Friday, April 27, 2007

Presently revisiting Andy Kershaw's Radio 3 show from last Monday. It features Reem Kelani in session and conversation. Well worth listening too, whilst it is still available. Also visit Reem's website for further details on her work, including an MP3 download.

Back to the news ...., Security services facing Al Qaeda peril, 25 Apr 07, "An official source told El Khabar that a delegation from general direction of national safety -DGSN- is participating as of Monday in a security meeting in the Libyan capital Tripoli which gathers officials of security services in Maghreban countries in order to think out means of counter terrorism in the region."

Telegraph, Saudi police swoop on militants, 27 Apr 07, "Saudi Arabian police have arrested 172 militants who they say were plotting to strike the country's oil fields, storm its prisons and use aircraft in their attacks, the Interior Ministry has said.

"The militants planned to carry out suicide attacks against "public figures, oil facilities, refineries ... and military zones," a statement from the ministry said. It said some of the military targets were outside the kingdom, but it did not give details."

Middle East Online, Security firm business booms on Casablanca blasts, 27 Apr 07 ""Demand has literally exploded," said Mehdi Eddari, managing director of RMO, Casablanca's oldest and biggest private security firm." [rather unfortunate phraseology].

Daily Express, Bounty on Head of Harry, 27 Apr 07 "Militia leaders have claimed that photographs of Harry have been downloaded from the internet and handed out to insurgent groups.

"Last week Abu Zaid, commander of the Malik Ibn Al Ashtar Brigade of the Shia militia group the Medhi Army, vowed to cut off Harry’s ears.

"We are awaiting the arrival of the young, handsome, spoilt Prince with bated breath and we confidently expect he will come out into the open on the battlefield," he said. "We will be generous with him. For we will return him to his grandmother but without ears."" Coverage here is also in The Observer, Harry 'the mother of all targets' in Iraq, 22 Apr 07

National Review Online/AINA, McJihad: From the Caliphate to Columbine, 24 Apr 07, "From dark corners of the web, the terrorists' marketing is winning minds from Florida, to Iraq and maybe to Virginia Tech. Some readers are identifying with the Islamist propaganda and mystique, but not because they hope to emulate Saladin, but rather because it stands as a paradigm of defiance to anything the reader finds oppressive. Al Qaeda is the new Che Guevara: a hip tee shirt, a motto, a symbol of rebellion and resistance."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

KUNA, Turkey's Islamic research center issues 32nd volume of Islamic encyclopedia, 26 Apr 07 Refers to ISAM (İslâm Araştırmaları Merkesi)

AFP/Middle East Times, Rebels threaten Kashmir Internet cafes, 25 Apr 07 " A hardline Islamic rebel group in Indian Kashmir ordered Internet cafes to demolish closed-door cabins where users surf, claiming that they are being used for "licentious" purposes." Refers to the Badr Mujahideen group; their statement was delivered by telephone.

The News (Pakistan), Jihadi media thrives despite promised crackdown, 25 Apr 07 "Despite government promises to crack down, hate-filled Jihadi propaganda is thriving in Pakistan, especially in print and on the Internet. Critics say it is contributing to the demonisation of the West and the "Talibanisation" of Pakistan."

AP/, Taliban leader: Bin Laden was behind attack, 26 Apr 07 "A top Taliban commander said al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was behind the February attack outside a U.S. military base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, according to an interview shown Wednesday by Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera."

CNS, Moderate Muslims Speak Out, But Not on PBS, 25 Apr 07 "Some of the key Muslim figures featured in the documentary believe PBS is practicing censorship and doing a disservice to the American public. The film, which was supposed to be part of a PBS series, cost taxpayers more than $600,000."

BBC, Students 'had terrorist material', 25 April 2007 "Five students collected a large quantity of extremist material on their computers to use for terrorist goals, a court has heard.

"Among the items was a film showing atrocities against Muslims around the world, which was aimed at encouraging martyrdom, the Old Bailey was told."

