Saturday, August 21, 2004

Computer Crime Research Center, Cyberterrorism: concept, terms, counteraction, August 20, 2004
MSNBC, Italy's Sleeper Cells "And it’s good news, too, that the much-cited Internet threats from the so-called Abu-Hafs Al-Masri Brigades, which purport to be an offshoot of Al Qaeda, are probably less nuclear, biological or chemical than they are chimerical." 
Straits Times, The art of communication: from CCCs to WWW "Islam Online, for example, receives about 250,000 page views a day, making it one of the leading Islamic sites. The site is run by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that wants to ensure that non-Muslims - read Americans and Europeans - do not describe Islam on behalf of Muslims.", Plans under way for e-university "Plans are under way to launch an electronic university on the Internet to spread the message of Islam, according to Dr. Saleh ibn Abdullah Al-Aboud, rector of the Islamic University in Madinah." Hope it takes on board some of the lessons learnt from other similar ventures., Track terrorists online "From his humble home in small-town Ontario, Brent Astley directs an international band of cybersleuths as they track terrorists online.", Group says seizes 12 Nepalis in Iraq - Web Site:

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Northeast Intelligence Network, Red Herrings and Disinformation, 12 August 2004
suggestion that 'distractions' are misdirecting intelligence (based on observation from a bulletin board)
AP/ - Website purports to show beheading of CIA agent
International News Article |, Internet Virtual Classroom for Al Qaeda Supporter, Thu Aug 12, 2004 refers to online manuals, many of which can be found on the net. - Friends say N.J. Webmaster no terrorist "It doesn't seem like he was involved with anything like that," said Asim Uzmani, a board member of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, where Mokhtar volunteered to lead prayers at the small storefront mosque about twice a month."
The Australian: Missing bride found with web pal [August 12, 2004]: "A newly-wed Druze woman from the Golan Heights who disappeared during her honeymoon in Turkey has been found safe and sound with a male internet pen friend from Britain, according to police sources." I don't have many Druze-related stories on this blog, although I have written about the Druze in the past (briefly)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Editor: Myself | Hossein Derakhshan's weblog (English), 2000 laptops are going to be distributed among Iranian "2000 laptops are going to be distributed among Iranian journalist, as gifts from the President Khatami. Nothing could be a better help to improve Iranian press, where only a few type their own reports and articales on a computer, than this."
The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington: All in Favor, Say 'Aiiiee!' by James Ridgeway "These suspicions are supposedly fueled by Al Qaeda surveillance of financial institutions and government buildings in Manhattan and elsewhere in 2001 and since. They seem to be based on the work of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, a Pakistani computer whiz, who was arrested last month, but who supposedly had been helping the U.S. figure out a terrorist threat to strike within the U.S. He reportedly had become a mole for the U.S. His cover was abruptly blown last week, possibly to help Bush administration officials fan the public's fear."
Seized files expose al-Qaeda overhaul - The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA: "Using computer records, e-mail addresses and other documents seized after the arrest of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan last month in Pakistan, intelligence analysts say they are finding that al-Qaeda's upper echelons are being filled by lower-ranking members and more recent recruits.", Pakistan Holds Five in Possible Counterfeit Case:
Pakistani Is Held on Immigration Charge (
Scripps Howard News Service,
August 10, 2004, Profiles of al Qaeda leaders recently arrested Friends say NJ webmaster no terrorist "To federal authorities, Mazen Mokhtar is a technologically savvy Internet whiz who operated a Web site soliciting funds and recruiting fighters for the Taliban and other Muslim warrior groups.

"They searched his North Brunswick home, hauling away several bags of items, but have not charged him with a crime.

"Mokhtar is listed in Internet directories as the registrant and administrative and technical contact for the Web site, which authorities said is an exact duplicate of one run by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested last week in London and charged with aiding terrorists."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

US Dept of Justice, Arrest warrrant for Babar Ahmed
NPR : 'Inside Al Qaeda's Hard Drive' another interview with Alan Cullison (see below)
TIME Magazine -- Inside Al-Qaeda's Files "The discovery of computer materials belonging to al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan led American officials to warn of threats to specific facilities inside the U.S. Several hard drives and 51 computer discs recovered in Pakistan provide evidence that al-Qaeda has conducted extensive surveillance of U.S. targets. Surveillance reports found on the computers contain some 500 photographs of targeted buildings and discussions about how to hit them.", Pak Strongest Ally In War Against Terror: US Officals " U.S. president's national security advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Frances Townsend, White House Homeland Security Advisor, Sunday praised "Pakistan's efforts" in the ongoing war against terror."
Qaeda may use speedboats to hit NY harbour - News Details, "Describing the potential for attack as being very real and of great concern, the official is further quoted as saying that the Al Qaeda attack plans, including three laptop computers and 51 discs, were seized on July 24, and added that it was thought of as far back as the year 2000 and 2001."

