Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sudan detains blogger

The Lede, NYT, Sudan Deports Egyptian Journalist and Detains Bloggers as Protests Continue Sudan deported an Egyptian journalist and briefly detained another prominent blogger on Tuesday, as the authorities attempted to stifle a protest movement that started last week."

'The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie'

Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian, Salman Rushdie fatwa turned into Iranian video game, 26 Jun 2012 "Salman Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago. Now, the author of The Satanic Verses is the subject of an Iranian computer game aimed at spreading to the next generation the message about his "sin"."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Palestinian plan to attract Muslims back to Al-Aqsa

A Palestinian plan to attract Muslims back to Al-Aqsa | Reuters "The grand mosques in Mecca and Medina, the two holiest in Islam, draw millions of pilgrims annually. Al-Aqsa, the last of the three sacred sites the Prophet Mohammad urged Muslims to visit, sees only a few thousand foreign worshippers a year."

MI5 warns al-Qaida regaining UK toehold after Arab spring

The Guardian, MI5 warns al-Qaida regaining UK toehold after Arab spring: "British would-be jihadists are heading to the Middle East to seek terrorist training because parts of the Arab world have "once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaida", the head of MI5 has warned."

Arabic manuscripts from J'lem libraries to go online

Jerusalem Post, Arabic manuscripts from J'lem libraries to go online "The Arabic Manuscripts Digital Library of Jerusalem, which was inaugurated last week at ceremonies in Jerusalem and Ramallah, will see the development of an online platform showcasing collections from the Khalidi Library, the Budeiri Library, Al-Aksa Library, Al- Ansari Library and the Wakf Restoration Center in the Old City. The project’s stated goal is to “promote the written heritage of east Jerusalem and to make this heritage accessible to all with the sole caveat of an Internet connection.”"

Iran: online music compilation to revive hope for freedom

Iran: online music compilation to revive hope for freedom - FRANCE 24: "Three years on from the mass mobilization that began in June 2009 following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s highly controversial re-election to president of Iran, an event that sparked an unprecedented internal crisis in the Islamic Republic and the Green Movement now appears to have fizzled out. Something which local human rights group “United 4 Iran” is determined to change, by reviving support with help of Iranian artists."

South Park case sentence

AP/, Muslim convert sentenced to nearly 12 years after threats to 'South Park' creators, 26 Jun 2012 "A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the "South Park" television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam."

Friday, June 22, 2012


FT, Egypt’s military hits at Muslim Brotherhood

aljazeera, Egyptians pack Tahrir to slam military 'coup' also check out their Live Blog


Guardian, Muslim pair accused of planning jihad bomb attack on Jews in Britain, 20 Jun 2012 "A Muslim couple were assembling components of a home-made bomb to attack Jewish neighbourhoods after becoming radicalised by al-Qaida propaganda on the internet, a court heard on Wednesday."

‘Can’t a muslim who hasn’t attended a madrasa speak for the community?’ | Firstpost: "New Age Islam hosts news articles and columns on a gamut of political and theological issues which hardly find space in the mainstream media and which are seldom debated even among liberal or enlightened Muslims. The idea, says Shahin, is it to provide an alternative to the opinions propagated by clerics who seem to have hijacked Islam."

See for more on this story

U.S. adds first Boko Haram members to ‘terrorist’ list, U.S. adds first Boko Haram members to ‘terrorist’ list, 21 Jun 2012

'HASHTAG #Jihad'

Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI, Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.849, HASHTAG #Jihad: Charting Jihadi-Terrorist Organization's Use Of Twitter, 21 Jun 2012

"As terrorist organizations increasingly embrace Twitter, Twitter and the U.S. government continue to refrain from acting to impede their efforts. This in turn is only part of the greater failure to act against terrorist use of online social media on the part of Western governments, the business community, and especially social media companies themselves – who have made billions from what is now a valuable tool and weapon for groups and individuals dedicated to killing Americans and Westerners and attacking the U.S. and the West."