AKI, 'Islamic State Of Iraq' Presents Its 'Cabinet', 23 April 2007 "The self proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq, which includes the al-Qaeda cell in Iraq and several insurgent groups, has announced the creation of its 'government'. Despite the fact that most of the Iraqi Sunni insurgency have refused to join the recent umbrella formation and are edging closer to the tribes involved in a tentative dialogue with the Baghdad government, the group's emir Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is undeterred. He has announced the formation of an 'executive' whose members have been introduced via the Internet in recent days in a video prepared by the groups's 'information office'."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First, a couple of popular culture items that caught my interest:

Christian Science Monitor, A comic about truth, justice, and the Islamic way, 25 Apr 07: "Since October, youngsters throughout the Middle East have been discovering the legend of the Noor Stones in a new monthly comic book called "The 99." The series is inspired by Islamic culture and history – the title refers to the 99 names and traits attributed to God in the Koran – and aims to spread a universal message of teamwork along with plenty of action, adventure, and "kapow!"" Visit Teshkeel Comics website for more info. I have previously blogged on this.

As I catch up with my reading, here's a useful story about music in Iran that was in The Observer at the weekend, which had a distinct tech edge to it: Observer, Iran's other face, 22 Apr 07 "Popular music started to reappear in the late 1990s under the relatively liberal Khatami presidency. Unable to release records at home, more and more rappers and rock bands are using the internet to promote their music."

Trial update: Life Style Extra, 'Sixth former Planned To Join Jihad', 25 Apr 07 "A teenager bunked off school to join Muslim extremists he met in an internet chatroom who were planning to go to al-Qaeda terror training camps, a court heard.

"However, the horrified parents of sixth former Mohammed Raja found a letter left by the 17-year-old on his computer and contacted police which led to the smashing of the "sect," the court was told."

Reuters, Somali Islamists claim attacks on Ethiopians-Web, 25 Apr 07, "An Islamist militant group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing and a car bomb attack on Ethiopian forces in Somalia.

"The group, calling itself the Young Mujahideen Movement in Somalia, also said in an Internet statement that its fighters detonated a car bomb near an Ethiopian military convoy in the Somali capital, destroying two trucks.", Maktoob group showcases Araby the world's first Arabic search engine at GITEX 2007, 24 Apr 07 "To optimize user-friendliness, Araby has a number of different search categories such as news, politics, and sports, in which the information is sourced from the most reliable and trustworthy Arab news sources. In addition, there is the facility to start a search under 'Islam' which covers topics such as: the Holy Quran, Islamic seminars and Islamic research, a feature which will be of benefit to millions of Muslim users all over the world." Refers to the recent upgrade of Araby, which is increasingly useful.

AFP, Malaysian govt to counter Internet lies, 25 Apr 07 "The move comes amid attacks on Malaysian bloggers and Internet users by ministers, including Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who accuse them of spreading slander and gossip."

The Guardian, Global outcry at Taliban's use of boy in filmed beheading, 25 Apr 07, "The Taliban's use of a young boy to behead a man drew international criticism yesterday, with Unicef condemning the incident as "a terrible example of how children can be used by adults to commit heinous crimes in times of conflict"."

AP, Iraq students show Virginia Tech support, 24 Apr 07, "Students in Baghdad, where universities have been hard-hit by violence, said they were saddened by last week's massacre at Virginia Tech and hung up a banner to express their solidarity with "our brothers in humanity and in pursuing knowledge.""

