quality, and its time stamp seems to show an 11-hour lapse between when the assailants finish their statement and push Berg down, to when they behead him. That suggests a delay between those two portions of tape posted on the Web site."

New Zealand News - World - Al Qaeda leader beheads US civilian in Iraq, says website
Zaman Daily Newspaper (Turkey), Al-Qaeda Beheads American Civilian For 'Revenge' discusses the killing of Nick Berg, which appeared on the Muntada Al Ansar website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Tech edge to this opinion piece by Thomas L Friedman, which asks "Why are the Japanese making robots into humans, while Muslim suicide squads are making humans into robots?"Straitstimes, Oil has been a curse for Arab world - MAY 11, 2004
Internet link to this story, with ricin info appearing online: The Seattle Times: Nation & World: 'Chemist' whips up ricin; where is it now?
HeraldNet: Accused soldier faces panel: "Anderson is accused of using the Internet to attempt to contact al-Qaida to pass on intelligence information. Since he graduated from Cascade High School in 1995, Anderson has left a trail of Internet discussions with people who advocated forming anti-government militias."
Haaretz - A campaign of denial to disinherit the Jews Discussion piece on the term 'al-Aqsa' and its application in contemporary contexts:

" ... there is growing use of the term "Al-Aqsa" as a symbol and a name for different institutions and organizations, be it a Jordanian army journal, a Palestinian police unit established by the Palestinian Authority in Jericho, the Fatah terrorist cells known as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade or Internet sites of the northern and southern branches of the Islamic Movement and organizations they have set up and, of course, in the current intifada and the Arab summit convened in its wake."
"The powers that interrogators have to elicit information have long been as subtle and shadowy as the techniques of a secretive martial arts school, but their practices are coming under extreme scrutiny in the wake of torture and abuse allegations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at several other sites across the country."
Guardian Unlimited | Online | Religious hatred flourishes on web

Monday, May 10, 2004

B E L L A C I A O - Onward Christian Soldier: U.S. Atrocity Photo from Iraq You May Have Not Seen (Warning: Graphic) -opinion piece with internet link, and (another) graphic photograph:

"Instead of posting from the Geneva conventions, and as a rebuttal to the incessant anti-Moslem chatter, the following is from a site on Islam regarding the prohibition on mutilating bodies during war. "

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Web sparks revolution in Persian

"Persian speakers across the world are increasingly turning to the internet as an outlet of expression. New websites, discussion groups and online diaries - are sprouting up all over the web.

"However, with millions of Persian speakers living outside Iran, language has become something of a barrier. Often they are choosing to communicate in English or a mix of Persian and English - known as 'Pinglish' - which has angered some traditional Persian speakers.", Scholar Urges Use of Latest Technology to Serve Islam

"Opening a new website,‚ last week, Maulana Habib-ur-Rahman said there had been an increase in bias and misconceptions about Islam as a result of Sept. 11. One very good way of countering them is to use the electronic media and other related means to educate people about what Islam really is."

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there were a number of broken links on this site, which suggest a premature launch for this resource.
Cadets learn art of cyberwarfare | CNET
There is some interesting discussion on encryption in this response to the Jerusalem Post piece 'Virtual Jihad'. [blogged below] Cryptonomicon.Net - Jerusalem Post Article Predicts Virtual Jihad

Sunday, May 09, 2004

National Business Review (NBR) - Terrorists online: a 21st century battlefront
Telegraph | News | Daniel Pearl 'refused to be sedated before his throat was cut': "Shocking video film of Pearl's murder, seen around the world via the internet, was in fact a partial reconstruction of what had happened a few moments earlier, officers have been told.

"The camera operator made a mistake and missed the moment of his death, which his murderers then re-enacted, before decapitating the reporter."
Refers to Al Qaeda 'hit list' - PM not surprised at inclusion on Al Qaeda hit list. 06/05/2004. ABC News Online, Bin Laden Calls for a Holy War Against US-Led Occupation of Iraq, Offers
Gold Rewards For Killing US and Iraqi Officials
The following detailed article refers to al-Qaeda activities online, and the detailed analyses of various statements on Global Islamic Media and other fora. Intelligence: Cracking al Qaeda's code (5/17/04)
"Islamic terrorists are winning the on-line war against Western interests because of their virtually unchecked ability to use the Internet to plan, promote, and propagate both physical and cyber attacks." Detailed article by Alan D. Abbey, including brief reference to 'Islam in the Digital Age'. Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, Virtual jihad [registration required]
Daily Times, Abu Ghraib pictures are recruitment posters for Al Qaeda on the symbolism of the prison photos, with comments from scholars of Islam, and notes on the publication on the net.
AP/Yahoo! News - Digital Cameras Change Perception of War
: "The explosive photos of abuse in an Iraqi prison drive home a defining fact of 21st century life — that the pervasiveness of digital photography and the speed of the Internet make it easier to see into dark corners previously out of reach for the mass media."
Washington Post/Yahoo! News - Iraq Prison Scandal At Its Most Graphic: "The English-language Web site of Al Jazeera TV ( published some of the more subdued coverage. Prominent on its home page Friday, for example, were a photo gallery showing Muslims protesting outside the prison and a survey of site visitors in which 62 percent of the 72,840 respondents said they suspected abuse of Iraqi prisoners was routine."

