Friday, September 29, 2006

zone-h, New defacements' messages threatening the Pope "Between September 12th and september 27th, Zone-H database recorded a hike in the number of defacements for religious or political reasons and we highlighted that about 4939 websites have been attacked with the aim of focus on the Islamic protest."
Interesting article about Dar al-Iftaa al-Misriyyah: al-Ahram Weekly Online, Bumpy road to heaven, 28 September - 4 October 2006, Issue No. 814 It also refers to the Dar al-Iftaa website

One small step ..., Far out! Space tourist's blog is out there refers to the blog of Anousheh Ansari

Reuters/Washington Post, Iraq Qaeda seeks Western hostages to free cleric, 28 Sept 06 "Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq called for the kidnapping of Westerners to swap for a Muslim cleric jailed in the United States, according to an Internet audio tape issued on Thursday." Also see SITE Institute, A Speech by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir on the Occasion of Ramadan 1427, "Come to a Word that is Just Between Us and You", Sept 28, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

asharq alawsat, Bin Laden: Enlightenment Remains the Protector, 27 Sept 06, "One month ago, I asked a Saudi security official why and how youngsters are joining Al Qaeda despite the constant Saudi successes of countering terrorism. He answered, “because of the Imam of deception.” I asked about the identity of the “Imam of deception” and he replied, “The internet!”" Comment made to Tariq Alhomayed, part of a speculative editorial.

AKI, al-Qaeda video threatening Pope 'imminent', 27 Sept 06 "A new video is expected to surface later on Wednesday on the Internet containing threats against Pope Benedict XVI by al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to a message posted to Islamist websites close to the terror network."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

BBC News, Browser flaw seen on porn sites, 21 Sept 06 with a nicely understated photo caption: "Clicking on the wrong webpage could have serious consequences" Also see BBC News, Microsoft patches bad browser bug, 27 Sept 06

BBC News, Excerpts: Declassified US terror report, 25 Sept 06 (that would be the National Intelligence Estimate on Trends in Global Terrorism). Quoting from the report: "We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support." Er, well spotted.

SFGate/alt.muslim, Papal gaffe was setback for religious dialogue, Sept 26, 2006

AP/Washington Post, 26 Sept 06 Najdat Anzour has received death threats via the net: "A Syrian director who received death threats after a Ramadan television series on suicide bombers is back for this year's holiday: This time, he condemns terrorism by Islamic extremists as a global threat that hurts Muslims.", Too many olive branches, 27 Sept 06, quote in op-ed. ""We tell the worshipper of the cross," the Mujahedeen Shura Council's Internet communiqué warned, "we will continue our jihad and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks.""

ameinfo, Waselly online delivery goes active in Ramadan, 25 Sept 06 "As the onset of Ramadan calls for a more vigilant exercise among non-Muslims in Dubai in this month of fasting,, UAE's first and only food delivery partner online considers online ordering as a more subtle and considerate way of ordering food, without attracting attention from those who are doing their fasts.", Imams Attend Course On Aussie Values, 26 Sept 06

"About 100 Imams and Islamic leaders last night completed a course that denounced extremism and taught an understanding of Australian culture ..."

The Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration stated:

" ... "So there is a clear responsibility to deliver the teachings of Islam in English so young people learn about the Quran from the mosque and not the internet.""

Monday, September 25, 2006

AFP, Malaysia to set up domestic Internet exchange, 25 Sept 06 "Malaysia, which mostly sees Internet access through Singapore or US servers, will set up its own exchange to improve connectivity and reduce foreign exchange leakages, a minister has said."

NYT, As Iraqi Lights Flicker, ‘Generator Man’ Feels Heat, 25 Sept 06, Osama bin Laden is alive, healthy and safe, 25 Sept 06 "Saudi authorities rejected the information originally published by French newspaper L'Est Republicain about the death of world's most wanted terrorist, the founder of al-Qaeda terrorist network, Osama bin Laden. An official statement released by the government of Saudi Arabia said that it was speculative information the reliability of which was not confirmed by independent sources."

AP/Taipei Times, Al-Qaeda group posts Web video of dead US soldiers, 25 Sept 06

AP/USA Today, Al-Qaeda-linked group denies leader's arrest, 24 Sept 06 "An Internet statement posted Sunday said that the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked terror group had not been captured, contradicting an Iraqi government report."

