Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Democracy Now! | Embedded Filmmaker Who Shot "Fahrenheit 9/11" Iraq Footage Describes Humiliation and Sexual Abuse of Iraqi Families in U.S. Raids
An interesting article about censorship in Tunisia, and the closure of Internet cafes in Tunis. The New York Times, Tunisia's Tangled Web Is Sticking Point for Reform
News 14 Carolina | 24 Hour Local News | LOCAL NEWS | Muslims react to Marine's abduction | Muslims react to Marine's abduction More on the abduction of Wassef Ali Hassoun.
An opinion piece from Persian Journal Opinion, An e-mail to Allah
AP/, Electronic jihad: Web sites featuring calls to arms, video of attacks
Yahoo! News - Debates on Beheadings Rage on Islamic Web: refers to a forthcoming book by Dia'a Rashwan entitled "Electronic War" - Web is terror's tool - and trap "Allowing extremist forums to thrive may risk helping terror groups advance their goals.

"But again, there are so many ways for them to communicate,'' said Vatis, the former FBI official. "To try to shut down every Web site and e-mail address they might use is just futile. I can go to Yahoo! or Hotmail right now and create 10 new IDs in a minute.''
Herald Sun: South Koreans farewell hostage [30jun04] News - Top Stories - A million facing death in Darfur, say aid teams Darfur crisis is linked into several appeals websites, including Save the Children and UNICEF.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BBC NEWS | Technology | Iraqis seek self-rule on the net
Times Online, Confession of Iraqi militant who filmed western hostage's death "In a small, bare house to the west of Baghdad, a highly educated Arab fighter armed with an unusual combination of computer skills and European languages was packing spoils of war into cardboard boxes last week as his resistance cell prepared to take its battle into the Iraqi capital."
Tehran Times, Terrorist Groups’ Betrayal of Islam opinion piece from Tehran Times: "Many political analysts believe that the Zionist regime is behind the recent terrorist acts in the region since the worldwide dissemination of the violent images is obviously meant to give non-Muslims the impression that Islam condones terrorist acts."
The tug of war for a new Iraq - Tony Parkinson - and related cartoon.
Zarqawi uses Web for funding, recruits - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - June 29, 2004: "Abu Musab Zarqawi is using the Internet to recruit more terrorists and get money to finance his insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, according to a senior coalition military official. "
Blast kills 3 US marines; Turks freed - After Saddam - "'Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad announces the release of the Turkish hostages for the sake of Muslims in Turkey and their demonstrations against (US President George W) Bush,' a masked man said on a video tape aired by Arabic Al-Jazeera TV."
Daily Times, Can Muslim supporters of Osama now get the Pakistani hostage off the hook?
Islamic phone, export drive - AME Info FN: "Dubai based Ilkone Asia is to export its Islamic mobile phone, which features pray time reminders and a memory storing texts of the Holy Quran."
IslamOnline - People Against Prisoner Abuse online petition, causing consternation elsewhere.
This is about, which I have written about previously in this blog: Web site urges Muslims to pick up a guitar, 'hug a Jew': 6/ 27/ 2004: "It's not often you find an Islamic Web site that features a photo of rocker Jimi Hendrix with a story that exhorts Muslims to put down their suicide bombs and pick up guitars instead to change the world. " Books | Sex, violence and "The Arab Mind" non-tech, but significant nevertheless. News | Report: Iraqi militants kill U.S. soldier: "Al-Jazeera said a statement was issued with the video in the name of a group calling itself 'The Sharp Sword against the Enemies of God and His Prophet.' In the statement, the militants said they killed the soldier because the United States did not change its policies in Iraq and to avenge 'martyrs' in iraq, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. "

Monday, June 28, 2004 - Alleged al-Qaeda site reappears and disappears again (this refers to
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Family of Captive Marine Waits in Anguish

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Turks 'face beheading' in Iraq

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | US marine 'taken hostage' in Iraq
E:M | Photoblogging a disaster
E:M | Internet in Danger in Iran: "But the thing is that while the judiciary has started a wide-spread crack-down on many medium or small sized ISPs, and given their religious and political concerns, I guess the whole IT industry in Iran is in real danger in short-term. (I really don't know why the recent crack-down has been ignored by the western media)"
Healing Iraq "I recently stumbled across this very unusual blog (in Arabic) apparently run by an Iraqi called Fadhil. He regularly posts periodic official statements by the 'Political Media and Publishing Office of the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party' on current events. The latest statement was on the 18th of June and it harshly criticised Russian president Putin, describing him as a 'traitor' for his surprising statements on the Russian Intelligence information regarding planned Iraqi attacks against the US."

