Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'Jihadi Salafi but not al-Qaida', Jihadi Salafi but not al-Qaida, 25 Aug 09 "On 24 August 2009, Falluja Forum member Abu Yahya al-Mu’tasim issued a statement titled “A Jund Ansar Allah Clarification Regarding the Events of Rafah.” He claimed the statement is Jund Ansar Allah’s (JAA) newest, but forum comments to the post expressed doubts over its authenticity, referring to the fact that Hamas arrested JAA’s normal Internet spokesman after the “slaughter.” In the statement, JAA denounced several media allegations against the group and provided some clues to the make-up and outlook of the group."

Islamic State of Iraq statement

LA Times, Al Qaeda-linked group claims two recent Baghdad bombings that killed 95, 26 Aug 09, "The claim of responsibility came in a statement posted on the Internet by the Islamic State of Iraq, the name now used by the Sunni Muslim Al Qaeda in Iraq organization. The group acknowledges few bombings, and those tend to be among the most spectacular."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chechen 'fatwa'

Daily Mail, Chechen rebels put fatwa on separatist leader living in London for abandoning Islam, 25 Aug 09,

"Chechen rebels have today called for prominent separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev to be killed, saying he has abandoned Islam.

"Zakayev, who lives in London, represents the moderate wing of the separatist movement and has clashed with radical Islamic insurgents in Russia's southern republic of Chechnya.

"An Islamic rebel website said Zakayav had recognised the authority of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed leader of the region."


AP, Somali militants use many tactics to woo Americans, 25 Aug 09, "Details are emerging about how terrorists in Somalia have lured young American men — including as many as 20 from Minnesota — back to their homeland to join their jihad. At least three have died, including one who authorities believe is the first American suicide bomber. Three others have pleaded guilty in the U.S. to terror-related charges."

Yahoo! buy (part of) Maktoob Group, Yahoo! to acquire 25 Aug 09 "Following completion of the deal, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!, while the remaining products under the Maktoob Group will operate under a new entity called the Jabbar Internet Group."

Middle East Online, Yahoo! extends reach into Arab world with Maktoob buy: Yahoo! to offer Arabic-language content for first time with instant messaging and email services, 25 Aug 09

"US Internet giant Yahoo! said Tuesday it had signed a deal to purchase popular Jordan-based web portal Maktoob, expanding its reach to millions of consumers across the Arab world.", Confirmed: Yahoo Acquires Arab Internet Portal Maktoob. 25 Aug 09

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Love at First Site'

BBC Radio 4, Love at First Site, 24 Aug 09 "Sarfraz Manzoor explores the world of matrimonial websites aimed at the Asian diaspora around the world and the alternative they present to the traditional arranged marriage." Sounds fascinating. Only problem is that Radio 4 are not making it available on their Listen Again feature at present. I'll check again later on.

Also see Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, Forget internet dating, this is online matchmaking, 24 Aug 09


Times of India, Ramzan goes hi-tech, 21 Aug 09 "Now, technology has found application in religious rituals too. Some Muslims are making best use of the technological advancements in facilitating devotees during this Ramzan. They have launched the first website of its kind that would provide accurate information on keeping and breaking fasts during the month of Ramzan."

Alas, the index page of the URL given [] states the site is still being constructed...

Cyber Crime

Antonio Nucci, Converge, Shedding Light on the Dark Cyber World, Part I "n June 2007, three British residents, Tariq al-Daour, Waseem Mughal and Younes Tsouli, pled guilty, and were sentenced for using the Internet to incite murder. The men had used stolen credit card information at online Web stores to purchase items to assist fellow jihadists in the field such as night-vision goggles, tents, global positioning satellite devices, hundreds of prepaid cell phones and more than 250 airline tickets -- all through using 110 different stolen credit cards. Another 72 stolen credit cards were used to register over 180 Internet Web domains at 95 different Web hosting companies. The group also laundered money charged to more than 130 stolen credit cards through online gambling Web sites. In all, the trio made fraudulent charges totaling more than $3.5 million from a database containing 37,000 stolen credit card numbers, including account holders' names and addresses, dates of birth, credit balances and credit limits."

'Living with the Infidels'

Telegraph, Log On Watch This, "The internet is a place for experiments, for pushing boundaries that mainstream television hasn’t yet got the stomach for. Living with the Infidels falls into this category. It’s a comedy – made, it should be emphasised, with the full blessing of the Muslim Council of Great Britain – about an inept Islamic terror cell based in Bradford."

See Living with the Infidels, which has the five episodes available to view. I have only seen the first one, but plan to see the others soon.