Interesting interview with former al-Qaeda member, Mohammed al-Tamimi: al-Hayat, A New Testimony!, 25 Sept 06 "Al-Tamimi also revealed that he had been recruited through forums on the Internet, which were supervised by certain people that circulated al-Qaeda's ideas in an indirect way. These people were Yusuf al-Airi, who was killed in a bloody confrontation with Saudi security forces on June 1, 2003; and Ali al-Faqasi, who turned himself in to the Interior Minister Assistant on June 26, 2003.", Bond denied Roswell terror suspect, 22 Sept 06 Ongoing case: "McBurney said Sadequee shot "casing videos" of several sites in the Washington D.C. area including the Capitol, the World Bank, a Masonic temple and a fuel tank farm. He then used a computer at the offices of Raksha, an Atlanta non-profit that offers social services to the South Asian community where one of Sadequee's sisters works, to send the video files to a British man named Younis Tsouli. Tsouli called himself "Irhabi (Arabic for terrorist) 007" and ran a Web site that taught terror tactics."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Middle East Online, Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan, 21 Sept 06 "That disastrous campaign cost a lot of money and made the US look even more foolish in the eyes of the people at whom it was directed. The notion of emailing from home computers in Kandahar is ridiculous. Only ten per cent of Afghans have electricity, argues Brian Cloughley."

Middle East Times, Computer hacker group offers stealth Net surfing, Sept 22 06 "A group calling itself "Hacktivismo" launched a Web browser Thursday that promises to protect the privacy of Internet surfers from "hostile governments" or "data thieves."" Want one.

Seattle Times, GOP loyalty dictated who would rebuild Iraq, 21 Sept 06 contains tech edge

MENAFN, Software piracy levels fall in Middle East despite increased Personal Computer penetration, 21 Sept 06

11Alive, Police Crack Laptop Theft Ring, 22 Sept 06, "Dozens of laptops stolen in Metro Atlanta were being shipped to Africa or the Middle East. Now, four men are behind bars, charged with stealing them."

Washington Post/MSNBC, Muslim convert observes Ramadan, 22 Sept 06 non-tech

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A couple of broadcast links that I found interesting:

Rather belatedly, I am listening to two August broadcasts by Andy Kershaw, focusing on Rai music in Algeria. These are excellent programmes, comparable to his similar recorded travels elsewhere in the world which I have mentioned before on this blog. A highlight is a 'live' recording of Rachid Taha. There are a number of other recordings by other artistes (in a variety of locations, including a hotel bedroom!). Radio 3, Andy Kershaw in Algeria

The BBC are also presenting a series of programmes under the banner 'Unconvering Iran'. This includes TV and radio materials. I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet, as there are several hours worth of material.

al-Ahram Weekly, Sex and the city, 21 - 27 September 2006, "Kalam Kebeir (Serious Talk) -- presented by Heba Qotb, the first ever Arab sexologist and marriage counsellor -- took the nation by storm when it was launched a few weeks ago." Internet reference too: "According to Riham Shebl, an independent researcher interested in female genital mutilation (FGM) and other forms of gendered violence, "there is sexual awareness among young Egyptians -- it may be false or inaccurate; sometimes it comes from suspect sources. But it exists." It is acquired, she says, through books and the Internet if not experience with foreigners."

Guardian Comment is Free, Is Malaysia an Islamic state?, "Concerned about sparking an ethnic clash, the prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has proclaimed a ban on open discussion of these issues, threatening to arrest Internet news providers and activists if they continue to fan such debates."

Mirror, 9/11? What a Laugh! Vile internet rant of John Reid heckler, 21 Sept 06 "The Muslim extremist who yesterday heckled John Reid roared with laughter at the victims of 9/11 during a sickening internet rant ...