I have just picked this report up. It looks comprehensive, but I haven't read it fully yet.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saeeds of Revolution: De-Mythologizing Khaled Saeed

Amro Ali, Jadaliyya, Saeeds of Revolution: De-Mythologizing Khaled Saeed, 5 Jun 2012 "Khaled Saeed is a myth, but a necessary one. The extended Egyptian revolution is also a war of ideas whose story will prevail. The fate of Khaled Saeed is a reminder and an encapsulation of why Egypt rose up and keeps pushing the revolution painstakingly forward. Khaled Saeed enabled Egyptians to personalize and humanize complex issues that could otherwise have drifted into murky abstractions." Interesting article/opinion piece, which I just picked up upon.

Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem, Islamic militant group claims attack on Egyptian-Israeli border, 19 Jun 2012 "A group calling itself the “Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem” claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly ambush that killed an Israeli construction worker on the Egyptian border.

"In a video posted on the internet, a group of masked and armed men claimed Monday’s attack and announced the formation of the “Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem.”"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Telegraph, Hosni Mubarak 'has stroke in prison', 19 Jun 2012 "Hosni Mubarak has reportedly suffered a stroke in prison and is reportedly "clinically dead", according to sources who have spoken to Reuters."

This was the subject of much net speculation and media concern, although in terms of priorities may have been seen by some as a distraction to the ongoing presidential election issue.

Surface Surfaces

BitShare - Microsoft may have just knocked the wind out of Apple "Is 'Surface' a major challenge for iPad? It certainly has a good video (linked in the article below). It probably won't challenge my loyalty to Mac, but I might have to get one for research purposes (it also links to XBox!)" There are implications in relation to my research, in terms of the pricing, and whether this opens up other markets to tablet computing.

Syria: Homs province under heavy shelling

Syria: Homs province under heavy shelling - FRANCE 24 "Smoke billows up into the sky whilst heavy gunfire rings out in the distance. This video is being circulated on the Internet and is said to have been filmed in Homs on Monday. Syrian activists say the army has intensified shelling attacks on this opposition stronghold."

Ikhwan Online

Also see Ikhwan Online - interesting to see the coverage at present:

Google removes 640 videos from YouTube promoting terrorism

Telegraph/ – Manned Security e-Zine, Google removes 640 videos from YouTube promoting terrorism « "The web giant has previously been criticised by politicians in Britain and the United States for hosting extremist propaganda on YouTube, its video sharing website, including as the sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior al-Qaeda cleric, who killed by a US drone strike last year."

I write about some of these videos in a chapter coming out early next year in J. Kenney & E. Moosa (editors), Islam in the Modern World, (Routledge)

Expect to see them crop up elsewhere ... And the original Telegraph link is here

'Salafist propaganda in Germany'

Deutsche Welle, Salafist propaganda in 19 June 2012 "Three hundred years ago, the Germans developed a custom of hailing the conversion of Muslims to the Christian faith with public church ceremonies. Today, the Salafists are doing the same thing - but the other way round: They are filming the conversion of Germans to Islam and posting the videos on the Internet as a sign of the victory of the "only true religion." That's what happened a few weeks ago in the Tauhid Mosque in the German town of Wiesbaden. A number of Salafist preachers from Egypt and Kuwait traveled there to take part in a conference entitled, "Youth in the West: Hopes and fears."" Strong internet theme in this report.

Pakistan court disqualifies Gilani as PM

Pakistan court disqualifies Gilani as PM - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English:

How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter

Zoe Fox, Mashable, How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter [INFOGRAPHICS] "Social media has been often touted for the role it played in the popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world since December 2010. Despite the buzz, you may be surprised that only 0.26% of the Egyptian population, 0.1% of the Tunisian population and 0.04% of the Syrian population are active on Twitter."

This helps put things in perspective... the infographics are useful too

Is Mali the ‘next Afghanistan’?

Is Mali the ‘next Afghanistan’? « al-Wasat – الوسط, 10 Jun 2012 article by Andrew Lebovich.

U.S. Twitter war vs. Taliban flares

U.S. Twitter war vs. Taliban flares - Austin Wright - "

"The Twitter tiff: It’s a realm usually reserved for celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian.

"On Sunday, though, Twitter yet again became a field in the battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan. In the latest flareup in an ongoing social-media campaign, coalition forces engaged the Taliban in a war of words, delivered 140 characters at a time."