Facebook, Living with the Infidels

Also see Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, Living with the Infidels: Can a sitcom about terrorists ever be funny?, 20 Aug 09 "The five-part series has been condemned even before it has been broadcast with relatives of those killed in the 7/7 attacks leading the criticism. Its writer and creator is 40-year-old Aasaf Ainapore, a former commercials director who was born into a Muslim family but says he is not himself a believer. Ainapore was inspired to make the series with his partner Kira-Anne Pelican after noticing how often the word "bumbling" was used to describe British would-be terrorists."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Video evidence

St Petersburg Times/, Megahed deportation testimony centers around 'Usef' Internet searches, 20 Aug 09 "An immigration judge viewed nine video clips of combat rockets launching in the Middle East during a deportation hearing Wednesday for former University of South Florida student Youssef Megahed."

Tweeting the Qur'an

Frances Willick, The Windsor Star, Ramadan moral issues raised by new technology, August 21, 2009 "This year, some will be reading the Qur'an using Twitter. A New York-based Twitter user is encouraging Muslims to tweet their favourite verses from the Islamic holy book every day. The project takes a page out of similar efforts to tweet the Torah, the Bible, and even the entirety of James Joyce's Ulysses."

Interesting article about use of Facebook, Twitter, etc. during Ramadan.

I'm guessing they are referring to Tweets such as #quran; there's also #dailyquran

Also see Islamicate, Tweeting the #Quran - #Ramadan [Updated]

Matchmaking online

The Jakarta Post, Muslim soulmates now connect in cyberspace, 21 Aug 09 "Some matchmaking services have chosen to focus on high-class clients, wooing users with candlelit dinners and free dining vouchers, targeting modern and cosmopolitan ideals.

"Others, however, still embrace long-standing ideals, including religious ones, but with revamped technology.

"An example of this is, an online Islamic dating service run by a couple with a extensive experience in traditional matchmaking."

The site provides a breakdown of member profiles, which is interesting in terms of professions/gender balance, etc.

Afghanistan Elections

Heidi Vogt, AP, Afghans turn to the Twitterverse for election, 20 Aug 09 "While far smaller than the response after the Iran vote, the online activity in Afghanistan was an amazing contrast to the last presidential election in 2004, when the country was only a few years removed from Taliban rule that banned many types of technology, including TV and the Internet.

"Afghans now have cell phones even in remote areas. Those without computers or electricity at home go to Internet cafes to check their e-mail. And as elsewhere, Twitter is a relatively new phenomenon in Afghanistan."

The article points to Alive in Afghanistan, which also draws on Google Maps and overlayed reports (below).

Also see Twitter: #Afghanistanelection and #Afghan09

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Persepolis 2.0

AFP, Comic artists defy Tehran with 'Persepolis 2.0', 20 Aug 09 "Posted online at, the 10-page comic rewrites the captions to chart the hope and excitement among Iranians ahead of the June 12 poll, which turned to anger amid accusations of fraud at the ballot box."

Yemen Internet

Open Net Initiative, Websense Bars Yemen's Government from Further Software Updates, 12 Aug 09"When ONI released its Middle East and North Africa reports, an avid reader quickly submitted an article to Slashdot noting the government of Yemen's use of Websense filtering software, as reported in our 2009 Yemen country profile."


Rebekah Heacock, Open Net Initiative, Malaysia considers, backs down from national Internet filter, 13 Aug 09 "Last week Malaysia's Information, Communications and Culture Minister Dr. Rais Yatim announced that the country would consider implementing a nationwide Internet filtering plan similar to China's Green Dam. This week, the Prime Minister pulled an about face, claiming there would be "no change" in the country's Internet policy."

Internet filtration across the Middle East and North Africa

Scott Hartley, Internet & Democracy, Internet Filtration in the Middle East, 13 Aug 09 "This week the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) released its 2009 report on Internet filtration across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Research for this release was conducted in 2008-2009, but it builds upon findings dating back to 2003, including a report released in 2007. The full release (available in PDF) chronicles the detailed testing of over 2,000 websites in each country. The ONI’s work on Internet controls in the region provides crucial context for the Internet & Democracy’s work on the networked public sphere."

I haven't read this report yet.

Saudi Jeans, Saudi Unflagger and Blocking Twitter

Saudi Jeans, Saudi Unflagger and Blocking Twitter, 20 Aug 09 "This year alone, we have seen a plethora of campaigns that goes from the useful to the useless, and everything in between. We had the Khalooha… series, which covered topics like greed of car dealerships, women’s rights, and marriage expenses among other things. Most recently we had two confusing, similar but apparently opposing campaigns on the issue of male guardianship. But what I want to talk about today is a campaign called SaudiFlager (sic)."