This refers to Iraq Forever - an Arabic language blog powered by Blogger. Technically an interesting development
Healing Iraq "What the media fails to realise, is that the logic of these groups can actually be turned against them. They claim they are here to drive the foreigners who have been killing Iraqis out of Iraq. Ironically, those Mujahideen are also foreigners who have been slaughtering thousands of Iraqis over the last year. I'm not sure we are going to see any of them beheaded on tv though."
Reagan's Osama Connection - How he turned a jihadist into a terrorist kingpin. By Fred Kaplan not a net story, but of interest
Wired News: Overstocking in Afghanistan e-business story re. Afghanistan's 'largest employer'
Wired News: Ethical Hacking Is No Oxymoron
Persian Journal, Regime Change in Iran: An Analytic Framework
straitstimes, Web of terror - June 26, 2004 Meet The New Jihad -- Jul. 05, 2004 - Saudis decry beheading hostages, not criminals
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Middle East: Counterterror wins a sign of cooperation "In Pakistan, a satellite phone intercept helped agents track Mohammed to the home of another tribal leader, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Pakistan is thought to lack the sophisticated satellite technology necessary for such intelligence work, and acknowledges it receives technical help from the Americans."
IHT: Protesters in Seoul blast U.S. and Islam
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Middle East: Extremists Opting For Beheading As Weapon Of Choice In Terror War
Al-Qaida's Next Action Hero - An insider account of the Khobar assault. By Daniel Kimmage: "On June 1, al-Qaida terrorists conducted one of their most spectacular operations—a brutal assault on the Saudi oil town of Khobar, replete with seek-and-destroy missions targeting non-Muslims and gun battles with security forces. Now, on the Internet, an insider has posted his account of the attack. "
7-Seas Global Intelligence and Tracking the Treat are referred to in the article below.
The Seattle Times: Local News: It's 4 a.m. in Montana, and a cyberspy is at work "When it's 4 a.m. in this one-stoplight prairie town, it's 3 p.m. in, say, Karachi, Pakistan, the sweltering hours just before the evening call to prayer. That's when Rossmiller, while her husband and three children sleep, finds the Internet chat rooms and bulletin boards frequented by radical Muslims and jihad warriors are busiest."
New Straits Times, The Big Picture: Frailty of the human condition: "In today's world, these calamities appear to have reached new depths of bestiality. The beheading of innocent people, recorded on the Internet, to drive fear and a depraved message, in the name, unfortunately, of Islam, are unconscionable, but are becoming a regular occurrence in places like Saudi Arabia, as if in ironic throwback to a past societal characteristic."
Evan Kohlmann on al Qaeda & Saudi Arabia on National Review Online: "Less than 24 hours after the death of al-Muqrin, al Qaeda's Committee in the Arabian peninsula released almost 100 new pages of original Arabic-language propaganda and recruitment materials on the Internet — and even rolled out a new contact e-mail address. "
Saudis Give Terrorists Month to Surrender "A videotape of Kim's slaying, parts of which were aired on the pan-Arab satellite station al-Jazeera, included spoken remarks from one of the militants pictured.

"On Wednesday, columnist Adnan Hussein wrote in the London-based but Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, that "the dialect of the commander of the group indicated he is from the Peninsula and the Gulf.", Police uncover al-Qaeda's Saudi 'information centre' refers to Sawt al-Jihad 'publishers'

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Australian: We'll get you, Saudi chief warns al-Qa'ida [June 19, 2004], Arabiya TV: Al Qaeda Beheads U.S. Hostage in Saudi

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Microsoft to launch in Kiswahili, Out of the shadows, into the world
The New York Times > International > Middle East > Debating Killing of Foreigners in Kingdom
Aljazeera.Net - Saudi friend pleads for Johnson's release
Aljazeera.Net - Saudi friend pleads for Johnson's release, Islamic Web sites make bid to save kidnapped American: "In one unusual Web site posting, a Saudi man who wrote that he worked with the kidnap victim and had even discussed Islam with him went so far as to try to extend a kind of religiously inspired, traditional tribal form of protection known in Arabic as ijara that would forbid killing Johnson."

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Saudi cleric pleads for hostage
: "Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid told worshippers at the Great Mosque in Mecca on Friday that hostage-taking and murder were grave sins under Islam."

