Monday, October 31, 2005

IkhwanOnline Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt website (see article below)
Islam Online, Muslim Brotherhood Tech-Savvy in Egypt Polls, 31 Oct 05: "The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is getting tech-savvy in its preparations for the parliamentary elections in November with candidates posting their platforms on the Internet and launching an online radio to reach out to all cross-sections of Egyptian society.

"Dozens of Web sites carrying the names of the candidates or the cities or constituencies they are vying in are streaming online, displaying audio or video materials for the parliamentary hopefuls."
Focus English News, Moheet: Al Qaeda in Iraq Claims Murder of Ghaleb Abdel Mehdi,
31 Oct 05
: "A statement posted on the Internet said that activists of local group, which is under the command of Al Qaeda, carried out the attack against Ghaleb Abdel Mehdi in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad after they tracked the car of their victim."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Muslim women launch international 'gender jihad', 31 Oct 05: "The meeting, which drew women from as far apart as Malaysia, Mali, Egypt and Iran, set itself the task of squaring Islam with feminism. That meant not just combating 14 centuries of sexism in the Muslim world, participants said, but also dealing with the animosity to Islam of many western or secular feminists. They insisted that many of the fundamental concepts of equality embraced by feminism could also be found in the Qur'an."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Iraq at a glance is always a good read. Take a look at the Oct 8 entry, in particular ...
There's an interesting discussion here on net-etiquette, apparently derived from the Ummati blog, although I couldn't locate the original: niqaabi-4ever, Intermingling of the sexes II - Ummati blog: "In this post I will be continuing with my previous topic regarding the intermingling of non-mehram men and women that takes place in person as well as on the internet ...

" ... By communication I mean conversations between a non mehram man and a woman in person, or via the phone, even by a mere look and yes, let me utter the deadly words, the most common form of communication amongst non-mehrams is taking place on the internet. It is the most easiest form and sadly it is succeeding beyond measure in corrupting our minds and leading us astray."
Iran News Blog as one would anticipate, there is plenty of online coverage for this issue at present. There are some collected links and opinions on Iran News Blog.
Asharq Alawsat Newspaper, AUASS: Ramadan will last for 30 days, 25 Oct 05: "The Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS) has announced that the current month of Ramadan will last for 30 days. In a statement for the Crescent's Observation and Muwaqeet Committee, engineer Mohammed Shawkat Oudah, the committee's deputy chairman said that he expects Ramadan to last for thirty days this year, as the central conjunction for the month of Shawwal will be on 2 November.", Widespread call for Qods Day rallies: | Media | Gates unveils his vision of a future made of silicon, 28 Oct 05 Happy birthday Bill:

"Mr Gates pointed to students as an example of how the world would shift from books to bytes. 'Within four or five years, instead of spending money on textbooks they'll spend a mere $400 or so buying that tablet device and the material they hook up to will all be on the wireless internet with animations, timelines and links to deep information. But they'll be spending less than they would have on text books and have a dramatically better experience.'"

Reading 'on screen' represents a different experience (in my view) from reading from a paper source - I buy a newspaper every day, despite trawling infinite news feeds, and if I find a good article that I want to read in depth online, I tend to print it out. So how does Bill consider we will get over that one? Hope he is not relying on Wiki-type content providers as educational tools (wonderful though they are) either, given the recent furore? One of the points that is interesting in this report is the cost/access issue, which hs implictions in many cyber-Islamic contexts. It will be interesting to return to this article in ten years' time (note to diary ...)
Article by Peter Mandaville, which includes references to al-Qaradawi's web output and associated issues: YaleGlobal Online, Toward a Virtual Caliphate "What does globalization mean for the politics of authority in the Islamic world? Talk of transnational Islamic movements challenging the status quo of Muslim nation-states often brings to mind the destructive extremism of al-Qaida. Peter Mandaville, however, reports that transnational networks of religious scholars – led by figures such as Qatar-based Yusuf al-Qaradawi – have sought in recent years to argue for a moderate, yet Islamically-authentic, alternative to al-Qaida's extreme radicalism."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wired News: Web 2.0 Cracks Start to Show, 27 Oct 05"A lot of participatory media is mediocre," blogger and journalist Nicholas Carr told Wired News.

"In a widely read online essay, "The Amorality of Web 2.0," Carr slammed overeager Web 2.0 proponents as hyper-hyped."

One of the best pieces of journalism I have read about the current situation in Iraq (non-tech); the paper version had some good photos too: Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | 'We don't need al-Qaida', 27 October 2005: "Abu Theeb is the leader of a band of Sunni insurgents that preys on US targets north of Baghdad. Last week he openly defied al-Qaida in Iraq by actively supporting the referendum. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad spent five days with him - and uncovered evidence of a growing split in the insurgency "
, New Islamic broadcasts target a Ramadan audience International Herald Tribune, 27 Oct 05: "The Internet news show also seeks to attract the big audiences available during Ramadan. Young Arabs in particular flock to the their computers after the evening feast, causing download speeds to droop and modems to encounter busy signals"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