El Koshary Today

And Now For The Lighter Side Of Egypt's Revolution : NPR:

article about El Koshary Today 

"When Egyptians completed the first round of their Presidential election last month, an online news website featured the following headline: "Election results disrupt bodily functions among millions of Egyptians."

"El Koshary Today may be Egypt's closest counterpart to The Onion, the satirical American news website."

What's Wrong with Pakistan?

What's Wrong with Pakistan? - By Robert D. Kaplan | Foreign Policy:

Egypt youth from Tahrir Square: We're ready to restart revolution:.

Middle East Online::Egypt youth from Tahrir Square: We're ready to restart revolution:.:

The FP Twitterati 100

The FP Twitterati 100 | Foreign Policy:
 other choices are available!


Telegraph, Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood candidate takes marginal lead as army power grab overshadows election, 19 Jun 2012:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lashkar-e-Taiba resumes online jihad

The Hindu, Lashkar-e-Taiba resumes online jihad, 14 Jun 2012 "Four years after it was forced to shut down its website in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the Lashkar-e-Taiba's parent organisation has re-established its presence in cyberspace.

"In a video address posted online when the website went online on Wednesday, Jama'at-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed explained the decision. “The media is a two-edged sword,” said Mr Saeed, the alleged architect of the 26/11 attacks, in the 5.53 minute video. “Rather than being overwhelmed by the media, we wish to use it in a positive way and, god willing, use it to spread our message of proselytisation and jihad.”"

Afghan photographers shoot to glory

Al Jazeera English, Afghan photographers shoot to glory:

This interesting article is illustrated with a slideshow of excellent photos.

Islam’s place in Europe Blogs, Islam’s place in Europe – Global Public Square - :

opinion piece by Jonathan Laurence.

Book Announcement: 'Arab Society in Revolt'

Cover: Arab Society in RevoltArab Society in Revolt: The West's Mediterranean Challenge, Olivier Roy & Cesare Melini (editors), Brookings Institution Press, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0-8157-2396-7; E-ISBN: 978-0-8157-2397-4 I have made a contribution to this volume, which is due out at the end of August, in which I survey a number of issues - including the 'Arab Spring' in relation to the internet.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Google Map Maker arrives in Egypt

Bikya Masr, Google Map Maker arrives in Egypt, 14 Jun 2012: "With the launch of Map Maker in Egypt, “anyone who cares about maps can lend their local expertise to create more detailed views of the places they know, such as their town, school, and more. Users can locate, draw, label and provide attributes for Egyptian map features for their area”"

Malaysia Evidence Act

Bikya Masr, In Malaysia, Evidence Act threatens online freedom, 14 Jun 2012 : "For Yassin Detuk Sari, writing about his country has become an almost daily endeavor, contributing his thoughts to a number of community blogs in Malaysia, but a new bill threatens his freedom online, reports suggest."

Algerian blogger faces jail for inciting protests, Algerian blogger faces jail for inciting protests, 14 Jun 2012 "[Tareq] Memari, who could face up to three years in jail if found guilty, had posted a video on You Tube right before the recent parliamentary elections. In the video, Memari addressed Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and complained of the rising rates of unemployment amongst the youth. He told the president that he is boycotting the elections and called upon Algerian youth to do the youths.

"Memari then got out his voting card and burnt it in front of the camera ─ an act which drove the prosecutor general to ask for his arrest."

Indonesian jailed for Prophet cartoons, Indonesian jailed for Prophet cartoons, 14 Jun 2012 "Alexander Aan, 30, was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity”, presiding judge Eka Prasetya Budi Dharma told the Muaro Sijunjung district court in western Sumatra."

ITTO: How Internet Censorship Keeps Traditions Alive | Mobiledia

Mobiledia, ITTO: How Internet Censorship Keeps Traditions Alive, 13 Jun 2012


Germany Bans Salafist Organization

Spiegel Online, Germany Bans Salafist Organization and Stages Police Raids, 14 Jun 2012 "Some 1,000 German police in seven states raided facilities belonging to ultra-conservative Salafist organizations on Thursday, as the Interior Ministry announced that one such group has been banned. Authorities are concerned about the growing numbers of violence-prone Salafists in the country."