1979: Remembering 'The Siege Of Mecca'

NPR, 1979: Remembering 'The Siege Of Mecca', 20 Aug 09 "Yaroslav Trofimov, a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, talks with Steve Isnkeep about the 1979 siege of the Grand Mosque at Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is the holiest site in Islam, and gunmen held it for two weeks. It was one of the events that gave rise to al Qaida, and Yaroslav wrote about it in his book The Siege of Mecca."

Ramadan (above) provides a useful hub for Ramadan, with links to moonsighting resources, lectures and Radio Ramadan. Recommended is

There are some Ramadan wallpapers at Skyje (together with avatars - below - and other images for download).

Latest tweets on Ramadan can be found here.

Commentary on Ramadan is provided by Samia Rahman, Guardian, Ramadan: a time to refocus, 20 Aug 09

Ramadan also sees a commercial element, especially with cell phone providers:, Ramadan panel anticipate crescent moon sighting, 20 Aug 09 "The UAE’s Ramadan moon sighting panel will observe the sky after sunset on Thursday in anticipation of sighting the crescent moon that announces the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, the official news agency WAM has reported."

TMC/TradeArabia Via Acquire Media NewsEdge, Etisalat launches Ramadan incentives, 19 Aug 09 "Etisalat, a leading telecom services provider in the UAE, is launching a special promotion for customers who recharge their Wasel, its prepaid mobile account during the Holy Month of Ramadan."

AME Info, Free international calls and SMS with Hala for Ramadan, 19 Aug 09, "Hala customers can connect with friends and family overseas for free this Ramadan, with Qtel providing bonus international call minutes and bonus SMS."

There's further detail on Ramadan in iMuslims.

The 99

Telegraph, World's first Muslim superheroes, the 99, are headed for British television screens, 20 Aug 09 "They have proved a hit from Morocco to Indonesia and were recently named as one of the top 20 trends sweeping the world by Forbes magazine.

"Now they are being brought to British television by Endemol, the production company behind Big Brother, with a mission to instill Islamic values in children across all faiths."

Times Online, World’s first Muslim superheroes, the 99, out to conquer the West, 20 Aug 09 "Dr al-Mutawa said that the idea came to him while he was riding in a black cab in London from Edgware Road to Harrods, but its seed was sown years before when he worked at the survivors of political torture unit in Bellevue Hospital, New York. Many of the young men he treated were Iraqis who had fled after being tortured under Saddam Hussein’s regime."

The Times' article has more background detail on al-Mutawa, and the rationale for The 99. I've previously blogged about them, and their comics (including samples) can be found online. Should give Ben 10 a run for his money.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Rachel Ehrenfeld, The Cutting Edge, The Recession and Terrorism Financing, 17 Aug 09 Opinion piece focusing on financial issues, with some general points on M-payments relevant to this blog

Ehsanul Sadequee trial

LA Times, Georgia man convicted of aiding terrorism groups, 13 Aug 09

"An Atlanta jury on Wednesday found a 23-year-old man guilty of aiding terrorist groups after a trial that explored a subculture of youthful extremists who used the Internet to plot attacks and form a loose network connecting North America, Europe and South Asia."

also see AP/, Closing Arguments Begin in Terror Trial, 11 Aug 09

Also see Free Shifa and the related Facebook page

Monday, August 17, 2009

Islam and Technology

islamcrunch,, Islam and Technology, "Islam and the forefront of technology are not typically thought of together. Friday sermons and religious classes might drop hints of social networks or smartphones; however, the content is not tech-centric. Conversations might walk down Nostalgia Lane to reminisce about the wonder years of technological advancements in past eras of Islamic history. Yet not much is said about Islam and technology in the contemporary sense."

al-Maqdisi in English

Scott Sanford,, Al-Maqdisi’s Online Library of Translated Jihadi Material, 2 Aug 09 "On 2 August 2009, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi announced the opening of an English version of his jihadi library. In the announcement, he requested that Falluja Forum members spread the word regarding his new website and to send him any trustworthy translations."

See Minbar of Tawheed and Jihad

Arabic Language Domains, Arabic Language Domains & Internet Growth In The Arab World, 6 Aug 09 "According to Baher Esmat, the Middle East relations manager of ICANN, “The next 10 million or 20 million Arab internet users will be those who do not speak English,” as “They will want to do everything in Arabic, including the addresses.”"

.ps, Google Launches Domain Name For Palestine "The new domain will give Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories, who use Palestinian ISPs, access to Google in Arabic–and eventually, access to more locally-relevant content."