Ealing Times, Appeal to find missing teen, 24 Apr 07 "A teenage girl who recently converted to Islam is still missing after a month despite appeals in local press newspapers and on the internet." Refers to Krystina Winter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Islam Online, IT Sector Flourishes in Pakistan, 24 Apr 07
Just picked this up, whilst working on a related area: Islam-Online, Building Moderate Muslim Networks: Muslim Scholars Respond to RAND's Report, 19 Apr 07 This is in response to RAND's Building Moderate Muslim Networks, previously blogged. IOL has assembled a team of scholars to deliver their verdicts. Muhammad Kamal Imam states: "The most dangerous aspect of this report is that it aims to shape the world with American eyes and to convey the message that the world's power center decides and the rest should only implement the decisions. We too do have eyes with which to see things and a religion to determine what is lawful and what is not and what is permissible and what is forbidden. Consequently, those criteria set by American centers belong to America and shouldn't be falsely regarded as the only useful pattern for the world. We however, shouldn't help propagate these criteria." Clearly, there is plenty to discuss here (this would make for a good seminar!).
Reuters, Hamas armed wing ends truce, fires rockets at Israel, 24 Apr 07 "Hamas's armed wing declared an end to a five-month-old ceasefire on Tuesday, firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians over the weekend."

Guardian, Extremists used internet to urge Muslims to follow Bin Laden and join holy war, court told, 24 Apr 07 "Younes Tsouli, Waseem Mughal and Tariq al-Daour used radical websites for at least a year to try to encourage people to follow the ideology of Osama bin Laden, Woolwich crown court was told."

Daily News (Sri Lanka), Roots of suicide terrorism, 24 Apr 07 useful review by A.G. Noorani of Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert A. Pape, which was first published in 2005 and reprinted in 2006.

Reuters, Taliban says had no role in deadly Khost bombings, 23 Apr 07 ""The mujahideen of the Islamic state did not have any role in the two incidents, which were part of a chain of personal disputes among the people from the province," said the militant group in a statement posted on the Internet."

The New Nation, Politics, power and the new Arab media, 20 Apr 07 "Net usage in the Arab world has surged, with 20 million Arabs logging daily on the Internet. While the Arab video sharing sites Ikbis's 40,000 page views are chump change compared to You Tube's 100 million daily video clip views, its viral impact on Arab culture empowers millions of Arabs to express opinions, ideas and images denied them by their own government censors or ideological/religious police. It is no coincidence that one of the most popular Arab videos features Saudi Arabian break-dancers, a symbol of my belief that democracy, the free market, the Internet and demographics will determine the future of the Arab world, not just coups, government intervention, revolutionary bombast, arms sprees, state terror and the plots of local and foreign intelligence agencies."

Ali Al-Timimi profile: Scoop, The Faithful Spy: Amerithrax Spoiler Alert, 23 Apr 07

Monday, April 23, 2007

alarab online, Virtual museum on Islamic art launched, 21 Apr 07 "What's being billed as the first virtual museum of Islamic art "opened" officially on Friday providing a window on some of the traces of Islamic culture that are scattered across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East." I've discussed the excellent output of the Museum Without Borders [a.k.a. Museum with No Frontiers] before. The exhibitions can be found here at

Taliya, National Digital Media Festival at Tehran Int’l Fairs Ground, 23 Apr 07 "Head of the Public Relations of the National Digital Media & Multimedia Software Festival, Mohammad-Sadeq Afrasiabi announcing the news added, “This year our festival would be the scene for competitions at four main fields of software packages, namely the Internet websites and weblogs, the computer games, and the mobile phone software.”

Yemen Times, Al-Tajammu (headlines), 23-25 Apr 07 "The newspaper quoted unofficial reports as saying that Yemeni militants, who cross into Iraqi to fight against the Iraqi government and the occupation forces, number up to 2000. The scores added that most of the militants come from the Yemeni south province of Abyan and Miseik area, east of the capital, and they organize their trips to the war-ravaged country illegally. Official security sources mentioned that these militants use the internet in order to attract youths aged between 18 and 37 years and train them on how to fight in Iraq"

A useful Yemen Times RSS feed has been added to their pages, from which I obtained: Yemen Times, The future of Yemeni visual-audio media, 23-25 Apr 07 "With more than 60% of Yemenis without access to print media and even more than that without any knowledge or access to online media, TV and Radio take up first place in terms of outreach and influence."

