Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More on the cable-cut: New York Times, Pakistan Internet Link Repairs to Take Three Days, 28 June 2005 "The head of Pakistan's Internet Service Providers' Association, V.A. Abdi, said the providers normally had total bandwidth of 600 megabites at their disposal but now they had just 34. Pakistan has about 10 million Internet users, he said."

United Press International/The Washington Times, Freed hostage said he witnessed killings, June 27 2005 details of interview with Douglas Wood
Telegraph | News | 'My dream was to be a suicide bomber. I wanted to kill 20, 50 Jews. Yes, even babies', 26 June 2005 Inside the Mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber -- Jul. 04, 2005
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Pakistan's internet link crippled, 28 June 2005: "A fault in an undersea cable has crippled many of Pakistan's internet and mobile phone links overseas.", New York teenager deported to Bangladesh: FBI held girl as "suicide bomber" suspect, 29 June 2005: "Tashnuba apparently came to the FBI's attention as a result of government spying on an Internet chat room where speeches of Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammed, a London-based Islamic cleric, were posted. The sheik is said to encourage support for the Iraqi insurgency and 'global jihad,' though he denies recruiting anyone to become a suicide bomber. And Tashnuba has insisted that her exchanges in the chat room were on other topics, such as the nature of a utopian state under Islamic law.", Kids with machine guns, 27 June 2005 Zachary Wales' account of an Internet cafe in Jerusalem
Haaretz Cell phones invade the Arab world, June 29 2005 "Is it permissible to use verses from the Koran as ring tones? Is it permissible to summon the faithful to prayer via a cellular phone and is it permissible to get divorced by sending an SMS? Numerous Muslims have asked such questions, seeking religious rulings to guide them in this use of the new device. Religious scholars deliberated, and the upshot has been at least four different rulings.", Reference to embryology in the Qur'an, The Milli Gazette, Vol.6 No.02, MG120 (16-31 Jan 05), Kingdom Issues New List of Terrorists, 29 June 2005 "Saudi Arabia yesterday issued a new list of 36 suspects believed to be linked to a series of terror attacks across the country, reflecting the government's resolve to go ahead with its anti-terror campaign.", Is black-market baby formula financing terror?, 29 June 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005, Qatar: Jewish Scholars To Join Religious Dialogue Summit, 27 June 2005, Iraq: Saudi Al-Qaeda Split Prelude To Terror Chief's Death, 27 June 2005: "An influential Saudi al-Qaeda leader, Abdullah Muhammad Rashid Al-Rushud, reported killed recently in Iraq, travelled there after a serious split within the al-Qaeda leadership, a recent statement posted on Internet Islamist forums suggests. "
Islam Online, Malaysia Awaits Fatwa on Anti-HIV Measures, June 26, 2005 : "The Malaysian government will make a final decision on the implementation of a controversial anti- HIV program after a ruling from the country's National Fatwa Council, reported Bernama news agency."
Islam Online- Health & Science, Step Aside Men, Women IT Experts Coming Through, June 23 2005
KTLA/LA Times, Breaching the Wall at Prayer, 27 June 2005 Also discusses Amina Wadud's efforts in March this year (previously blogged): "The March service by Wadud, an Islamic studies professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, drew a global chorus of condemnations and provoked threats of violence. An anonymous appeal for Osama bin Laden to issue a decree to kill Wadud was circulated on the Internet, prompting Virginia Commonwealth to move her lectures off campus — with remote hook-up — for the rest of the semester, a university spokeswoman said.", Madrasas training young women in IT skills, June 27 2005 "Madrasas have all along remained the preserve of men but this one has broken new ground. Cradled between its majestic dome and minarets is an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre for hundreds of Muslim women and girls which imparts them new livelihood skills and gives them the confidence to face the world." Very interesting article, this one, about the Babul-Uloom madrasa, located in Seelampur. Also links to a related website:, US 'knows' where Zarqawi is, 27 June 2005, Al-Qaeda group denies US talks, 26 June 2005: "The al-Qaeda linked extremist group Ansar al-Sunna on Sunday denied that any of its members had met US representatives over the violence in Iraq and vowed to pursue its jihad or holy war, according to an Internet statement. "
Xinhua - English, Al-Qaeda group warns of talks with US, 27 June 2005: "Al-Qaeda Group of Jihad made an announcement via the Internet Sunday, warning other anti-America militant groups against talks with the US troops in Iraq. "

Friday, June 24, 2005

Boston Globe, Hope eludes Baghdad residents, 24 June 2005 "An Internet statement posted yesterday and attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, said Abdullah Mohammed Rashid al-Roshoud died during fighting with US and Iraqi forces, the Associated Press reported. The campaign took place last weekend near the Syrian border in northwest Iraq."