Myanmar web 'rage'

gulfnews : Web users vent rage over Myanmar unrest, , 15 June 2012: "Bitter enmity at the heart of communal unrest in western Myanmar has spilled online, with incendiary posts on social media sites reflecting deep-rooted hostilities in the region, experts said."

Bosnian Salafi Preacher Bilal Bosnić Sings Songs Of Jihad: 'With Explosives On Our Chests We Pave The Way To Paradise'

MEMRI, Bosnian Salafi Preacher Bilal Bosnić Sings Songs Of Jihad: 'With Explosives On Our Chests We Pave The Way To Paradise', 14 Jun 2012:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Iranian gov't pays paramilitary hackers, bloggers to bring you Islamic Revolution 2.0', Iranian gov't pays paramilitary hackers, bloggers to bring you Islamic Revolution 2.0 "Iran has significantly stepped up its use of corporate acquisitions, online propaganda, and hacking capabilities in recent years, according to an open source intelligence expert."

'Al Qaida blames Germany'

Daily Times Nigeria, Hostage Death: Al Qaida blames Germany, 11 Jun 2012 "Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) declared that Germany ordered the raid which was, according to them, a breach in their negotiations. "

"Your government gave the green light for the operation," the group stated in a message posted late Monday night on an internet forum."

Merah update

Telegraph, Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah was 'traced' to al-Qaeda stronghold, 6 Jun 2012 ""The Merah Case: the Investigation" by journalists Eric Pelletier and Jean-Marie Pontaut, due out on June 14, says "Western intelligence services" established a link between Merah and "an organisation close to al-Qaeda".

"It claims the spy services had detected the activation of "two internet addresses" linked to Merah in September 2011 in Miranshah, the capital of Pakistan's Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold of North Waziristan."

Cyber Jihadi artist uses Photo from Iraq for Poster on Syria

Views from the Occident, Cyber Jihadi artist uses Photo from Iraq for Poster on Syria, 11 Jun 2012 "A cyber jihadi artist has produced this poster on Syria using a photograph from Iraq of victims of the Iraqi Ba'th after they were removed from a mass grave." Links to The Atlantic, A False Photo From a Real Massacre, 28 May 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Digital Human

BBC Radio 4, The Digital Human "Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world, looking at the urge to capture every image, experience and feeling for online eternity and how technology touches everything people do, both on and offline." I haven't heard all of these yet, but will be catching up on iPlayer in due course. The series includes a religion and the net programme (which I haven't heard).

Diary of a Badman

Guardian, Diary of a Badman: 'I'm not a model Muslim, but I make people think'

"The comedy video series has made its creator an internet sensation. But not everyone is laughing."

If you haven't seen Diary of a Badman before, take a look at some of the videos below. They're well worth seeing, and raise some interesting questions on media representation issues. With Humza Arshad's comic gifts (and thoughtful themes), I wonder how long it will be before he goes mainstream. I've pasted the first three below (there are several others, and a new series is due). Each video has three million + hits (and counting) ...

Malaysia: 'Use Internet to spread Islamic teachings'

IINA, Malaysia/Islam-Internet: Use Internet to spread Islamic teachings, says Malaysian Chief Minister Taib "Malaysian Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said conventional methods through books and classes were just theories, while the latest technologies could provide a bigger impact on the learning process.

“There are various information sources available through the Internet and we should be smart in using the best for our people’s understanding,” said Taib at the Harakah Islamiah (Hikmah) 17th triennial general meeting (TGM).

"The chief minister said conventional methods would not be able to compete as it is easier for people nowadays to learn something through the latest technologies which is easier to understand."

Iran to crack down on VPN

AFP, Iran to crack down on web censor-beating software, 10 Jun 2012 "Iran's cyber police force is poised to launch a new crackdown on software that lets many Iranians circumvent the regime's Internet censorship, media reported on Sunday.

"The operation will target VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, which use a secure protocol to encrypt users' data, foiling online blocks put in place by Iran's authorities, according to the head of the specialised police unit, Kamal Hadianfar."

Kuwait: Three Netizens Sentenced to Prison, Kuwait: Three Netizens Sentenced to Prison, 9 Jun 2012 "Since the Arab Spring first sparked, Kuwaiti authorities have been following internet users closely and summoning them to interrogation and then sending them to courts for prosecution over different cases that are mostly sectarian or political."