YNet, Jihadis aspire to 'conquer France': Al-Qaeda forum calls for jihadis to 'complete' medieval war and take over France, 23 Apr 07 "A post that appeared on the al-Firdaws jihadi forum, submitted by a user named Faisal al-Baghdadi, contained a lengthy historical account of "the second stop of the Islamic conquest of Europe, France, after Andalusia, Spain."" Article by Yaakov Lappin.

Strategy Page, Pakistans Cyber Crime Wing, 21 Apr 07, "One reason Pakistan has had a hard time dealing with the Taliban is because of a lack of Cyber War capability. Pakistan is still depending on the United States, usually the American FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to tap into email and other traffic on the Internet. Islamic terrorists are enthusiastic users of the Internet, even though such use can be detected. But not by the Pakistanis. It's not for want of trying.", Web of Terror, 23 Apr 07 article by Rita Katz and Josh Devon, requires registration

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wall Street Journal, 'Brotherhood' Blogs In Egypt Offer View Of Young Islamists "Ms. Essam, a conservative Muslim who wears a veil, started her Arabic-language blog,, in February. She says she picked the name, which roughly translates as "My tongue is a Molotov [cocktail]," because "my words are the only thing I can use to resist any injustice and express my opinion." Also refers to the blog of Abdou el-Monem Mahmoud

AP/The Guardian, Al-Qaida Chief Appointed Minister of War, 20 Apr 07, "The announcement unveiling an 'Islamic Cabinet' for Iraq appeared to have multiple aims. One was to present the Islamic State of Iraq coalition as a 'legitimate' alternative to the U.S.-backed, Shiite-led administration of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - and to demonstrate that it was growing in power despite the U.S. military push against insurgents.", Muslim Swimwear Eases Australian Divide, Makes Waves in Market, 20 Apr 07, "The Egyptian-born Sabet sells about 12 outfits a month, mainly through the Internet, she said." The company's name is Splashgear.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Qarxis, Another Ayan Hirsi??, 16 Apr 07 posted by monalisa
AFP, Islam goes digital, 18 Apr 07 "Egyptian residents, already summoned to prayers five times a day by a chorus of scratchy loudspeakers, are now clamouring for a new line of portable electronic devices to show their devotion to Islam.

"Digital Korans, automatic prayer reciters and headphones dispensing religious advice are all part of the growing wave of outward religiosity that is increasingly defining daily life in Egypt."
Chicago Tribune/Seattle Times, Internet abuzz over shooter's mysterious markings, 18 Apr 07

Monday Morning (Lebanon), Algeria Shock after suicide bombs, 16 Apr 07 "The statement on an Islamist website often used by the Al-Qaeda network said the car bombings killed at least 53 people."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reuters, Qaeda group says Iraq a "university of terror", 17 Apr 07 "In an audio recording found on the Internet on Tuesday, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, also sought to mend fences with other anti-U.S. insurgent groups in Iraq following reports of tensions between them." Also see AP, Iraq Group: We Make Own Rockets, 17 Apr 07 "A voice purported to be of the leader of an al-Qaida-linked group in Iraq claimed in an audiotape posted on the Internet Tuesday that the group had begun manufacturing its own rockets."

Asharq Alawsat, Al Qaeda, Active Again!, 17 Apr 07, "But this exploitation of video technology for propaganda was not utilized by the group when it launched its mass killings in Algeria. Today it has begun to resume its activities making it clear that it intends to reinforce its combat and media presence through videos and online Islamic publicity." Interesting article by Diana Mukkaled, relating to recent attacks in Morocco and Algeria. Also see Middle East Online, Casablanca on full alert after suicide attacks, 16 Apr 07 likely to have serious economic consequences in the region: "Police said they had arrested the head of the group responsible for suicide explosions at a Casablanca Internet cafe on March 11 and Tuesday's attacks."