Asharq Alawsat, Zarqawi says Wanted Saudi Terrorist killed in Iraq, 23 June 2005 "The statement which appeared on an Al-Qaeda related website was entitled: "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi announces to the Islamic nation the news of the death of Sheikh Abdullah al-Roshoud in Iraq" and goes on to say: "We pass on our best wishes to the Islamic nation over the death of the flag of the good and the Jihad (holy struggle) and we say to the whole world that our sheikh, Abdullah al- Roshoud died a martyr.", Reporters Without Borders ‘Freedom Blogs’ awards, 18 June 2005 "An Iranian blogger jailed for his writing and a Malaysian threatened with imprisonment for ‘insulting Islam’ are two of the winners of the Reporters Without Borders ‘Freedom Blogs’ awards."
The Ottowa Citizen, Iraq Occupation Watch, Battle-hardened jihadists pose threat 'for years to come,' Canada's spy agency warns, 22 June 2005

New Statesman, Welcome to Iran... You're arrested, 27 June 2005

Malaysiakini, Where will ‘block porn sites’ move lead to?, 20 June 2005. Interesting (and controversial) opinion piece by Arbibi Ashoy, who states: "As a Muslim, I would question why pornography is disallowed. In Islam, the sin relating to sex is called ‘zina’ (adultery) and is punishable by 100 lashes. Strangely, however ‘zina’ (adultery) is not a crime in Malaysia. But ‘khalwat’ (close proximity) and possession of pornographic material are."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Global Politician, Hosting Terror: 'Everyone's Internet' Promotes Online Terror Sites, 19 June 2005 allegations regarding Houston-based Internet service provider Everyone's Internet.
Asharq Alawsat, US Steps up its War on Terror Online, 19 June 2005. "The US Department of State is embarking on a media offensive to counter the false information carried out by three Islamic websites it accuses of waging a misleading campaign against US interests. A newspage has, recently, been added to the Department’s Arabic language website, . Entitled “The Inaccurate Media”, it states that “this incorrect media, whether intentionally or not, deceives and creates suspicion and ill feeling. It also undermines the credibility of journalists.” “Our new webpage aims at rectifying false allegations about the United States in the media, exposing these sources, and helping readers to discover the truth about significant international events.” The three websites the US government considers major sources of misinformation, especially on events in Iraq , are: Islam Memo (, the Free Arab Voice (, and Jihad Unspun ("

Friday, June 10, 2005, Iraq: al-Zarqawi group claims mass kidnap, 9 June 05, Terrorism: Algerian Salafites shunned by al-Qaeda, reports, 10 June 05: "The Algerian extremist formation, the Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has reportedly been isolated by the cells of al-Qaeda abroad because of the high number of defections from its ranks, according to Algerian anti-terrorism experts quoted by al-Hayat. "

Thursday, June 09, 2005, Jihad text gave rules for killers, court told, 10 June 05: "A former Qantas baggage handler who compiled a book outlining 'short and wise' rules for fighting jihad on his computer in suburban Lakemba dedicated it to the 'martyrs of Islam'.