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Sounding the drum for al-Qaeda hunt

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Profile: Nek Mohammed

Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 17 Arrested in Makkah for Hacking Into Telecom Systems, Riyadh Captors Threaten to Kill Hostage
Northeast Intelligence Network, Al Qaeda releases video of American hostage; threatens to kill him in 72 hours contains videolink
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Militants: free al-Qaida prisoners or US hostage will die: "The group, which posted the message on an Islamist website, had earlier said it targeted Mr Johnson because of his close involvement in developing Apache attack helicopters. The statement, dated yesterday, was signed by the Qaeda Organisation in the Arabian Peninsula. Sawt al Jihad has carried similar messages in the past."
Al-Qaeda threatens to kill US hostage - Global Terrorism - "The statement on the Web site says the holy warriors of the Arabian peninsula's Fallujah Brigade has 'hit' the engineering team that 'oversees the development of the American Apache helicopter that attacks Muslims in Palestine and Afghanistan'."

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

From story below: "In Algeria, an internet statement in the name of an al Qaeda-linked group called for holy war against 'every infidel foreigner' in the country. The Salafi Group for Call and Combat was blamed for the kidnapping of 32 Europeans last year."
Old friends of al Qaeda denounce attacks on Westerners - The Herald, Saudi Islamist Preachers Slam Anti-Western Attacks, Saudi Dissent Campaign Difficult for U.K. "Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi Arabian dissident living in Britain, is seen during an interview at his London home in this May 7, 2004 file photo. Al-Faqih, an exiled Saudi physician leads the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, or MIRA." More on Saad al-Faqih (also blogged below)

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | 'Zarqawi note' admits Iraq strife

Monday, June 14, 2004

Aljazeera.Net - Turkish media bows to EU pressure "With the launch of Turkey's first official TV and radio broadcasts in Kurdish some in the country are hailing it as a breakthrough in attitudes towards minorities." : al-Qaida Claims U.S. Slaying and Hostage
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | The Saudis get their reward for promoting extremism
Times Online - London-based Saudi accused of Al-Qaeda link
This refers to Saad al-Fagih, whose Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia has been discussed in my books.
Times Online - BBC man fled for a mile before killing "... Simon Cumbers, the BBC cameraman, was chased for almost a mile on foot through the al-Suwaidi suburb of Riyadh before being killed with a shot to his head."
The Australian: Website shows taped 'murder' [June 14, 2004], Video Shows Murder And Slaughter Of American Robert Jacob, In Riyadh "Video shows what it claims to be the murder of US national Robert Jacob in the Saudi capital. The footage is attributed to an al-Qaeda terror cell which claimed responsibility for the killing." This includes a link to a copy of the video, which has now circulated widely. It had been on - unsurprisingly, that is now shut.
AP/Daily Star, 'Electronic Jihad': Terror takes to Net | The Arizona Daily Star, Ask Mohja: A Muslim sexpert on why covering up is sexy This is an interview with Mohja, Muslim WakeUp's resident 'Sex & the Umma' columnist
BBC NEWS | UK | Crowds flock to new Muslim centre
Sudais Leads Prayers for Inter-Faith Peace and Harmony
Islam Online- Europe's Biggest Muslim Center Opens In London
Saudi Imam Urges British Muslims To Promote Peace -- Abdel Rahman bin Abdel Aziz al-Sudeis 'opens' extension of East London Mosque.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Three Monkeys, Islam on-line, Adapting to the digital age. Interview that I gave online to Three Monkeys magazine.
The Daily Star - Business Articles - A remedy for the Arab world's 'knowledge gap'
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraqi bloggers grab global interest: "While reconstruction in Iraq remains fraught with violence and political infighting, the country is experiencing a surge in popularity of online diaries, or weblogs."
Embassy Row - The Washington Times: Embassy Row - June 11, 2004, Internet Nukes - by Gordon Prather more on Jose Padilla
Riverfront Times | | News | News Real | Egregious E-mail, The Secret Service comes calling after a ...: " ... for Secret Service agents to wiretap Aziz's e-mail account, they had to have been tipped off. And according to Calabrese, there are a variety of surveillance programs that might pluck him from obscurity, most notably the new Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX). "
"A Saudi national studying at the University of Idaho was acquitted Thursday on charges that he used his computer skills to foster terrorism in a case that pitted the First Amendment against the government's war on terrorism." | News for Oregon and SW Washington | AP Wire, Al-Hussayen acquitted of using Internet to support terrorism This story has been running for a while (see previous blogs)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