Jihad Recollections 3

Jarret Brachman, Guess Who’s Back, Back Again, Sami’s Back, With Some Friends, 12 Aug 09 Comment on Samir Khan and the “Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge” website, together with ‘Jihad Recollections’ – Issue 3

Jihadi Forums

Abdul Hameed Bakier, Jihadis Search for Intelligence Penetration on Jihadi Website Forums, Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 25, August 13, 2009 "Periodically jihadi internet gatherings raise concerns about scrutiny of their forums by security services. Investigations into the identity of forum members and their promotion and initiation of sensitive jihadi issues trigger these concerns. A recent posting entitled “The top seven Arab countries that intrude on or penetrate the Forums” accused some Western security services of monitoring jihadi forums and suggested ways to identify security agents who may be active in the forums (, July 29-August 3)."


The Herald, Exchanges online led to marriage that ended in murder, 17 Aug 09, "A single click on a computer mouse was the trigger for the ill-fated marriage that ended with Dr Iffat Kamal being strangled and murdered in front of her toddler son.

"The Dundee-based pathologist had placed a profile on a matrimonial website after deciding she was ready to marry for a second time."

Dawoodi Bohras online, Islam adopts to education on the net "An Islamic sect dating back almost 1,000 years has adopted online technology to support its teaching around the world.

"The Dawoodi Bohras are members of a branch of Islam based in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

"At the well-ordered campus of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah university, in the ctiy of Surat, teachers use modern technology to help students memorise and recite the holy book, the Koran, and practise making the call to prayer."

I discuss teh Dawoodi Bohras in my work.

YouTube video 'Muslim Demographics'

BBC News, Debunking a YouTube hit, 7 Aug 09 "A big YouTube hit makes startling predictions about the Islamification of Europe over the next few decades and has been viewed more than 10 million times. But can you believe what it says?

"This seven-and-a-half minute video "Muslim Demographics" uses slick graphics, punctuated with dramatic music, to make some surprising claims, asserting that much of Europe will be majority Muslim in just a few decades. It says that in the past two decades, 90% of all population growth in Europe has been Muslim immigration."

Singapore research: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

AFP, Cyber warriors trawl web for extremist threats, 16 Aug 09

"Nur Azlin Mohamed Yasin spends several hours a day trawling the Internet, but she is not your typical young surfer, descending into a world of bomb-making, militancy and extremism.

"From her computer, she enters a world where young Muslims openly volunteer to fight against US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan or learn how to make explosives out of everyday materials.

"The 24-year-old Singaporean research analyst is constantly on the lookout for attack manuals, video clips of Islamist militants in training and fiery extremist chatter that could hint at an imminent assault somewhere."

Jund Ansar Allah

Peter Beaumont, The Observer, Hamas destroys al-Qaida group in violent Gaza battle, 16 Aug 09 "The group's website, which shows videos of the preparations for the attack on Israel, much of it focusing on men on horseback or loading horses with mines, makes clear that Jund Ansar Allah allied itself closely with the ideals of global jihad as opposed to Hamas, which is more closely focused on Palestinian nationalism."

Al-Jazeera, Several dead in Gaza mosque clash, 15 Aug 09

BBC News, Profile: Jund Ansar Allah , 15 Aug 09 "Hamas officials have also blamed the "outlaws" for the bombings of several internet cafes, seen as a source of immorality, and of a wedding party attended by relatives of the West Bank-based Fatah leader, Muhammad Dahlan."

Tariq Alhomayed, Asharq Alawsat, Hamas: Extremism Breeds Extremism "Today we are able to say to the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hamas movement in Gaza, its members throughout the Arab world, and especially its defenders, from the writers in the Gulf media to the internet "Mujahedeen," that you reap what you sow, that extremism only breeds extremism, and that so long as Hamas underestimates the situation, things in Gaza will only get worse." Opinion piece. Also see Asharq Alawsat, Who was Abu Noor al-Maqdisi?, 16 Aug 09

Islamists hack Kosovo daily website

AFP, Islamists hack Kosovo daily website, 13 Aug 09 "Islamists have launched cyber attacks on the website of a Kosovo newspaper which said Wednesday it suspects it has been targeted for coverage of a Kosovar arrested in the US for plotting "jihad."

Monday, August 03, 2009


AP, Internet message in name of Uighur leader urges Muslims to attack Chinese interests worldwide, 2 Aug 09 "An Internet message purportedly from the leader of an Islamic group fighting Chinese rule in a western province urged Muslims worldwide to attack Chinese interests in retaliation for what it called the oppression of minority Uighurs."