"Yesterday the bizarre and often violent text was handed over to Sydney Central Local Court, where its 35-year-old editor, Bilal Khazal, faced a charge of making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts."
SITE Institute: SITE Publications - Al-Qaeda in Iraq Claims Responsibility for a Spate of Attacks in al-Karma, al-Dawra, Samarra, and Talafar, and the Murder of the Chief of Police of Talkeif, Mosul, June 8 05, First eco-friendly PCs launched in Middle East, 8 June 05: "Fujitsu Siemens Computers has launched into the Middle East the world’s first complete range of eco-friendly PCs. ESPRIMO, the new global Professional PC brand, produced in Germany, is the first-of-its-kind in the region and offers a complete ergonomic solution to increasing worldwide environmental legislation."
The : Terrorist on the Internet, 8 June 05 link to recorded radio show, including interview with Rita Katz of SITE Institute.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005, C.I.A. Is Reviewing Its Security Policy for Recruiting Translators - New York Times, June 8 05: "The Central Intelligence Agency is reviewing security procedures that have led the agency to turn away large numbers of Arabic-language linguists and other potential recruits with skills avidly sought by the agency since the attacks of 2001, Congressional and intelligence officials say."
The Sun Online - News: Phone thug slap-down, 8 June 05 refers to the phenomena of 'happy slapping' or phone bullying, Videoconferencing Facility at King Saud University, 8 June 05: "King Saud University has set up a major videoconferencing facility as part of its distance-learning program that not only beams lectures into classrooms across six girls' campuses in Riyadh but also to 20 different locations of KSU colleges in Riyadh, Qassim and Abha."
ThisisLondon, World's biggest hacker held, 8 June 05 headline refers to McKinnon's 'achievements' rather than any physical features.
The Herald, Pentagon aims to cut off fixers of terrorist networks, 8 June 05: "The US army's special operations headquarters in Florida has set up a dedicated cell to co-ordinate strikes worldwide, although the National Security Council is resisting requests to intercept lower-level terrorist phone and internet traffic."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

AP/Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | China orders bloggers to register with government, 7 June 05, Iraq: 'Rough Guide' for aspiring mujahadeen, 7 June 05 discusses 'instruction booklet': "When travelling, wear jeans and carry a walkman - try not to look like an Islamic fundamentalist - and for precise instructions on how to link up with Iraqi groups 'contact the Salafite jihadist exponents in your own countries'. These are just some of the travel tips and suggestions provided on an Islamist internet site for potential al-Qaeda recruits from various Arab and Western countries who have signalled their desire to go to Iraq to fight against the American troops."
Reuters/Khaleej Times Online, Al Qaeda ally claims Mauritania attack: website, 7 June 05: "Algeria’s Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) said it had carried out Saturday’s dawn raid on a remote Mauritanian military post near the border with Algeria and Mali, according to the statement on an Islamist website."
Malaysian National News Agency :: BERNAMA, Seven Seas Brings Malaysian Technology To Middle East, 6 June 05: "Seven Seas Computers, a leading United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based systems integrator, today announced the signing of agreements with four Malaysian information and communications technology (ICT) companies to penetrate the Middle East marketplace.
Free Internet Press - Syria's Assad: 'Tech And Media Crush Arabs' Identity', 6 June 05: "Syrian President Bashar Assad has said the media and technological revolution sweeping the region and the world is helping his country's foes to undermine and crush the Arab identity. Assad told the congress of Syria's ruling Baath Party on Monday that a media influx had left Arabs 'swamped by disinformation' about themselves."
Free Internet Press - Libyan Journalist Tortured To Death, June 6 2005: "eporters Without Borders said today it was 'horrified' at the death by torture of Libyan writer and journalist Daif Al Ghazal, who wrote articles critical of the regime for the London-based online newspaper Libya Al-Youm. His body was found on June 2."

Monday, June 06, 2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | The future of search looks bright, 3 June 05
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Pakistan phone strike called off, 4 June 05 - Going where no search engine has gone before, 3 Jun 05: "... officials from Connotate Technologies, a company based in New Brunswick, N.J., said they have developed technology that can mine and extract data from the Deep Web, which contains an estimated 500 billion Web pages, and deliver it in any format and through any delivery mechanism. The Deep Web refers to content in databases that rarely shows up in Web searches." - Got computer rage? Expert suggests safe ways to vent, 3 June 05
Bin Laden Trojan quickly constrained | Tech News on ZDNet, June 3 05 "Millions of copies of various versions of the e-mail were mass-mailed on Thursday, representatives from F-Secure and McAfee said. All versions of the message announced that the al-Qaida leader had been seized and included an attachment called "pics" that, when opened, attempted to download a worm to the victim's PC, the antivirus companies said."
Times of Oman, Iraqi forces nab two Zarqawi aides, 5 June 05
AP/Wired News | U.S. Prisons Becoming Islam Battleground, June 4, 05, POLITICS-MALAYSIA: Anwar Who?, 6 June 05: "The charismatic former deputy prime minister vowed to press ahead with 'reformasi' (reform) and unite and strengthen the disparate opposition to face the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi in general elections due in 2008." Anwar Ibrahim has returned to the fray, after recuperating following his release from prison. Anwar's online supporters have been discussed in my books.
SITE Institute: SITE Publications - Al-Qaeda in Iraq Releases Second Issue of its Publication, 'Thurwat al-Sinam' - The Highest Intuition, June 3 05, Weekend Standard - Inside Islam, outside view, 4 June 05 profile of Lipstick Jihad's author Azadeh Moaveni., Prestigious Cairo Library Goes Online, 6 June 05: "The long-awaited online library of Al-Azhar, the oldest and highest Sunni institution in Egypt, ( that aims to promote a moderate image of Islam by making Al-Azhar's holdings of manuscripts available online is now accessible for those interested in knowing more about Islam." Previously blogged on these pages, this site is presently the Islamic Studies Pathway's Site of the Month