"New light was shed on Lebanon's fast-growing hi-tech industry on Wednesday with the long-awaited release of vital sector statistics, published for the first time through a modestly funded project by the United States government. " The Daily Star - Business Articles - First-ever IT stats show growing market The report is entitled 'The Information and Communications Technology Industry in Lebanon', published by USAID -- doesn't seem to be online today. African Lakes Corporation sells ownership of leading Egyptian ISP Qatar Telecom to promote use of high-speed Internet access XPress launches radio trunking and mobile telephony services in Jordan
Aljazeera.Net - Laptops spill out their secrets easily This is a technical security issue, but still has implications within the scope of this blog.
Aljazeera.Net - 'Taliban' forces killed in clashes The 'Taliban' still have sites online, including (a version of) Taliban Online
The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - The lessons from the Khobar takeover: "The terrorists are scattered within the society and seem to be moving around fairly freely; the most effective way to combat them is to pre-empt their actions by unmasking them and discovering their hideouts. This can only be done by infiltrating terrorist groups and monitoring their telephones and the internet, and by using imagery from satellites and surveillance aircraft. "
BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Saudi terror fear rattles foreigners Frank Gardner's last report, before he was shot and seriously wounded.
seattlepi, Jury stalled in terror trial: "The jury in the trial of a Saudi graduate student accused of using the Internet to foster terrorism told the judge yesterday that it had reached verdicts on some counts but was deadlocked on others."

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Internet: 'A Dirty Mess' Whilst I don't disagree with Bruce Sterling's (cyberpunk pioneer) statement, I have some issue with his notion that "Al Qaeda is not real cyber savvy." Not sure how he defines this.
AP/, Airlines downplay latest al Qaeda terror threat "The authenticity of the statement, posted on the Internet on Monday and signed "Al Qaeda on the Arabian peninsula," could not be confirmed."
The Daily Star - Arts & Culture - Reformers Face Uphill Battle in Changing Algeria's Family Laws
another in Yvonne Seng's useful series (previously blogged articles): The Daily Star - Arts & Culture - Religious leaders offer world's youth advice on maintaining their identity
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: In Saudi Arabia, balancing act challenged by terrorists:

" ... many Saudis contend the House of Wahhab's iron grip is slipping with expanded access - partly through the Internet and satellite television - to more-moderate Islamic preachers elsewhere in the Arab world.

"Today, the main battlegrounds are the education system and the status of women. In both fields, clerics are furious at what they see as assaults on Wahhabism. "
Straits Times, Islam's disaffected find new homeland on Net - JUNE 9, 2004

Monday, June 07, 2004

BBC NEWS | UK | Profile: Frank Gardner
Al Qaeda Warns of Attacks on Western Airlines| | Media | BBC cameraman killers 'linked to bin Laden'
National Geographic Magazine's Sights & Sounds: Shiites of Iraq Flash presentation, linking to article in current issue. There is a computer-related photo here, of an individual receiving punishment for 'inappropriate' use of the net.
Muslim WakeUp! MWU! Blog:"Islam Woman" Passport for Sale e-bay has a passport for sale
Green Left, Bashing Muslims for votes
Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, Moslem Prof.: Quran States that Holy Land is Jewish "Prof. Khaleel Mohammed of San Diego State University is the latest Moslem expert to say that the Quran - the holiest Moslem work - is actually Zionist. He thus joins Sheikh Palazzi, secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association."

Rather a short list for this opinion. The article cites the website
AFP/Taipei Times : "Egypt's religious authorities raided book stores and stands on Saturday, confiscating hundreds of publications as well as audio and video tapes they claim do not conform to Islamic teachings.

"...Novels by secular writers and even unorthodox versions of the Islamic holy book, the Koran, were seized in the raids, raising concerns the religious establishment might use its new powers to suppress free thought."
Arab News, Academic Warns Against Linking Terrorism With Imam Saud University "Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh has registered four candidates for a research program into the causes of terrorism. The research could lead to Master’s degree or PhD"
straitstimes, High-tech weapons defeated by low-tech warfare - June 6, 2004
From al Qaeda's terror playbook - The Washington Times: Commentary - June 04, 2004

"Just last week Abdulaziz al-Murqrin, a Saudi leader of a terrorist group affiliated to al Qaeda, published on the Internet a call for urban warfare and the toppling of the royal family. He promised the rest of the year would be bloody for the kingdom.