VOA News - Philippine Authorities Arrest Islamic Militant Leader, 26 Oct 05: "Philippine security forces have arrested eight suspected Muslim extremists, including a man with a history of terrorist attacks who now leads a group of converts to Islam."
Native Deen are presently performing in Turkey, alongside Yusuf Islam (who is getting a new album together). Photos of Native Deen's tour can be found on their website. Native Deen's records come out on Yusuf's Mountain of Light label and Jamal Records., US Muslim Hip Hop Band Wows Audiences, 20 Oct 05: "The tour by the first US Islamic hip-hop band ‘Native Deen’ has captured large audiences in secular but Muslim Turkey and triggered debate on the role of music within Islam. The members of the group, Naeem Muhammad, Abdul-Malik Ahmed and Joshua Salaam, are all American-born and black. They performed last weekend at Yedikule Dungeons, a historical site used now as a concert venue. Thousands of youngsters, including many girls with headscarves attended the event.", Division in the Sunni Bloc and Alliance between Al Sadr and Al Hakim, 26 Oct 05
Refers to the story below: Protest against Filtering of Information on Women in Iran Petition: "We, the undersigned, representing civil society organizations in Iran, women's organizations, webloggers, technical professionals, human rights organizations, academics, professionals, and concerned citizens, would like to express our serious concern and strongly object to the policy of filtering, censorship and blocking of information on the Internet in Iran, particularly information related to women's issues and gender. ", Iran: Feminist Websites Censored, 26 Oct 05: "The wave of censorship in Iran, which began with the rise to power of hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, continues after the targeting of newspapers, journalists, internet sites and bloggers."
More Hispanic women converting to Islam - State News: "Some have founded support networks. Piedad, a network of Muslim women that seeks to educate Spanish-speaking communities about Islam, had 50 members when it was founded in 1988; it now has more than 344 nationally. Other groups, like the Latino American Dawah Organization, which was formed in 1997, promote the legacy of Islam in Spain and Latin America."
Peninsular On-Line, Qaradawi fatwa on breaking fast, 26 Oct 05 "A fasting Muslim who is onboard a flight or in a tall building needs to wait until he sees the sun disappear to break his fast. For him, the Iftaar time would be a little late compared to those on the ground, according to a fatwa (religious edict) issued by renowned Islamic scholar Dr Yousuf Al Qaradawi."
Islam Online, Austrian Imams Divided on Translated Tarawih, 26 Oct 05 "Imams in Austria are divided on the possible use of monitors carrying translation of Qur'anic verses recited during Tarawih prayers in the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"Such monitors would help non-Arabic speaking worshipers to understand the recited verses of the Noble Qur’an," Sheikh Adnan Ibrahim, imam of Shura mosque in Vienna, told on Tuesday, October 25."
Farah's Sowaleef, Imagine Being a Woman... translation of article by Badria Al Bisher, a Saudi columnist.
AP/ - Al-Qaeda claims it bombed Baghdad hotels, 25 Oct 05, German court convicts "Zarqawi team" for bomb plans, 26 Oct 05 "Evidence in the trial, which started in February 2004, included wiretapped conversations in which Jordanian militant Zarqawi discussed with group members the state of preparations for the attacks, using codewords such as "honey" and "medicine" to refer to explosives."
BBC - Birmingham - Your Community - B'ham Riots
I had to re-produce this one in full, as I have recently been writing about Abtahi's blog (which is well worth a read - see link on sidebar) for my next book (also writing about Montazeri's website):

Editor Myself | The cool Ayatollah, 25 Oct 05: "Last week something extraordinary happened in the Persian blogging community. Mohammad Abtahi, a former vice-president of Iran and an enthusiastic blogger was visiting the eighty-something dissident Ayatollah Montazeri in Qum, a religious city south of Tehran.

"'How is Mr Abtahi's blog doing,' the Ayatollah jokingly asks during a pause in a small gathering, while sitting on his special teaching chair which is higher than usual chairs.

"According to a post on Abtahi's blog, the Ayatollah later tells him that he reads his blogs and asks him about its readership and the time he spends on it everyday. Like many, the Ayatollah is also angry about his website being filtered and provides the blogger cleric with a new unblocked web address for his website.

"Any time you have party-animal teenagers and dissident old Ayatollahs doing the same thing, you must know it's a popular thing."
Slashdot | Significant FBI Abuses of the Patriot Act, 26 Oct 05, Racial Tension In Birmingham Turns Deadly - 24 Oct 05
Middle East Online, Zarqawi claims kidnapping of Moroccan embassy employees, 25 Oct 05 "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda group on Wednesday claimed responsibility in an Internet statement for the kidnapping of two employees of the Moroccan embassy in Baghdad."
BBC back in Arabic TV market (again) - hope it works better than last time: Independent, Al-Jazeera: The new power on the small screen, 26 Oct 05 "The English-language website drew a huge number of hits during the July bombings in London. "One of the aims will be to try and bring better understanding of each other's positions," Parsons said. "We'll aim for balance ... It's not going to be anti-Western or anti-American." Indeed some staff fear it could end up being too Western and unpopular with English-speaking Muslims."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Asharq Alawsat Newspaper, Islamist Extremist Bakri Sets up College, 24 Oct 05: "Islamist extremist Omar Bakri, barred from returning to Britain after leaving for Lebanon last summer, indicated he had set up a college to teach Arabic for foreigners in Beirut . The former leader of al Muhajiroun (the migrants), which disbanded itself last October, expected his European students to be among the first to attend classes at the 'Tawheed in Greater Syria' college after its inauguration in December 2005. He also noted that the college would have its own internet site. "
Journalism in Yemen: A Battle for Truth in the Age of Terror -
Memories of Sayyid Qutb: An Interview With John Calvert - "We have to understand Qutb in his own time and place and realize that a subsequent generation of Muslim writers read him and came to their own conclusions. It's a little dangerous to trace a direct genealogical line from Osama bin Laden back to Qutb. Al Qaeda is fed by the Egyptian jihadist stream, influenced by Qutb, and elements of the Saudi Wahhabi stream that met up in Afghanistan." Interview with the co-translator of A Child from the Village (Qutb's autobiography) - A Child From the Village by Sayyid Qutb. Trans. by John Calvert and William Shepard. New York: Syracuse U.P., Traveling home to a new Syria, October 24, 2005: "Internet service providers in Syria have popped up everywhere, although e-mails can be monitored by the government. The telecommunications industry has boomed, flooding the market with the latest cellphones.", Information Warfare: Why the UN Wants to Control the Internet, October 24, 2005: "The UN is campaigning to take over the one aspect of the Internet that can be controlled centrally, the DNS service. ", Cartoons raise fears of terror attacks, 21 Oct 05: "A Danish newspaper is mentioned on websites listing possible terrorist targets. Experts say it is the first time a newspaper increases the risk of a terror attack on Denmark" refers to cartoons which have appeared in Jyllands-Posten (also see Jyllands-Posten, Holy war against newspaper, 21 Oct 05
This should be interesting, al-Obaikan v. al-Tartousi; solid net thread to this too, as al-Tarousi has been handing out accusations and allegations on his site regarding al-Obaikan. Watch this space for further info., Scholar Agrees to Debate Deviant, 24 Oct 05: "A leading Saudi scholar has agreed to refute the ranting of an extremist in a debate he hopes will show the world that the true nature of Islam has nothing to do with terrorism or the cowardly murder of innocents."