Ahmed Shafik makes promises about the net

Reuters UK,Egypt candidate Shafik says is pro-youth, Internet, 8 June 2012 "Young Egyptians who are savvy about the Internet and want greater freedom would have nothing to fear if former Hosni Mubarak military commander Ahmed Shafik is elected president, the candidate said on Friday."

'Afghans aim to defuse failed suicide bombers with Koran'

Reuters UK, Afghans aim to defuse failed suicide bombers with Koran, 11 Jun 2012 "In a room full of would-be suicide bombers at a high security detention centre in the Afghan capital, an elderly cleric quietly reads out verses from the Koran, telling the young men the act of killing oneself is itself a crime in Islam." Interesting article, contains photos from inside the detention centre.

Mehanna case

Michael May, Prospect, Keyboard Jihadist? "This was more than just a difference in perception. The Mehanna case represented a fundamental departure from the hundreds of domestic terrorism prosecutions in post–September 11 America. Mehanna had not been caught buying weapons from an FBI informant or parking a car bomb in Times Square. The crimes he was charged with centered on what he said and wrote—and why. Mehanna, according to the government, was part of the “media wing of al-Qaeda.”"

'Al Qaeda advertises for suicide bombers on the Web'

AFP, Al Qaeda advertises for suicide bombers on the Web, 7 Jun 2012 "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has begun posting Internet advertisements offering training for suicide bombers to target the US, Israel and France. The adverts have been posted on several jihadist Web forums, including Al-Fidaa, Shmoukh al-Islam and Honein."

Thursday, June 07, 2012

'You've got Muslim Mail ... and lots of it'

Confessions from The Muslim Sector, You've got Muslim Mail ... and lots of it on the problems of unwanted and unsolicited email

“Fractured Walls… New Horizons”

The Cairo Institute publishes its fourth annual report under the title “Fractured Walls… New Horizons”: "The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies published its fourth annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab World." Available for pdf download

Don't Panik! Islam and Europe's 'Hip Hop Wars'

Hishaam Aidi, aljazeera, Don't Panik! Islam and Europe's 'Hip Hop Wars' "Surveying European hip hop today, one notices two things: first, as in America, some of the biggest stars are Muslim, the children of immigrants and/or converts; and second, a number of these artists are (or have been) embroiled in controversies about freedom of expression, national identity and extremism. European government officials are increasingly worried about the influence that Muslim rap artists wield over youth, and are scrutinising hip hop practices in the immigrant neighbourhoods, trying to decide which Muslim hip hop artists to promote and which to push aside." There's also a link in the article to a more detailed piece by Hishaam Aidi entitled The Grand Hip Hop Chessboard

Tweeting authors, 25 Arab Authors Who Tweet

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Images of Egypt (digitised), Underwood & Underwood Egypt Stereoviews "The Underwood & Underwood Egypt Stereoviews digital collection includes 101 images of Egypt commissioned by the Underwood & Underwood publishing company in the 1890s." (via Christof Galli on Facebook)

'Is Islamic Punk Dead?'

MTV Iggy, Is Islamic Punk Dead? How Taqwacore Came, Went, and Left A Bittersweet Trail " And whether Taqwacore is dead or has simply mutated, the intersection of Islam, among other brown identities, and music will remain busy and vibrant so long as there are youth around to rebel against the boxes that confine them."

'Religious leaders outshine Lady Gaga in Twitter popularity', Religious leaders outshine Lady Gaga in Twitter popularity, 5 Jun 2012 "[But] unlike the popularity of Christian pastors on Twitter, most of the influential Muslim users are not Islamic leaders, but popular Muslim figures who have risen to Twitter fame (based on forwarded messages, not follower numbers) by preaching Islam and advising on Islam-related issues."