AKI, Al-Qaeda Web Video Boasts U.S. Soldier 'Panic', 17 Apr 07, "The film clip shows American soldiers on a routine security patrol gripped by panic when they thought they had fallen into an insurgnet ambush. An armoured vehicle is shown travelling along a country road and an explosion on the ground as it passes by. After shaking the vehicle proceeds forward for several metres. At that moment, one hears the screams and cries of the soldiers on board. At that precise moment, across the screen appears the writing: "Here are the shouts of the soldiers as they are overwhelmed with fear and panic"."

The Reflector, Turkey joins Web-blocking trend, 17 Apr 07 commentary

Non-tech, but interesting nevertheless: Reuters/Times Online, Makeover for Arctic mosque, 17 Apr 07 refers to the Nurd Kamal mosque in Norilsk.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ali Eteraz, In Pakistan Mosques Announce That People Being Killed By Deadly Cell Phone Virus "Mobile service providers across the country were on Friday inundated by calls from subscribers worried by a prank message that they could die of a deadly virus being transmitted via their phones.

"The rumour was so effective that some mosques in Karachi made announcements that people were being killed by a mobile virus and they should be aware of God’s wrath." [not to be confused with The Register, Mobile phone threat to honeybees, 16 Apr 07]

Daily Express Malaysia, National Fatwa Council forbids share trading in the Internet, 13 April, 2007 "The National Fatwa Council Thursday ruled that any form of share investment through the Internet which promises a steady profit is forbidden as it has the elements of riba (interest) and gharar (doubt)."

UPI, Pakistan acts against jihadi Web sites, 13 Apr 07 "Pakistan's closure of the Web site of an extremist mosque in its capital shows how the Internet has become a front in the U.S.-led war on terror.

"And this week, a Russian state security official put the number of such Web sites "actively used" by terror groups at more than 5,000."

Kuwait Times, Jihad call via Internet, 15 Apr 07 "The Call for Jihad, which was released by 'Al-Qaeda shells' media department, called upon the youth from GCC countries to join it and get ready for a war in the area. This call as seen by a political activist, is warmly welcomed and accepted by many people, such acceptance was not available five years ago."

LA Times/, Islam on the Internet gains popularity in Iran, 15 April 2007 "From here, via a server in Santa Clara, Calif., emanates, the most widely read source of Shiite proselytizing in the world. Also here is the worldwide communications hub for Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, www.sis, and for Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei," Profile of Aalulbayt Global Information Center

AFP, Al Qaeda group claims Iraq parliament attack, 13 Apr 07 "An alliance of Sunni groups headed by Al Qaeda in Iraq said in an Internet statement on Friday that it carried out a deadly suicide bomb attack inside the Iraqi parliament building. “After studying the area... a hero from the Islamic state of Iraq wearing an explosive belt infiltrated the apostates of the parliament. Allah used his hand to destroy the group of infidels,” the self-styled Islamic Nation of Iraq said in the Internet statement.", Web romance joins different worlds, 16 Apr 07, "Mohammed Ali Tipu, from Pakistan's conservative tribal northwest, met his American wife 21 years his senior over the internet. Now it is only cyberspace that is keeping their love alive.

"The pair are sustaining their marriage via emails after Tipu's bride Ann Slayton had to leave his remote home town and return to North Carolina to be with her ailing mother."