Saturday, October 22, 2005, Seeing Cyberspace Through Blind Eyes, 21 Oct 05: "Sharjah-based Nattiq Technologies ( is working hard to get the word out that new developments in the field of adaptive technology are enabling every person in the Arab world to become computer literate. Nattiq is focused on bringing opportunities to interface with technology to the visually handicapped in the Middle East. The company specializes in the value added distribution of products and training for blind people."
arabnews, STC’s New SMS: Serving Meals at Signals, 22 Oct 05: "Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has distributed more than 500,000 iftar meals all over the Kingdom so far this Ramadan. The distribution, part of a campaign called “Together in Obeying,” has taken place in seven different regions in the Kingdom.", To Isolate Al Qaeda, US Must Keep Fundamentalist Islamic Groups in 'political process', 21 Oct 05
Computeract!ve, Microsoft promotes third-world computing, 21 Oct 05: "The Digital Inclusion Programme will focus on research leading to new infrastructures, applications and mobile devices, according to the software giant."
AP Wire | 10/22/2005 | U.S.: Zarqawi's terror network growing: "The 38-year-old Jordanian got a taste of extremism when he went to Afghanistan in 1989 to join the jihad against the Soviet Union. He has evolved into a media-driven terror mastermind who is blamed for bombings across Iraq, including Shiite mosques, and the beheadings of foreign hostages, beginning with American Nick Berg in May 2004."
timesonline, Extremist Islamist has returned - via internet, 21 Oct 05, Rita Katz on Iraq on National Review Online, It’s Real: The arguments over that Zawahiri letter suggests we don’t know our enemy, 21 Oct 2005:

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Merlyna Lim has written extensively on the net as it applies to Indonesian spheres. I haven't had a chance to read these in detail yet: Cyber/Urban Activism And The Political Change In Indonesia, and Islamic Radicalism and Anti Americanism in Indonesia: The Role of the Internet, Policy Studies Series, Washington DC: East West Center, 2005 [note: PDF files] - diolch: M.T.
Islam Online, Third Al-Quds International Day Marked on Internet, 20 Oct 05 "Activists launched on Ramadan 17th the third Al-Quds International Day on the internet to remind millions of Web visitors about the history and importance of the holy city for Muslims worldwide as well as the need to stand firmly against Israeli Judaization schemes."
BBC NEWS | Politics | Iraq is 'terror recruiting tool', 20 Oct 05
Ynetnews - News - British Muslim group declares new jihad, 20 Oct 05 "A Ynetnews investigation has uncovered online recruitment of British Muslims for participation in terror attacks; 'We should give them another magnificent day in history' threatens one man." Associated reports and opinions on these materials can be located through infovlad and Internet Haganah, which also contain links to these and associated materials which have been cropping up on discussion boards over the past few weeks.
Reuters AlertNet - Iraq Qaeda admits top operative Abu Azzam "martyred", 20 Oct 05: "'The lion of Iraq Abu Azzam al-Iraqi has died a martyr. He wrote the word of monotheism with his blood,' said the recording by one of al Qaeda's leaders. It was posted on a Web site often used by Islamist militant groups."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Islam Online, Turkish Preachers Go "Live" in Ramadan, 10 Oct 05: "'No doubt that Ramadanian programs have secured a post on the media landscape of the secular country,' professor of theology in Istanbul University Hidayat Aidar told Monday, October 10."
Tabsir, Fake Letter, Real Trouble?, 18 Oct 05 "If it seems too good to be true that Al Qaeda is about to implode, and that the letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi is the first sign of internal struggles in the Al Qaeda leadership, that’s because it is. The actual evidence points to the likelihood that Al Qaeda may be the target of a disinformation campaign. Wherever that campaign originated, it seems to have produced a forgery which, if revealed, will be embarrassing to the president of the United States, confirming that the war for hearts and minds needs to be waged by more open and credible means." Article by Bruce Lawrence, which also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2005
Reuters/Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English), Email spammers face jail under new Nigerian law, 19 Oct 05 "Under the proposed law, service providers who aid and abet cyber crimes and fail to cooperate with law enforcement agents could be fined between 500,000 and 10 million naira.

"The draft law empowers law enforcement agents to enter and search any premises or computer and arrest any person in connection with an offence."
Western Resistance: Holland: "Farewell Video" Led to Islamists' Arrests, 18 Oct 05: "Apparently, 19 year old Azzouz had made a video in which he referred to an act he 'had carried out', justice officials claimed. AIVD, the Dutch intelligence agency who have had Azzouz under surveillance since his return from Chechnya in 2003, obtained a copy of this video, and gave it to the national detective service, which consequently ordered the raids."
Middle East Online, Preacher boy stuns believers in Gaza mosques, 18 Oct 05:

"13 year-old Amjad Abu Sidu dreams of becoming an ‘alem’ like his two role models Kishk and Shaarawi ...

"The teenage cleric, who comes from a poor family from a working class neighbourhood in western Gaza City, receives a monthly allowance of around 110 dollars which he shares with his mother to cover household needs.