'Beware of Imitators: Al-Qa`ida through the Lens of its Confidential Secretary'

Nelly Lahoud, Combatting Terrorism Center, Beware of Imitators: Al-Qa`ida through the Lens of its Confidential Secretary, Jun 04, 2012 "I should write a history of the jihadis in my time as I witnessed it and not as it is perceived by the West or those who disagree with us,” explains Fadil Harun regarding his motivation to publish his two-volume manuscript al-Harb `ala al-Islam: Qissat Fadil Harun (The War against Islam: the Story of Fadil Harun). The spirit driving Harun’s manuscript is to produce a corrective history of al-Qa`ida distinguishing it from jihadi groups acting in its name. He believed that unlike al-Qa`ida, many jihadi groups have deviated from the true path of jihad: they lack a sound ideological worldview and many of their operations, particularly those which involved resorting to “tatarrus” (i.e., the use of non-combatants as human shields), are in breach of what he deems to be “lawful jihad.” This report is a study of al-Qa`ida’s ideology, organizational structure, strengths and weaknesses through Harun’s lens and in light of captured battlefield documents." Also see (from the same source) al-Harb `ala al-Islam: Qissat Fadil Harun Part 1 and Part 2 Note: I had some problems accessing some of these links - but found them accessible via the CTC front page

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Abu Yahya al-Libi

AP, Officials: CIA drone targets al-Qaida's No. 2, 5 Jun 2012 "A CIA drone strike Monday targeted al-Qaida's second in command, Abu Yahia al-Libi, in Pakistan, but it was unclear whether he was among those hit, U.S. officials said."

Saturday, June 02, 2012

'Obama stepped up cyberattacks on Tehran'

The Nation, Obama stepped up cyberattacks on Tehran, 2 Jun 2012 "President Barack Obama ordered a secret wave of sophisticated computer attacks on Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities, The New York Times reported Friday."

Friday, June 01, 2012

FBI: New Internet addresses could hinder police investigations

Declan McCullagh, CNET, FBI: New Internet addresses could hinder police investigations, 31 May 2012 "The FBI is worried that an explosion of new Internet numeric addresses scheduled to begin next week may hinder its ability to conduct electronic investigations."

Kuwaiti tweeter jailed 6 months for insulting Shias

AFP/Tribune, Kuwaiti tweeter jailed 6 months for insulting Shias, 31 May 2012 "Kuwait’s court of appeals Thursday reduced a seven-year jail term of a Sunni tweeter to a six-month imprisonment for allegedly insulting the faith of the Shia minority, his lawyer said."

Kazakhstan and the web

Tengrinews, Islamic theologist confuted the statements on jihad against Kazakhstan police, 31 May 2012 "According to Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s office, 46 people were convicted for crimes related to extremism and terrorism in Kazakhstan in 2011. 10 of them were convicted for creation and management of a terrorist group. The prosecutors have studied over 62 thousand websites to make sure that spread of extremist information on the Internet is suppressed. The court banned over 400 Internet-resources for spreading damaging information." Other data and perspectives available.

Al Qaeda Tied to Nigeria Death

WSJ, Al Qaeda Tied to Nigeria Death, 31 May 2012 "A kidnapped German engineer was killed during a rescue mission early Thursday in Nigeria's restive north, a Nigerian official said, in an episode that appears to signal al Qaeda's intent to infiltrate Africa's top oil producer and secure the release of a woman who had been jailed in Germany for terror-related activities." Internet linkage to this story.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani discusses Facebook

AFP/The Nation, Iran ex-president sees Facebook as a ‘blessing’, 1 Jun 2012 "Facebook is a “blessing” that helps freedom-seeking movements challenge tyranny, a former president of Iran — which routinely blocks access to the social networking site — was quoted as saying in a report by the ISNA news agency. "“We see that a Facebook page costing nothing can outstrip several television and radio outlets, and can influence millions of people,” said Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to ISNA report published on Tuesday and relayed by several newspapers and online sites since."

Qasim Faktoo online campaign

South Asian News Agency, Geelani casts net; launches website for Dr Qasim’s release, 29 May 2012 "Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani turned to Internet to campaign for the release of Dr Qasim Faktoo who will complete 20 years in jail next month. To garner support for the incarcerated Muslim League leader, Geelani launched a website at a function here."

First Islamic Banking iPhone app in the UAE?

CPI Financial | News | First Islamic Banking iPhone app in the UAE?  " "Emirates Islamic Bank claims it has launched the first Islamic Banking iPhone application in UAE, enabling customers using iPhone to access online banking from their mobile. The App which is Arabic-enabled may be downloaded from Apple’s App Store."