EuroNews, Morocco battles Islamic fundamentalism at home, 12 Apr 07, Tunisia: Yasmine Hammamet Hosts an International ICT Conference On E-Handicap, 13 Apr 07 "The event which is jointly organized by the Tunisian association for the development of digital technology and the research unit in information and communication technologies is placed under the patronage of Tunisia's First Lady Mrs Leila Ben Ali."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Raising Yousuf, Unplugged: diary of a Palestinian mother, You Are Not Here!, 12 Apr 07 "What is does do is allow participants to become “meta-tourists” of sorts, to experience a tour of Gaza in the streets of Tel Aviv, and as they do so, dial in site-specific audio codes to here none other than yours truly narrating to them what they are seeing as if they were in Gaza at this precise location."
Global Voices, Arabeyes: Esra’a Al Shafei - Your One-Stop-Cyber-Activist, 12 Apr 07 "As a cyber-activist, Al Shafei’s interests range from campaigning to free jailed bloggers to highlighting atrocities being committed against women and migrant workers in the Middle East."
AKI, Iraq: 'Top 20' Attacks Against U.S. Troops Posted On Web, 13 Apr 07, "Calling it the "Top 20" Iraqi militant group Ansar al-Sunna has posted on the internet a series of video images it says represent the most devastating roadside bomb attacks agains US troops in Iraq. The footage which lasts seven minutes shows 20 separate attacks which, a voiceover narrator explains "serve to encourage the mujahadeen to Jihad and to place them in a competition amongst each other against their enemy."" The latest in a series of videos.

Asharq Alawsat, Arab Journalists and Blogs: Between Acceptance and Hesitation, 12 Apr 07 "Once limited to the English language, blogs in Arabic have a significant presence in countries like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Egypt and the Maghreb region countries and Lebanon. "the world that the bloggers have created with their special presence has boundless freedom and independence which are among the factors to encourage me to start a new experiment," he said. [Mansour al Atiq launched his own blog spot]. He added, "But writing in blogs is different; it is done on daily basis and is completely free from the restraints of language and narrative. It is also a means to escape the daily grind and alienation."" This is a subject that I am writing about for my next book.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

AFP/Yahoo!, Malaysian bloggers join forces to fight defamation suit, 4 Apr 07 "Two Malaysian bloggers, who are being sued by the same newspaper for defamation, joined forces to fight their unprecedented lawsuits Wednesday, which have been criticised for stifling free expression."

The Register, Google thwarts al-Qaeda kamikaze strike on US embassy, 4 Apr 07 I checked the date on this one before posting it - if it had come out on 1 Apr I wouldn't have placed it here...

Reuters, FBI checks gambling in Second Life virtual world, 4 Apr 07
IRIB, British sailors broke into euphoria, 4 Apr 07

"The 15 British sailors who were watching President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's press conference Wednesday broke into euphoria after knowing they had been pardoned by the Iranians and would be released soon."

Also see:,احمدی نژاد : اقتدار و رافت ، عفو 15 نظامی انگلیسی

The photos on the right are taken from the above article. Here's some alternative coverage:, Iran releases British sailors, 4 Apr 07
BBC News, Iranians release British sailors, 4 Apr 07
AP/NYT, Brits meet with Iran's president, 4 Apr 07
Brunei Times, Using technology to keep in touch with the faith, 4 Apr 07 "Even as Brunei is accelerating its e-government drive by equipping religious schools with computer labs and tablet PCs which cost the country $5.4 million, many people are already turning to modern technology in search for religious knowledge and guidance."

AKI/Dawn, Pakistan: Military, Islamic Clergy And Industralists Run The Country, Says CIA, 4 Apr 07, "The agency, however, reports a “dramatic” improvement in the telecom infrastructure, noting that mobile cellular subscribership has skyrocketed, approaching 50 million in late 2006, up from only about 300,000 in 2000.

"Pakistan had 72,765 internet hosts in 2006 providing service to more than 10.5 million across the country.", High street account for Muslim businesses, 4 Apr 07, "Lloyds TSB has announced the launch of a high street Islamic business account. The account, which complies with Islamic law (Shariah), is available across the bank's 2,000 branches, and will be open to the UK's estimated 100,000 Muslim firms." Includes internet banking., Lesbian Palestinians Break Social Taboos, 3 Apr 07, "Members of the group meet once a month or so to socialize, discuss issues of mutual interest and plan events and programs. The group, which includes women from the West Bank and Gaza, has nearly 30 active members and about 50 women who participate in the e-mail list, Morcos said.