" ... In the video, posted on American-based site, Izzadeen urges followers to launch terror attacks on France and ridiculed the Spanish security services for failing to stop the Madrid train bombings."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

asharq alawsat, Al-Sahab Media: The Strength and Weakness of Al Qaeda, 18 Sept 06 "Many would rush to the conclusion that the impact of the latest al-Qaeda's tapes is exactly as it was a few years ago. but the truth of the matter is that the sight of Osama Bin Laden threatening America and the west, or celebrating the attacks on New York and Washington, or the countless other Video statements released over the years no longer have the same impact on us as they once did." Interesting opinion piece by Diana Mukkaled.
Jerusalem Post, Rate of Internet use increasing faster in Arab nations, 19 Sept 06 analysis of latest research by Madar

Global Terrorism Analysis, Internet Jihadis React to Alleged Nuclear Plot on the United States, 19 Sept 06 "Recent reports indicating al-Qaeda's preparations for a nuclear attack in the United States by al-Qaeda's alleged nuclear expert, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, has prompted conflicting reactions among Islamists in the jihadi forums."

Washington Times, Zarqawi had foes within al Qaeda, 19 Sept 06

Counterterrorism Blog, Major Iraqi Al-Qaida Merger Rumored in the Works, 18 Sept 06 speculation

Monday, September 18, 2006

Muslim Council of Britain, Prayer for Darfur, 17 Sept 06

Islam Online, Qaradawi Urges "Peaceful" Anger Day, 18 Sept 06, "Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has called on Muslims worldwide to hold a day of "peaceful" anger next Friday to protest the offensive remarks made by Pope Benedict VXI, saying that the pontiff's expression of sorrow for the crisis still fell far short of an apology."

Telegraph, God is not to be second-guessed, 17 Sept 06, "It is a fair bet that few of the angry young Muslims protesting against Pope Benedict XVI have read his speech in full. In an age of 24-hour news, instant rebuttal and internet chatrooms, words get subtly altered at each successive quotation." Opinion piece and discussion with a net-edge from The Telegraph.

Reuters, Qaeda-led group vows "jihad" over Pope's speech, 18 Sept 06 ""We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya," said an Internet statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda.",, the first Arabic search engine launched worldwide, 18 Sept 06 is in Beta at the moment, but works well enough (based on my brief test).

widely reported at the weekend: Times Online, Muslim girl flees London to wed her internet Hindu, 16 Sept 06 The bride's father, Abdul Gaur, stated: ""The girls are teenagers and were not allowed out after school or college and certainly not near men. But we could do nothing to protect out daughter from the evil of the internet. While we slept this evil came into our home and has led to our daughter running away and marrying a Hindu boy.""

Washington Post/, War is not at all fair to those who fall in love in Iraq: Widening sectarian rift taking its toll on Sunni-Shiite couples, 17 Sept 06, ""This is the age of cell phone love," said Omar al-Azzawi, 33, an Internet cafe owner who has a Sunni father and a Shiite mother. "If I marry someone, we'll have to get married on the phone. We'll probably have to make love on the phone, too.""

Korea Herald, Cyber-terrorism creates problems in the real world, 16 Sept 06, editorial refers to Imam Samudra, but doesn't give an author's name

Wired, Games Tackle Middle East Conflict, 18 Sept 06, "Made by Danish company Serious Games Interactive, Palestine is best described as a first-person talker. You get your digital boots on the street and speak -- using a choose-your-own-adventure-style navigation tree -- to soldiers, terrorists and the people caught in the middle. The violence, poverty and hope are all rendered in real-time 3-D." Serious Games Interactive gives further details here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

National Post/, A terror suspect's mentor, 7 Sept 06 discussion on Israr Ahmad: "With the help of a weekly television show, a Web site and a seminary in Lahore's Model Town neighbourhood, the 74-year-old exhorts Muslims to strive for the "global domination of Islam."

"In his books and recorded lectures, sold online and at his small shop in Lahore, he spells out his views about "conspiring" Jews and the need to treat non-Muslims as second-class citizens."

IHT, A dark turn for a Danish city, Sept 6 2006, ""We call them the Al Qaeda generation," said a European counterterrorism official familiar with the Danish investigation, who requested anonymity because it is ongoing. "They are not trained in Afghanistan or Iraq, but are young frustrated Muslims, many of them from hard-working immigrant families, who access Al Qaeda on the Internet where they can find an outlet for their anger and alienation.""