"Some analysts believe the terrorists might have already infiltrated the security services. "
Sunday Times - 'Police wanted me to be informer' internet link to this:

" ...the men possessed material on DVDs showing al-Qaeda training camps and statements from Bin Laden. The men claim the material had simply been downloaded from the Internet.", Terrorists relocate to the Internet straightforward analysis, but I was itnerested in the source.
Warsaw Business Journal Online - business in poland,warsaw,polish companies,companies database: "The assassins disclosed themselves on an internet site claiming they were members of Al-Qaeda linked and led by the Abu Musab Zakarw terrorist group."
'Big Brother' is reading all Pak surfers e-mails! - News Details, "Informed sources told The Nation that American agencies have set up a mechanism with the help of Pakistan's intelligence agencies to monitor all online traffic in the country in order to trace out Al-Qaeda presence."
Times Online - Q&A: terror and reporting from Saudi Arabia - Top Stories - Officials: Al Qaeda Milks Clueless Charities: "Al Qaeda has siphoned millions of dollars from Islamic charities that help poor Muslims in Africa and Asia, and U.S. and Saudi government efforts to cut the ", For Muslims, Courtship Enabled by the Internet
"Saudi police this morning took items, including Gardner's laptop, from his hotel room to see if they can establish a link with anyone in the area." | Media | Police hunt killers of BBC cameraman
The New York Times > Week in Review > New Violence, Old Problem: The Saudis Fight Terror, but Not Those Who Wage It "A recent fatwa posted on a popular Islamic Web site in Saudi Arabia explains when a Muslim may mutilate the corpse of an infidel."
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Two BBC men shot in Saudi capital

Friday, June 04, 2004

Yahoo Continues to Host al Qaeda Mouthpiece - Jeremy Reynalds - refers to the latest manifestation of Global Islamic Media
Fatwa against woman president: "Several Indonesian Islamic clerics have issued an edict telling Muslims not to vote for a female presidential candidate, reports said Friday. "
ic Newcastle - Briton told FBI of terror plans
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Key cleric gives wary thumbs up to Iraq government: "Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, delivered a cautious but crucial acknowledgement of Iraq's new interim government yesterday, saying he wished the group well even though it lacks the legitimacy of an elected body. "
Ibad urges Ulema to foil sectarian unrest plot: Joint Fatwa issued -DAWN - National; 04 June, 2004
Palestine Chronicle/New Statesman, John Pilger: How To Silence An Awkward Newspaper
Al Qaeda targets US oil supplies | Internet resources referred to. Wire, Jury ends second day without verdict "Federal court jurors concluded a second day of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict in the case of a University of Idaho graduate student accused of using his computer skills to foster terrorism on the Internet."
B E L L A C I A O - Who Killed Nick Berg? - a summary of speculation
Padilla 'on mission to blow up US high-rise buildings': "Comey told a news conference that Padilla and the accomplice 'learned how to seal an apartment to trap the natural gas and to prepare an explosion using that gas that would have maximum yield and destroy an apartment building.'"
a mall = 'progress'? / News / World / Middle East / In Khartoum, shopping for future
"According to a study by the Madar Research group, the number of internet users in the Arab world will reach 25 million by the end of 2005. The study found that in 2002 Saudi Arabia had the largest internet community among all Arab countries with 1.6 million users. By 2005, it is expected to have the second largest number in the region, behind Egypt with 4.48 million users."

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - The pros and cons of extremist websites
The baggage of Bilal Khazal - National - "The book, posted on the website, was written in Arabic under the name of Abu Mohamed Attawaheedi. Khazal had drawn sections of it from the text of other authors as well as his own words, the court was told. He had referred to war and the enemy throughout, and promoted violent acts against people and countries, including Australia." There is some interesting detail in this story.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

JGNews :: Commentary :: Understanding Opposition Parties in Singapore (Page 2) refers to the application of the net in Singapore
Project for the Research of Islamist Movements, Hamas vs. Al-Qaeda: The Condemnation of the Khobar Attack PDF file of a piece by Reuven Paz
manchesteronline, Think-tank warns of anti-Islam "time bomb"
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Saudis crack down on Islamic charities
Egypt Today - The Magazine of Egypt piece on Muslim Brotherhood
Herald Sun: Jihad site sparks terror arrest [03jun04] Islamic Youth Movement website links here to arrest of Bilal Khazal in Australia
Ann Arbor News, Terrorism support case against student is heading for jury
straitstimes, Terror attacks escalate despite Saudi crackdown - JUNE 3, 2004
FrontPage :: The New Face of Al-Qaeda by Robert Spencer written by the director of Jihad Watch
ABC 7 News - U.S. Raids N.Va. Office of Saudi-Based Charity