Yahoo! News - Teen Confesses He Created 'Sasser' Worm
network work and versions discussed - no specific 'Islamic' link : Chechen President Dies in Stadium Blast
The MI5 site has received substantial traffic:
BBC NEWS | Politics | MI5 terror website grabs 3m hits
It has an Arabic section too.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I was interested in this article by Yvonne Seng about technology and 'knowledge', featuring a quote from Tantawi:

The Daily Star - Features Articles - A quest for elusive truth in a modern world: "With no time to think and less time to contemplate, we allow the words of pundits, commentators and internet chat rooms to pass as wisdom. We value reaction rather than response ...

"Several leaders, however, voiced their concerns that technology, like knowledge, should be used for the good of mankind. As director of Al-Azhar University, the world's oldest surviving university, Grand Sheikh of Islam Tantawi says that educated and reasonable minded people - "people who think and are educated, people who are involved in their culture, good moral people" - are the key to a peaceful future for the planet.

"Islam," Tantawi says, "is on the side of progress and development." He adds that technology should be used "for the sake of humanity, not against it." Several weeks before our interview, the grand sheikh put his money where his mouth is. In a televised debate that reportedly drew more viewers than Baywatch, he trumped his opponent by declaring that in the case of death, he himself would become an organ donor."

The following article states: "Saudi-funded Islamic activists have final say in shaping public-school lessons on religions", in relation to the writing of text books for American schools. There is a tech-edge to the story, as it hyperlinks to a number of related sites. This would make an interesting discussion piece. WorldNetDaily: Look who's teaching Johnny about Islam
Circulation of these images online has added to the issues surrounding the prison 'scandal(s)', which is summarised in this article: How the Prison Scandal Sabotages the U.S. in Iraq

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Islamic Concern is a vegetarian-oriented 'Islamic' site, containing fatwas on meat-eating. I haven't read this in depth, but it contains an interesting variety of material on animals and Islam.Islamic Concern: Animals in Islam - Al Qaeda's Great Escape by Philip Smucker
INDOlink - US News - US Reprimands Six Soldiers For Iraq Abuses

"The pictures prompted a furious reaction in the region's press and internet sites.

"The Scandal", was the headline Egypt's Akhbar el-Yom newspaper splashed across its front page above photographs of smiling US soldiers posing by naked and hooded inmates.

Al-Wafd, an opposition paper, displayed similar photos beneath the words "The Shame!"

Individual sections of the Annual Report from Reporters sans frontieres have references to the internet: I have not read the entire report yet.Reporters sans frontieres - Worst record of press freedom
AP/Haaretz/FrontPage :: Al-Qaida Targets Israel with Chemical Bomb by Associated Press "The [allegation] that there was a chemical bomb to kill thousands of people is a mere lie," the reported voice of al-Zarqawi says on a tape broadcast via an Islamic site on the Internet."
AP/The Houma Courier, France Targets Imams to Rein in Terrorism non-tech, but themes to (some) web content
Seatlle Post-Intelligencer, Idaho student's trial gets technical "Internet registration documents were introduced yesterday tying University of Idaho graduate student Sami Omar Al-Hussayen to a number of Web sites that prosecutors claim were part of a network promoting terrorism."

Saturday, May 01, 2004 : War Game: Palestinian Kids' Intifada Cards "It's called the "Intifada Album," named after the three-year, Arab uprising in the occupied territories. Its producers say it is the only thing that Palestinian children can identify with now"

Jerusalem Post, Hamas expected to boost online activities "It was the globalization and free trafficking of ideas and information spread by the Internet that allowed Al-Qaida to learn Hamas Internet
techniques and Hamas to study Al-Qaida's ideology, according to ICT senior researcher col. (res.) Yoni Fighel." ICT = International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in
Israel. - 'THEY'RE NOT FIT TO WEAR QUEEN'S UNIFORM': "Adbel Barri-Atwan, editor of Arab newspaper Al Quds, said: 'It's the best PR campaign possible for organisations such as al-Qaeda.'

"Former RAF navigator John Nichol, who was held in jail during the first Gulf War, told ITV News: 'We went to Iraq to stop torture and here we see US soldiers taking pleasure in the humiliation and degradation of the Iraqi people we went to liberate. It's disgusting.'"

BBC NEWS | UK | Disgust over Iraq torture photos
also see the graphic account in The Mirror , Shame of Abuse by Brit Troops