"However, Amjad says it is not enough to cover the cost of a telephone or Internet connection."
As I endeavour to combat information overload when putting my research together for my next book, I have added a new search tool to this blog (and related sites). Take a look on the left-hand column for the Rollyo Search Engine. I have set this up to enable surfers to search fifteen+ newspapers, whose content relates to this blog (more or less!). Just click on 'Muslim World Views' to enable this. You can also search this blog and associated website via this feature. It works best if you are looking for an archive piece from a newspaper, and has a helpful interface once you get to the results. You can also add it to Firefox, and turn it into a Dashboard Widget.
Aljazeera.Net - Saddam Hussein's trial gets under way, 19 Oct 05
Guardian Unlimited, Saddam trial opens, 19 Oct 05
Interesting opinion piece, with some substance: Information Warfare, America Defends Al Qaeda Websites, 19 Oct 05: "The American government is operating, behind the scenes, to keep al Qaeda websites online so that American spies can monitor who visits these sites, and what they do there. Al Qaeda knows this, and is trying to bring more of its web activity into the inter net underground, a shadowy zone normally inhabited by criminals and the hackers who keep us all supplied with spam and PC damaging worms and viruses. "
The Media Line, Jihadist Forums: Producing A More Savvy Next Generation, 18 Oct 05 article by Jeffrey Pool, which has also appeared on the Jamestown Foundation's website ('Terrorism Focus').

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Cell phones reshaping Africa - Oct 17, 2005: "Cell phones made up 74.6 percent of all African phone subscriptions last year, says the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union. Cell phone subscriptions jumped 67 percent south of the Sahara in 2004, compared with 10 percent in cell-phone-saturated Western Europe, according to Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese who chairs Celtel, a leading African provider."
Sunday Times - Times Online, 'Stealth' Islamists recruit students, October 16, 2005 "An undercover Sunday Times investigation has established that the party, Hizb ut-Tahrir, has been recruiting under the name Stop Islamophobia at University College London (UCL), the School of African and Oriental Studies, Luton University and other institutions."
Not exactly a 'new' story, but some interesting comments from al-Azhar: VOA News - Leading Egypt Cleric Wants Fewer Frivolous Edicts, 17 Oct 05: "The chief Muslim cleric in Egypt wants tighter controls on who may issue religious edicts, or fatwas. Egypt's Grand Mufti says more fatwas have been issued in the past 10 years than in the previous 1400 years.

"Modern technology has made it easier than ever to issue or receive a fatwa, one of the religious edicts that guide Muslims' interpretations of Islamic law.", Terrorism: Al-Qaeda Asks Muslim Journalists To Help, 17 Oct 05: "As the role of the media becomes increasingly important in the overall strategy of al-Qaeda, the network has decided to issue an appeal for help to all Muslims working in news and information. With a video broadcast on Monday on Islamist forums on the Internet, the 'Emir of the Global Islamic Media Front' said: 'We invite you to join the Islamic Media Front so that you can help us, through your ideas and your experience.'

"'We need your help and your technical knowledge. The Front is present in Islamic forums on the Internet and will be boosting its messages in the future: Come and help Islam by joining the Front' the message urges.""
The Korea Herald/Straits Times, Countering militant Islam in cyberspace , 18 Oct 05 "The Muslim community itself plays a critical role in helping to insulate its members from extremist ideology on the Net. For a start, local Muslim lay leaders who have begun to conduct talks and forums on Islamic interpretation - featured in this newspaper late last month - could take their "fight" to the Net. Most of them already have websites they could use: Ustaz Ali Mohamed at; Ustaz Mohammed Hasbi Hassan at; and Ustaz Mohd Ibrahim Mohd Kassim at"

Monday, October 17, 2005

opinion piece:, Fake al-Qaeda Letters and the Kayfabe of Islamic Terrorism, 15 Oct 05: "It makes you wonder how many fake al-Qaeda groups there are and what intelligence organizations are fronting them.", U.S. nabs al-Qaida Web site producer, 16 Oct 05 "Among propagandist Abu Dijana's responsibilities, say his American captors, was to gather information of impending attacks and provide equipment to his cell members to record attacks. Afterward, Dijana collected the photographs and video for distribution through the "al-Qaida in Iraq" Web site."
Times Online, West faces attacks from cyberspace, 16 Oct 05: "An Arabic-language site, Minbar ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama'a, which in the past has been a platform for al-Qaeda statements and claims of responsibility by associated groups, recently carried a hacker's instruction manual.

"A user calling himself 'albattar' posted the manual on the site and discussed the incentives and motives for cyber-attacks as well as dividing targets into political, strategic, economic and individual categories." not a new phenomena
more detail on previously blogged story: Ynetnews, Recipe for nuclear weapons, 17 Oct 05: "Amongst the numerous documents published on Islamic Internet websites instructing readers on how to prepare various kinds of explosives, a 'nuclear-weapon-making encyclopedia' was published recently.

"The 'Encyclopedia' was published on 6 October in the Islamic Internet forum 'al-Firdus' (Paradise) by a person nicknamed 'Lion of Islam'. A link to a slightly different version of the 'encyclopedia' appeared on 9 October in a Yahoo discussion group called 'Mujahideen.' "
Business Day, US claim to hold top propaganda man for al-Qaeda, 17 Oct 05 : "Yasir Khudr Muhammad Jasim al-Karbali, also known as Abu Dijana, had been nabbed on September 25, the military said in a statement.

"Dijana's cell photographed insurgent attacks against Iraqi citizens and Iraqi and coalition security forces, and had the images used in print and on the internet, the military said."
Kavkaz Center, Shamil Basayev: 'Nalchik attacked by 217 Mujahideen', 17 Oct 05: "Kavkaz Center agency has received via email a statement from Military Amir Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris (Shamil Basayev) on results of assault operation in Nalchik on 13 October, 2005. Kavkaz Center publishes the full text of this statement."
Al-Qaeda chief sets up UK network - Sunday Times, October 16, 2005
Daily Times - Qaeda establishes UK network, 17 Oct 05: "According to The Sunday Times, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is seeking to recruit and train would-be suicide bombers and gunmen.