CBC News:Al-Qaeda suspects flee after U.S. leaks name
AP/Jerusalem Post, Pakistan: Breathtaking sweep against al-Qaida
Albany, N.Y. --, Court papers cite ties to terror,
Albany -- Two arrested in FBI sting are accused of money laundering and providing support to a terrorist organization, Al Qaeda's new generation arises: printer friendly version: "Using computer records, e-mail addresses and other documents seized after the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan last month in Pakistan, intelligence analysts say they are finding that Al Qaeda's upper echelons are being filled by lower-ranking members and more recent recruits.", A Deluge of Dots "Recent terrorism-related arrests in America, Britain and Pakistan make a mockery of claims that the Bush administration raised the terror alert to "high" for crass political reasons."
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Saudi Forces Arrest a Top Terror Suspect: "Four weeks ago, al-Zahrani boasted of his ability to evade the police dragnet in a long article on an Internet periodical linked to al-Qaida's operation in Saudi Arabia, called the Voice of Jihad (holy war). "
Kansas City Star | 08/10/2004 | Cleric al-Sadr vows a fight to the death

"In a video posted on the Internet, militants beheaded a hostage identified only as a Bulgarian. Two Bulgarian truck drivers were kidnapped June 29.

"The U.S. Army said it could not determine whether a video that appeared to show captured Army soldier Spc. Keith M. Maupin, 21, being shot by militants was legitimate."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Islam Online - Kidnappings In Iraq.. Transport Prices Sky-High: "As roads became ridden with perils and life is too much precious, prices of land transportation through Iraq's high ways have skyrocketed amid a spree of kidnappings and killings of truck drivers."
Islam Online - First Islamic Bank In Britain Allowed: "To ensure it is operating in a Shari`ah compliant way, a group of Islamic scholars will sit on a supervisory committee which must approve the bank's services, investments and activities." Also to offer computer banking.
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Iraq Cleric Vows Fight to Death Vs. U.S.
Telegraph | News | Terror suspect had an ingenious system of coded e-mails

""He showed many of the al-Qaeda cadres about using cyber and crypto messages - the technique that he used later on to communicate with them on behalf of al-Qaeda," said the official.

"He is so good at this that he had developed his own encrypted codes by which he was communicating with his cadres without these messages being interrupted.""
The State | 08/06/2004 | Terrorist sting in N.Y. nets 2 arrests

Sunday, August 08, 2004

IOL: Bin Laden: the elusive Pimpernel Inside Cover Story: "An al Qaida computer expert who was secretly arrested on July 18 and has since been providing critical intelligence on the terror group's plans for coming attacks on the West was rendered useless this week when he was outed by the New York Times." Allegedly ...
Telegraph | News | The Imperial College student accused of waging jihad in South Kensington

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iranian press questions Sistani departure
The Observer | Special reports | How a hoaxer faked and filmed his own execution Benjamin Vanderford (see yesterday's entries) claims his Warhol moment
Times Online, Suicide bomber files found in flat
The Atlantic Online | September 2004 | Inside Al-Qaeda’s Hard Drive | Alan Cullison I haven't seen all of this article, as it is subscription only, and the magazine is difficult to get hold of in the UK. However, there was a discussion on this article on BBC Radio 4's 'Broadcasting House' (available for 1 week online).

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Webmaster held on terror charges | CNET relates to publication of and - both discussed in Islam in the Digital Age., Web Site Shows Video of American in Iraq Beheaded "The name and address appeared to match a Benjamin Vanderford, who has a U.S. Web site. He is described on that site as a a 22-year-old aspiring local politician and musician." Another American beheaded in Iraq
MSNBC - Purported beheading of American in Iraq shown: "The video was titled “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Slaughters an American.” Zarqawi is an al-Qaida linked militant whose group, Tawhid and Jihad, has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks across Iraq, including the beheadings of U.S. businessman Nicholas Berg, South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and a Bulgarian man, Georgi Lazov. Their beheadings were also filmed and the video posted in the Internet."

Friday, August 06, 2004

AlArabiya's website - which I hadn't come across before (not much time for TV viewing!)
MSNBC - Terrorists practice high-tech tactics some familiar themes here -- see Islam in the Digital Age --- accompanied by a video report.
Slate, Sudan's Osama - The Islamist roots of the Darfur genocide. By Lee Smith non-tech, but useful piece on the disaster(s) in Sudan.
Slate, Sweeping Up Terror - No color-coded alerts, but Britain raids top terrorism suspects. By Scott MacMillan
Article: Handheld computer 'Trojan' discovered | New Scientist: "A malevolent program designed to remotely take control of handheld computers has been discovered by Russian anti-virus experts."
Reuters, Pakistan aims for al Qaeda "nerve centres"
BBC - BBC Four Documentaries - Mission Accomplished: Langan in Iraq Sean Langan made a powerful documentary about Iraq - brief mention of video being used by Iraqi resistance. - Pakistan intelligence may be driving arrests - Aug 6, 2004 Allegations surrounding Esa al-Hindi: "U.S. government officials who describe him a "major player [who] moved operational information between key components of al Qaeda" in Britain, the United States and Pakistan."