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Asia Times Online, The Wild West of American intelligence, June 2 05: "The information revolution has spawned a global industry of private intelligence services, and some members of the US Congress have recently asked whether their activities should be regulated. "
Asia Times Online Cashing in on Osama, 3 June 05: "Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, a hand-held, 'Laden vs USA' computerized game is available in Hanoi, Vietnam. The game includes photos of bin Laden wearing a white turban alongside a grimacing Bush. As one plays, using the game's 10 white push-buttons, a matchbox-sized screen shows an image of one of the World Trade Towers exploding while a second airplane bursts into flames after hitting the other tower. The player's low-flying airplane has to defend itself from attacks by jet bombers.

"'The game is divided into 20 levels,' the package explains. 'What's more, the inspiring music will play during the game.' On sale for $5, it is similar to a Nintendo Game Boy but built by Panyu Gaming Electronic Co Ltd in China. "
BBC NEWS | Education | Fears over CIA 'university spies', 2 June 05 non-tech, but an important issue.
Internet rumour mill:, Iraq: Fallujah Sheikh says al-Zarqawi died on Friday, 2 June 05: "The Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq - died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah's cemetary, an Iraqi Sunni sheikh, Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir, has told the Saudi on-line newspaper Al-Medina. He claims that gunfights which broke out in Fallujah in the last few days involved militants trying to protect the insurgency leader's tomb from a group of American soldiers patrolling the area. "
Middle East Online, Radical Islamists use Internet to spread jihad, 2 June 05 Regular perusers (if that is the appropriate technical term) of this blog would not describe this as a 'headline' necessarily, but there is some interesting material here. "Experts reckon there are 4,000 radical Islamist websites run by talented people, changing servers every day." Not sure how this number is determined, or why they are 'talented'? Yesterday's article from the same source - on Qom - was previously blogged and is also a good read.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 middle east news information::Middle East mobile services industry potential under-exploited, 1 June 05 "The growing popularity of mobile service segments such as news, sports, infotainment, Islamic and multimedia content in the region is a clear indication of the huge untapped opportunities."
Aljazeera.Net - Many killed in Afghan mosque blast, 1 June 05, Worldandnation: Hezbollah's on air but not everywhere, 31 May 05 "Are the United States and its allies urging bans on Al-Manar because it incites violence or because it criticizes them?" al-Manar details can be found here
ADKI, Muslim group denies opposing fatwa collection, 24 May 05: "One of France's leading Muslim organisations has denied allegations made in the daily Le Monde that it was fiercely opposing the publication in France of a collection of fatwas - or religious edicts - edited by the European Council of Fatwas and Research, which risked damaging the group's image. "
ADKI, Al Qaeda signs up teenagers, Spanish judge says, 1 June 05
The al-Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq Melodrama :: from, 30 May 05: "Like soap opera characters who tell us every excruciating detail of their personal lives, we are invited to tune in on the continuing saga, presented in yet another installment (via the internet), of Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi story."
SITE Institute: SITE Publications - An Analysis of Zarqawi’s Message – From a Soldier to His Emir (Prince), 31 May 05
Middle East Online, Iran’s clerics, ayatollahs go online, 1 Une 05: "In Qom, Iran's spiritual nerve centre where religion is the biggest business, the clergy have been busy moving into the dotcom sector so as to stay with the times and keep Shiite souls on the right track." Includes references to (Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei's site, which seems to be down at present) and - and makes some interesting points. Read more about the development of Shi'a online activities in Islam in the Digital Age and some of my other work.