""The new group, Ansar al-Fath - Partisans of Victory - is an offshoot of Ansar al-Islam, an organisation that is to be banned under new anti-terror rules announced by Charles Clarke, the home secretary, last week," reports the newspaper. "Ansar al-Fath provides logistical support to foreign fighters in Iraq and uses the internet to find new recruits for Zarqawi.""

Friday, October 14, 2005

Clandestine Radio Watch #191 Extra B, October 14, 2005 summary of the salient elements of the third Sout al-Khilafa 'broadcast'. - A convicted hacker debunks some myths - Oct 7, 2005 "To many, the name Kevin Mitnick is synonymous with hacking, the cinematic sort where a snot-nosed kid thumbs his nose at authority. But, Mitnick says, the characterization is a bit overdone and the legend untrue, if not libelous."
muted coverage of events in Nalchik: Kavkaz Center, The basic striking force is the Kabardino-Balkarian sector of the CF, 14 Oct 05: "Kavkaz Center' has received new informations about the participants in the military operation in Nalchik. As KC's source transmitted from Nalchik, the basic attack force of the Mujahideen consists of subdivisions from the Kabardino-Balkarian sector of the Caucasian Front, with associated forces from the Karachai-Circassian sector of the CF and several mobile subdivisions from other sectors of the Caucasian Front. Leader of the Mujahideen on the spot is Amir Sayfulla."
Interesting article in al-Ahram Weekly - includes references to various websites, and questions issues of 'legitimacy' of on-line content - also includes references to Virtually Islamic (the book): Al-Ahram Weekly | Focus | Islam dot com, 13 Oct 05: "Ahmed Selim, senior editor of Egypt's largest portal,, told the Weekly that the majority of users logging on to the site's chat rooms are female, ranging from 16 to 25 years of age, 'who either ask religious questions and seek fatwas, or engage in da'wa (preaching) by posting hadith, studies, opinions and the like'. At

", Mona Abul-Fadl states that by allowing women to take Muslim studies courses online, the Internet becomes 'the new madrassa ' (Islamic school) open to all Muslims."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One has the sense that this story will run and run ...., Iraq: Al-Zarqawi Claims Al-Zawahiri Letter Is False, 13 Oct 05: "'Everything in the letter attributed to Ayman al-Zawahiri is false,' al-Zarqawi's statement says. 'We don't know where they found it or when they found it. We from the al-Qaeda organisation announce that this news is completely unfounded. It is a lie which comes from the military camp of the infidels, from the Green Zone and the command of the crusader campaign, whose news are always far from the truth of the battlefield.' "
International Herald Tribune, Britain's secretive spy service launches Web site, 13 Oct 05 also see:

FCO, The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)
المخابرات الخارجية البريطانية

BBC, Out of the shadows, 13 Oct 05, MI6 Launches Website Using Old Technology, 13 Oct 05 "A web search for SIS MI-6, however, brings up a site which does not look like the real thing but in fact is, and a little further down a web site hosted on Mathaba that campaigns for transparency and accountability."
This is an important article by Mshari al-Zaydi, although it would be interesting to find out whom the 'informed source' might be ... Asharq Alawsat, Infamous Al-Qaeda Bloggers Nationalities Revealed, 13 Oct 05: "Some of the most infamous contributors to extremist internet chartrooms, known for their support of al Qaeda and attacks on those intellectuals and politicians who disagree with fundamentalist Islamic ideology are not Saudi citizens, according to exclusive information obtained by Asharq al Awsat, but most readers were.

"An informed source, which has monitored these forums for some time and analyzed the aliases of a number of writers, cited the Arab arena forum (muntadah al sahah al arabiyah), based in the Untied Arab Emirates, and writers for the voice of jihad (sawt al jihad) and al Battar, two online newsletters which represent al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia as examples."
Tabsir A noteworthy academic blog has emerged, with contributors including (in no particular order) Amir Hussain, Bruce Lawrence, Daniel Martin Varisco, El-Sayed el-Aswad, Gabriele Marranci, Gregory Starrett, Jon W. Anderson , Magnus T. Bernhardsson, McGuire Gibson, Miriam Cooke, and Ronald Lukens-Bull. Already, it contains some web-related materials., Terror's media: war over the Web, 12 Oct 05 I am exploring this issue in my next book: ""The Internet gives them direct access," says Brian Jenkins, an expert on terrorism at RAND Corp. in Santa Monica. 'It even allows them to segment their audiences so they can communicate with potential recruits, with those who are already in the organization, and with broader sympathetic audiences as well as their enemy. They can do ... modern marketing and these communications have enabled them to be very, very effective and they've been increasingly adept in exploiting this. I don't think we have yet fully fathomed the sophistication of their communication strategy.'"
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Crossing Continents | Yemeni anti-terror scheme in doubt, 11 Oct 05 "Doubts have been growing over the effectiveness of a pioneering Yemeni scheme to fight Islamist violence by using dialogue to convert extremist prisoners to more moderate views."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Star Malaysia, Ilkone phone with Islamic features

"For the Malaysian market, Ilkone has appointed Koperasi Warga Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Koway), which is in line with the Ilkone concept of dakwah via communications technology...

" ... Yadim members and members of the public can buy the phone from Yadim on an interest-free instalment basis.

"The Islamic applications available in the phone include verses from the Quran in English, the azan and prayer time, the kiblat's direction, Ramadan calendar to determine when to start and break fast, as well as a 40-minute automatic vibrate after the azan."
Gulf Times Newspaper, Al Qaeda letter reveals concern at Iraq tactics, 8 Oct 05 should be read in conjunction with the piece below.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | US publishes 'al-Qaeda's letter': "US intelligence has published in full what it says is a letter from al-Qaeda's number two to the man said to head the movement in Iraq.