Thursday, August 05, 2004

CRM News: Trends: Africa Can Seize Share of IT Outsourcing Market, Reading al Qaedas Encrypted Email: "If al Qaeda’s computer savvy Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan was in charge of an al Qaeda communications network that used the Internet, then he was probably using PGP." Not surprising, really -- as discussed in Islam in the Digital Age
MSNBC - Bin Laden half-brother breaks silence interview with Yeslam bin Laden
MSNBC - 9/11 report light on ID theft issues: "The al-Qaida training manual includes provisions for trainees to leave camp with five fake personas, says Collins, who uses a copy of the manual to train law enforcement officials."
MSNBC - Deconstructing the Intelligence: "Officials said the seized computer disks included information indicating that some of the buildings may have been subjected to extended surveillance by what investigators assume were Qaeda operatives inside the United States, who made logs of security routines and precautions at some of the buildings.", How Al Qaeda uses the Internet, "Muslim evangelist turns to texting" - 8/5/04 [you need to scroll down the page for this story, based on texting in Indonesia]
Khaleej Times Online, Identifying and hunting the enemy within our borders

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Islamists Threaten Europe-™

BBC NEWS | UK | Police question terror suspects - Cyberterror impact, defense under scrutiny: "A coordinated cyberattack against the USA could topple parts of the Internet, silence communications and commerce, and paralyze federal agencies and businesses, government officials and security experts warn."
Terror alerts: US wagged the dog: "The information that sparked the terror alert was stored in computer files, e-mail addresses and cell-phones text messages seized by Pakistani authorities after the June 12 arrest and interrogation of suspected al Qaeda operative Musaad Aruchi in Karachi, officials told the Post."
Bin Laden's Manifesto For Americans By L. John VanTil posted Aug 4, 2004, 00:01 opinion piece with web references
Daily Times - Between ‘enlightened moderation’ and jihadi fantasy

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Daily News, Gruesome execution video shown on Internet
More details filtering through on Abu Talha:

Pakistan nets 18 suspected Al-Qaeda militants - The Times of India " Khan, also known as Abu Talha, was passing on emails and collecting information from abroad via the Internet for Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, the official said.

"He used to create websites and codes for transmission of secret messages," the official said."
DEBKAfile - Two Men Held in Pakistan Are Back Numbers
AP/Herald Sun: FBI seeks to unravel al-Qaeda plot [03aug04] "Today, a Pakistani intelligence official said Khan, a computer and communications expert who refused to say if he was part of al-Qaeda, sent messages to other suspected al-Qaeda members using code words - a practice typical of the international jihadist organisation that bedeviled US efforts to unravel the September 11, 2001, plot.", Laptops lead to Al Qaeda plot: "Khan, who was educated at Karachi University, passed on encrypted orders from Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders to its operatives in America and Britain. He eluded suspicion on his travels, presumably because he did not apparently fit the profile of the standard Islamic terrorist. He was personable and spoke with what one British newspaper called 'a flawless English accent.'

"Khan and Ghailani's laptops contained extensive information on the construction of buildings like the New York Stock Exchange and the World Bank in Washington, DC, 'floor plans of meeting rooms, the configuration of parking garages and even the incline of underground entrances.'"

Al-Qaeda cyber terrorist panics US | The Register
: "The New York Times claims that Khan had 'told investigators that most of al-Qaeda's communications were now done through the Internet, the official said. After a message was sent and read by the recipient, the entire communication and related files were deleted to maintain secrecy, he said. Mr. Khan had told investigators that e-mail addresses were generally not used more than a few times.'"
Telegraph | News | Iraqi Christians pray for their attackers
INDOlink - US News - Arrest Of Computer Engineer In Pakistan Triggered US Terror Alert: "Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed did not give the specific details of the computer files and other materials seized from Ghailani and other suspected al-Qaeda operatives. But he said there was substantial information about possible attacks on buildings in the US and UK."

Monday, August 02, 2004

Sunni Path I was interested to see this site, which features Hanafi and Shafi'i answers to questions.
Herald Sun: Arrests in assassination probe [02aug04]: "A website announcement over the weekend claimed responsibility for Friday's attack on behalf of al-Qaeda and promised more violence, but Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said: 'We are not scared.'" Turk hostage executed in Iraq while Somali driver to be freed al Zarqawi's group executes driver, places video on the net, Al Qaeda's New Hit List threat goes 'orange' - the spectre of computer attacks appears again. Arrest of Pakistani Engineer Prompted Terror Warnings
: "The threat information went beyond so-called chatter picked up from intercepted communications or Internet traffic, which has formed the basis for previous warnings, the newspaper said, citing unidentified officials."