"The organization will soon launch a virtual forum on its Web site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals of Arab origin around the world.

"The vast majority of Aswat members keep their lesbian identities secret in a society their Web site says "has no mercy for sexual diversity."

Refers to Aswat: Palestinian Gay Women, whose site is available in Arabic and English.

AKI, Somalia: Mogadishu Suicide Bomber Appears On Web, 3 Apr 07, "Islamist militants in Somalia have begun aping Jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere by posting videos of their 'exploits' on the Internet. Last week footage purportedly showing a suicide bomb attack by a young Somali man identified as Adam Salad Adam appeared on the web site In the video Adam reads what is described as his 'testament' followed by the voice of a narrator who informs the viewer that Adam blew himself up in a car bomb attack in the Somali capital on 26 March. Images of Adam driving off in a car and what looks like the car exploding in the distance are shown accompanied by Jihadist chants in Arabic."

UPI, Outside View: The future of al-Qaida, 2 Apr 07 "Al-Qaida does its homework. According to one report, "A recent post on a password-protected Internet forum affiliated with al-Qaida asserted that attacks on Saudi oil pipelines would have a greater effect on the United States than a chemical weapons attack by creating 'a big economic disaster for the American public.'""

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Taliya, Mobile penetration in Iran to reach 27% by mid-May, 4 Apr 07 "Deputy ICT Minister informed ILNA about the launching of ADSL Internet ports by the government during the current year.

"Referring to his affiliated ministry’s plans in the newly started Iranian year, 1386, he reiterated, “In line with the objectives of the country’s 4th Development Plan, the state sector is obliged to launch 500,000 ADSL Internet ports.”
He said that the obligation had been due two years ago, but its process had been halted due to a ratification at Regulations Adjustment Commission, stressing, “In 1386 the fast Internet expansion objective would be materialized by the provincial TCI branches.""

Reuters AlertNet, Bush success vs. al Qaeda breeds long-term worries, 4 Apr 07 ""What al Qaeda's left with is a bunch of Sunni radicals in various capitals who get their orders and technology on the Internet. But their contact with home base is not very strong and they're not very disciplined," said former CIA official Robert Baer."

Middle East Times, Commentary: From Al Qaeda to Al Qaedism, 2 Apr 07 "Equally, while talking about democracy, the US has allied itself with some of the most repressive regimes in the Arab world. This hypocrisy only fuels anger and magnifies the terror threat. It is also a fact that the combined Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of 22 countries of the Arab League is less than the GDP of Spain; that 40 percent of adult Arabs are illiterate; that a third of the population of the broader Middle East lives on less than $2 a day; that only 2 percent of the population has access to the Internet. The economic development of the Middle East is a vital necessity. History has demonstrated time and time again that the existence of a large and vibrant middle class is the natural bulwark against extremist thought."

BBC News, UK hacker loses extradition fight, 4 Apr 07, "A British man has lost his High Court fight against extradition to the US for allegedly carrying out the "biggest military computer hack of all time".", Yusuf Islam's Manager Refutes 'Veil' Allegations, 2 Apr 07, "Yusuf Islam's manager Marc Marot has refuted allegations that his client refused to speak to non-veiled women at the Echo Awards in Germany on the night of Sunday 25 March as reported by some media. He describes the allegations surfacing on the internet as 'baseless and stupid' - especially as millions of people have seen Yusuf being interviewed by women on television during the course of the last decade."

LA Times, Iran pulls sailors video as Britain changes its 'stance', 4 Apr 07 "State-controlled television said today it would suspend broadcasting footage of British sailors confessing to crossing Iranian territorial waters because the government here had detected a change in "stance" by London."

icWales, Iran holds Welsh marine hostage, 1 Apr "One of the Royal Navy sailors and marines held captive by Iran was yesterday named as Welshman Dean Harris.

"The 24-year-old from Carmarthen is among the 15 currently being held in Iran after being seized at gunpoint off the Iraqi coast."