"The letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appears to question insurgents' tactics."

There are references to the net within this letter - assuming it is complete... there's an English transcript on the page (PDF format)., Technology and Security Discussions on the Jihadist Forums: Producing a More Savvy Next Generation, Oct 10 05
360east | Ahmad Humeid's blog and podcast -Blog Archive - MixUp Arabia episode 7 | Oct 12, 2005 | The Ramadan Cast "Welcome to the world’s first Ramadan cast, almost live from my car!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005, Terrorism: 3rd Al-Qaeda 'News Bulletin' Welcomes Hamas' Military Wing, 11 Oct 05: "A fresh edition, the third to date, of a 'news bulletin' purporting to be al-Qaeda's appeared Tuesday on the Internet including an item suggesting that the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas group has joined the international Jihadist cause. 'The information network of the Palestinian Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigade (Hamas' military wing) has created a video, 'the resistance will prevail' in which it exalts a great Jihad to free Jerusalem' said the bulletin's announcer, adding 'may Allah help them stay firm on the road to the truth.' "
Telegraph | News | Militants' training camps wiped out, 10 Oct 05 "Training camps used by jihadists battling with the Indian army for control of Kashmir were buried by landslides or left in ruins by the earthquake, bringing hope of a new opportunity for peace-making after a 16-year Islamic insurgency."

No evidence Osama was killed in quake -, n.d.: "No evidence suggests that the deadly earthquake that rocked Pakistan on Saturday injured or killed the world's top terror leader, Osama Bin Laden. "
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Clarke to ban more 'terror groups', 11 Oct 05: "The list includes:
� The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which seeks to replace the Libyan regime with a hardline Islamist state and has made a failed assassination attempt on President Muammar Gadafy;
� Groupe Islamic Combattant Marocain, which started in Afghanistan but emerged in Morocco in the mid-1990s;
� Ansar al-Islam, formed in 2001 in north-east Iraq, which has been involved in anti-US and Kurdish insurgency attacks;
� Al Ittihad al-Islamia, which aims to establish a radical Sunni Islamic state in Somalia and to regain the Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
Other groups being banned are: the Uzbeck-based Islamic Jihad Union; Ansar al-Sunna in central Iraq; the Afghani Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin; Harakat-ul-Mujahideen/Alami and its splinter group, Jundallah, which operate in Pakistan Kashmir; Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan and its splinter group, Lashkar-e Jhangvi; Khuddam ul-Islam and its splinter group, Jamaat ul-Furquan; Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. All these groups also operate in Pakistani Kashmir. The 15th group is Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami-Bangladesh."

Many of these (all?) are active on the net, although I doubt whether this will have any discernible impact on activities online. Some would suggest that there are omissions to this list....
Pakistan Earthquake 2005 blog associated with the disaster in Pakistan.
Guardian Unlimited | World dispatch | The case for the opposition, 11 Oct 05: "In the interest of democratic reform, the Egyptian government must allow its electoral rivals some success, writes Brian Whitaker "
MEMRI: "The Global Islamic Media Front: Al-Qaeda in Iraq Has Replaced the Mother Organization in Afghanistan and is Spreading Jihad Throughout the World", 12 Oct 05:
Ramadan sees the launch of many new TV shows, including the controversial Al-Hour Al-Ayn AP/The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Anti-terrorism TV show assailed by some Arabs, 11 Oct 05: "The show's message: terrorism is giving Islam a bad name, and Muslims are suffering because of the actions of a few.

"The series, which began Oct. 4 on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, has come under a blistering attack on the Internet in Arabic language chat rooms."

Haven't had a chance to see this programme yet., Decision due on 'al Qaeda' case, 11 Oct 05 refers to the trial of Abbas Boutrab, and has a net linkage: "The material, allegedly downloaded by Boutrab from the internet onto 25 floppy discs, was discovered in his Shore Road flat in Whitehouse on the outskirts of Belfast following his arrest in April 2003. ", South Asian Quake: Survivors Wait For Aid As Death Toll Rises, 11 Oct 05

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hudson Institute, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Vol. 2 includes web-related articles [note: PDF file]
MEMRI: Sunni Sheikhs and Organizations Criticize Al-Zarqawi's Declaration of War Against the Shi'ites, 7 Oct 2005 "The speech declaring war on the Shi'ites, made recently by Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, did not generate a wave of objection among Sunni Muslims. However, a small number of Sunni sheikhs and organizations urged Al-Zarqawi to withdraw his statements on the grounds that they ignite fitna (internal strife), thus serving the interests of the occupation." Includes links to related web statements.
Significant links for the disaster in South Asia:

Islamic Relief, Pakistan Earthquake

Oxfam, South Asia Earthquake Appeal

Red Cross Red Crescent, South Asia: Earthquake

Daily Times, Earthquake death toll crosses 40,000
* Balakot razed to the ground, * 11,000 dead in Muzaffarabad, * 30,000 dead in Kashmir, says minister, * Death toll in Held Kashmir reaches 689,
* NWFP death toll may reach 7,500: Haq, * 850 schoolchildren trapped under rubble in NWFP, 10 Oct 05

Dawn, 9 Oct 05, Disaster magnitude stuns nation: •Quake turns Muzaffarabad into ghost town •Scared people spend night in the open •Tentative death toll put at 20,000 •Hundreds of children believed buried in debris

Jang-Group of Newspapers hub for several newspapers, including video materials.

BBC NEWS, Reporters' log: S Asia earthquake, 10 Oct 05 - includes e-mails from eye-witnesses.