LA Times, Editor Accused of Insulting Islam Is Slain, 7 Sept 06, "Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed was editor in chief of the independent daily Al Wifaq. In May 2005, scores of Sudanese demanded a death sentence for Ahmed for insulting Islam by republishing an article from the Internet that questioned the parentage of the prophet Muhammad."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ha'aretz, For Gaza's students, classes by 'remote control', "Four days ago, their fourth-year term opened. Azaizeh, age 24, from Dir al-Balah, says classes take place at the Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. But according to him, some courses are taught via the Internet, on home computers, but the Israel Defense Forces bombing of the central Gaza Strip power station, in June, and subsequent power outages, disrupted these courses. Azaizeh says all the students suffer financial difficulties and require the assistance of grants." Interesting article, relating to the internet, educational issues in Gaza, and occupational therapy training.

Reuters Alertnet, Saudi sympathy for al Qaeda still runs strong, 5 Sept 06 ""Despite how numerous the sympathisers are and their increasing role, people are still underestimating their importance and how dangerous they are," analyst Faris bin Houzam wrote in Saudi daily al-Riyadh.

""There is shock every time the Interior Ministry says it has arrested of dozens of supporters, but it shouldn't shock since Internet forums show that there are hundreds of people with the desire to back and support the organisation," he said."

CNN, In Pakistan, signs of al Qaeda all around, 5 Sept 06

Washington Times, Al Qaeda on the left, 6 Sept 06 back to that video, clearly a 'success' given the column inches generated. "Verso's "Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden" -- a compilation of the terrorist's public utterances from 1994-2004 -- is replete with phraseology from the blogs. "Bin Laden is a blogger," wrote reviewer Brendan O'Neill in the May issue of Reason Magazine. "Not literally, of course, but he certainly speaks the language of the blogosphere."" Also see radar blog, Jihad for Dummies on the same subject (different angle!).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

analysis/op-ed on that tape, which has been widely circulated on the net:

Laura Mansfield has a translation/transcript of the tape. The tape [17.6 MB] itself can also be downloaded via her website, if you don't want to visit one of the many alternative providers of the material.

Reuters/NYT, Qaeda Video Demands Conversion to Islam, 3 Sept 06, "Al Qaeda, in a video posted Saturday on the Internet, called for President Bush and non-Muslims, especially those in the United States, to convert to Islam and abandon their “misguided” ways, or else suffer the consequences."

al bawaba, Al Qaeda urges Americans to convert to Islam, 3 Sept 06

counterterrorism blog, The "Azzam" Threat: A prelude to Future Jihad in America analysis by Walid Phares

SITE Institute, “An Invitation to Islam” – An As-Sahab Produced Video Featuring Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri and Azzam the American AKA Adam Gadahn

Die Welt, Al Qaeda: making sense of the gibberish, 2 Sept 06


ABC, No. 2 al-Qaida Leader in Iraq Arrested, 3 Sept 06 "Iraqi forces have arrested the second most senior operative in al-Qaida in Iraq, and the group now suffers from a "serious leadership crisis," the national security adviser said Sunday."

Sunday Times, White extremists use terror videos to threaten Muslims, 3 Sept 06 "The videos have all been made since the arrest three weeks ago of suspects connected to the alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets. Their style mimics the “martyrdom videos” of Islamic radicals talking about their plans for terrorist outrages against the West."

BBC News, Terror police continue searches, 3 Sept 06 also see Daily Mail, Police swoop on Britain's first 'jihad training camp', 2 Sept 06 which notes: "MI5 is understood to have spent months building up a detailed intelligence picture of the group and its activities. The covert operation involved specialist watch teams tracking the men's movements, telephone calls, e-mails and internet use."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Alsharq Alawsat, Egypt:Islamic Group Argues Bombings, Hijacking Planes are Forbidden in Islam, 1 Sept 06, "A new book by the Egyptian Islamic Group (IG) emphasizes that the bombing of infrastructure and governmental establishments is not permissible in Islam.", Browzar promises private surfing, 1 Sept 06 "The new Browzar internet browser is promising users a way to surf the internet while disclosing only a limited amount of personal information.

"In an attempt to protect the privacy of its users the application does not store cookies or a history of previously visited websites, nor does it maintain a cache or offer to auto-complete online forms." Browzar's instigator is Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed. Alas, it is not available for Mac.

alt.muslim, War Profiteering With The "Infidel" Knife, 31 Aug 06 opinion piece with net refs, by Bryan Lee. I should also mention the latest (no.18) alt.muslim podcast, which has features on education and an interview with Q-News' editor.