Shaista Aziz, Diary: S. Asia quake aid worker

SFGate, Pakistan pleads for help: Weather and terrain slow military efforts to get equipment where it's needed, 10 Oct 05

al-Jazeera, قتلى زلزال باكستان ما بين 30 و40 ألفا

"Pakistan has suffered one of its worst earthquakes in history. When the final count is in, thousands of people will have been killed, countless others wounded and millions deprived of homes. Therefore it is very important that the people of Pakistan should get the right perspective on what has happened. First of all, the media must not publish the religious interpretation of the national tragedy: it has nothing to do with the “sinfulness” of the poor people of Pakistan. As far as the question of governance and regulation is concerned, we have to assess how much governance finally is involved when natural calamities strike and take note of specific cases, like the Margalla Towers in Islamabad, and get to the root of them." taken from: Daily Times, EDITORIAL: Getting the right perspective on the earthquake, 10 Oct 05

The Telegraph - Calcutta : For the love of jihad, 9 Oct 05 "The newly-formed women’s wing of Palestine’s militant group Hamas has a single-point objective — jihad against old foe Israel. Says slain Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantisi’s wife Rasha Rantisi, who spearheads the movement, "The role of women in jihad has been to encourage their sons and husbands. But women also have the right to wage jihad."", - Disturbing Story of Guantanamo Chaplain Who Was Branded a Spy, Oct 9 2005 James Yee now has a book out - there is an IT element within this, together with other insights into Camp X-Ray.

Friday, October 07, 2005, God Ordered Iraq War, Says Bush, 6 Oct 05 I was curious to see this *opinion piece* by Chris Floyd included in URUKNET.Info - and the inclusion of the graphics.
International Herald Tribune, N.Y. adds security in face of a new threat, 7 Oct 05
New Zarqawi audio recording available:, Al Qaeda's Zarqawi backs killing civilian 'infidels' -Web, 7 Oct 05: The comments appeared a day after the Pentagon said it had obtained a letter to Zarqawi from al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, saying tactics being used such as bombing mosques and killing hostages might alienate the Muslim masses." | 10/07/2005 | Chaplain cites anti-Islam zeal: "Yee doesn't directly address the only two allegations the military was able to make stick -- engaging in adultery and surfing the Internet on his military computer for pornography -- before the general in charge of Miami's Southern Command swept clean his personnel file. Instead, he dismisses them as an 11th-hour effort to embarrass him even as the government's espionage case unraveled."
Reuters, Singapore jails two bloggers for racist Internet posts, Oct 7, 2005: "Singapore on Friday jailed two men for making racist remarks on the Internet against minority Malays, invoking sedition laws inherited from British colonial rule for the first time since its independence 40 years ago."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reporters sans frontieres - Saudi Arabia, 6 Oct 05: "Reporters Without Borders welcomes the decision by the Internet Services Unit (ISU) to again allow access to the blog tool The ISU, the agency in charge of censoring the Internet in Saudi Arabia, declined to explain its decision to Reporters Without Borders, which contacted it by phone and then by e-mail. ended up being censored for only two days, on 4 and 5 October.", al-Qaeda steps up its propaganda activities, 6 Oct 05: "Al-Qaeda has translated into French a video message by its number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri's, evidence that it is stepping up its propaganda activities in France, a document obtained by Adnkronos International (AKI) - has revealed. Al-Zawahiri's message, in which Osama bin Laden's voice can be heard claiming the 7 July attacks on London's transport system, has been issued with French subtitles. "
Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English), Al-Qaeda Releases Second Online Newscast, 6 Oct 2005 "One of the anthems glorifying a suicide operation in Iraq said, “Teach me how to kill a man and fight non-believers”. The voice of the Egyptian newsreader was identical to that in the earlier broadcast on 12th September 2005, indicating the same individual took part in the broadcast."

!No Pasaran!: French rappers use 9-11 to peddle their tunes, 5 Oct 05
Telegraph | News | Bali bombings were Allah's warning, says jailed terror leader, 5 Oct 05 ""I really disapprove of bombings in non-conflict areas for whatever reason, including in Bali, because it can be almost certain that innocent and unknowing victims would fall," Bashir said in a statement released by his lawyer.

"He added that he was particularly saddened if the victims included "people whose religion is Islam"."
Muslim phone calls faithful to prayer | The Register, 6th October 2005 : "It sounds useful, but as one Dutch Muslim, 15-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, explained to AP: "I wouldn't buy one. It might be useful for someone at home or traveling, but not at the mosque. Everyone here already knows what time prayers are.""

The issue of Sout al-Khilafa 'broadcasts' (and related output) is one I will be discussing in my next book. I have been following these presentations closely, but prefer not to put the URLs of the many upload sites and associated websites into this blog. There have been some articles on this issue already, including: Global Terrorism Analaysis, Al-Qaeda TV, Via the Web, 4 Oct 05. The edition of Global Terrorism Analaysis includes the related article Al-Qaeda's Next Generation: Less Visible and More Lethal, and is also available in PDF.
The Jawa Report: Army of Ansar al-Sunnah Murder Hostages by Beheading, Video Released (Images), 5 Oct 05
New Haven Advocate: Homegrown Jihadist Wannabe?, 6 Oct 05 "In June, Reynalds was scanning the Yahoo newsgroup Islamic Resistance when he came across a message from a person using the alias Kashmir Mujahideen. The message is still available on Yahoo; it reads in part, "Oh I wish I could fight in jihad, but who will supply me? I'm just one man in my eyes. I say, 'I can help, put me on the first flight,' but is there other men and women of Islam like me?""
PRISM Occasional Papers Vol. 3 No. 7 (6 October 2005) -- Al-Qaeda's Search for New Fronts: Instructions for Jihadi Activity in Egypt new paper from Reuben Paz at the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements, Hertzliya, Israel.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

AP/Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English), Infiltrating al-Qaeda Cells Difficult, 5 Oct 05: "Turkish intelligence agents are infiltrating mosques, monitoring underground Web sites and investigating Islamic front charities but are having little success penetrating al-Qaeda's tight-knit cells, agents and anti-terror police say.

"It is a common frustration around the world, with police in Italy, Britain and dozens of other countries finding it difficult to penetrate al-Qaeda, a loosely knit terrorist organization where family ties and close personal relationships are often key."
Islam Online, Dutch Ramadan Sites Boom in Ramadan, 4 Oct 05 "With the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Netherlands, Muslim Web sites are attracting a large number of Muslims curious to know how to make their fast flawless and non-Muslims as well who want to learn more about the Muslim faith.", Second edition of al-Qaeda news bulletin airs, 4 Oct 05: "The second edition of 'Sout al Khalifa', or Voice of the Caliphate, the 'news bulletin' produced by al-Qaeda mouthpiece the Global Islamic Media Front, has been broadcast on the Internet. The latest programme, which lasts around 19 minutes, opens with news from Palestine, and dedicates lengthy coverage to the kidnapping and killing of Sasson Nuriel, the Israeli businessman seized by a cell of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The bulletin replays the video showing the hostage and repeats the allegation that he was a member of the Israeli security services."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Turkish Daily News - Landmark step into EU, 4 Oct 05
interesting interviews with Rohan Guanaratna and Sidney Jones (JI specialist):, Indonesia: Ban Jemaah Islamiyah, Says Expert, 4 Oct 05: "Although JI has been able to conduct a coordinated attack, there are suggestions of a serious internal rift and even a splinter group. Two Malaysians, Azahari bin Nusin and Noordin Mohamed Top, have been identified as the suspected masterminds behind the bombings. The two were also named as suspects in previous attacks in Indonesia - one in 2003 at the Marriot hotel in Jakarta which killed 12 people and another at the Australian embassy in 2004 which killed 11 people. ", Iraq: Al-Qaeda Posts Recruitment Ads On Internet, 3 Oct 05: "According to the 'Global Islamic Media Group' al-Qaeda affiliated website, the terror network is also looking for a video programmer and a researcher for news on Muslims around the world, as well as language specialists with an excellent oral and grammatical knowledge of Arabic and English."
Asharq Alawsat, Al Qaeda Website Openly Hiring New Recruits, 3 October 2005 also see story below:
The Australian: Al-Qa'ida recruits on the internet [October 04, 2005]: "THE al-Qa'ida terror network has launched an internet advertising campaign to recruit agents, calling for applicants who are fluent in English, are willing to pursue jihad against the West and have 'video production' skills."
Relates to a disturbing video of two girls being harassed by four men in Riyadh: Arab News, Harassment Video Draws Outrage, 4 October 2005: "Some said the punishment should extend to the families of the young men. 'I was disgusted by what I saw on the Internet,' said Hisham Al-Emam, a student at Yanbu Industrial College. 'I was shocked that such a thing could happen in our country and that there are people here who would distribute the clip on the Internet. I think the role of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice should be increased and that they should be present in these areas to prevent such harassment.'"
BBC NEWS, Saving Mali's written treasures, 3 October 2005: ""We are looking at an earlier phase of globalisation in the region," Dr Shamil Jeppie of the University of Cape Town, who is part of a joint South African and Malian project to preserve the vast intellectual heritage of Timbuktu.

""People ask me if these manuscripts are the work of Arab scholars, but no, they were Africans," Dr Jeppie says."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Islam Online, Ramadan Moon Could Be Sighted After Noon: Qaradawi, 2 Oct 05: "Prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi said Muslims can sight the new moon after noon Monday, October 3, when the sun reaches its zenith." That's roundabout now as this blog is composed - but it is rather cloudy outside. Didn't catch the eclipse either ... 'Muslim moon search technique primitive', Oct 2 2005: "... a Saudi religious scholar, Sheik Abdul Muhsen Al-Obaikan, adviser at the Saudi Justice Ministry, has questioned the method used by Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judiciary Council, which relies on the naked eye to spot the hilal.

"In an interview with a Saudi newspaper, Al-Obaikan argued that using the naked eye to determine the beginning and end of Ramadan was primitive in an age of modern science and technology.

"'There is no other way to put it. It's pure backwardness,' he said."
Middle East Online, Al-Jazeera news in Japanese, 3 Oct 05: "Flamboyant Japanese Internet tycoon turned politician Takafumi Horie said Monday he will bring Arab news broadcaster Al-Jazeera to Japan, hoping to provide the public a greater variety of views.

"The 32-year-old entrepreneur said his firm Livedoor, which offers a portal site much like Yahoo along with other Internet services, has signed a deal with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera to distribute its news online in Japanese."
Middle East Online, Iraqis fear another violent Ramadan, Oct 3 2005
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Game of global jihad that's too simplistic, 3 Oct 05: "But clear differences between south-east Asia and other terrorist 'hotspots' also suggest the idea of an all-embracing worldwide conflict is simplistic. Violence has little discernible public support in most countries."
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Police seek Bali bombers' names, 2 Oct 05
Al Qaeda web claims it has US Marines | WORLD | NEWS | "Al Qaeda said on Sunday it had captured two US Marines in western Iraq, and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to US forces to release female Sunni Muslim prisoners, a statement posted on a Web site said on Sunday.

"But the US military was dismissive. "
The Statesman, Attacks against Islamic values: OIC, Oct 2 2005: "The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) denounced today the deadly bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali as 'terrorist acts' which contradict Islamic teachings. "
AP, Singapore prosecutes bloggers with colonial law, 3 Oct 05

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Magazine ad "unleashes hell" for Boeing and Bell, 1 Oct 05: "Boeing and its joint-venture partner Bell Helicopter apologized yesterday for a magazine ad published a month ago — and again this week by mistake — depicting U.S. Special Forces troops rappelling from an Osprey aircraft onto the roof of a mosque."