Friday, October 31, 2014

Zora Foundation

RFE/RL, How To Be A Good Islamic State Wife "The Zora Foundation says it aims to prepare potential female IS recruits for jihad in several ways. Among the "useful skills" taught by the group will include practical competencies such as first aid (to be used to help militants injured in battles), how to work with design and editing programs (to help spread IS propaganda), how to use weapons, and how to cook and sew for militants."

Czech Intelligence: Al-Qaeda using social networking in EU, Czech Intelligence: Al-Qaeda using social networking in EU "Al-Qaeda tends to focus on spreading its ideology among young Muslims in Europe and the Czech Republic via the Internet, for which it mainly used its website and social networks, the Czech Military Intelligence Service (VZ) says in its annual report for 2013."

Colorado teen radicalisation

Denver Post, Analyst group: Colorado teens spoke with top Islamic State terrorists, 29 Oct 2014 "Two of the three girls had secondary Twitter accounts — one of which included "SlaveOfAllah" in the handle — that they used to express their Islamic views. When the three left on their trip, their travels created international chatter on social media as supporters and detractors offered words of support and criticism." Features work of SITE

Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief', Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief, 30 Oct 2014 "Spain’s state secretary for security, Francisco Martínez, has told Congress that jihadists with connections to the extremist force Isis have discussed on internet forums how they could use Ebola as a weapon against the United States and the West in general."

Hyderabad techie arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State, Hyderabad techie arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State, 29 Oct 2014 "Software engineer Munawad Salman, hailing from Tamil Nadu, got attracted to jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) through social media networks and had planned to join its forces, a senior police officer said today."

Opinion: 'A Beginner's Guide to Dressing Like the Islamic State for Halloween'

Laila Alawa,, A Beginner's Guide to Dressing Like the Islamic State for Halloween "Pretending to be a member of IS is not unique or trendy. Rather, it plays right into what these types of terrorist organizations want: public recognition of their existence and tacit permission to be a part of American culture. Considering that IS regularly recruits soldiers on social media, it's not too far-fetched to wonder if some of these social media posts of people dressing up "like them" may one day serve as recruitment tools. Ultimately, these types of costumes whitewash a violent criminal organization while simultaneously insulting Muslims, a diverse, mostly peaceful community of 1.6 billion people. "

Portsmouth recruits to ISIS

BBC News, Portsmouth men killed in Syria were 'radicalised online', 26 Oct 2014 "A faith equality leader in Portsmouth has blamed social media and the internet for "radicalising" young men fighting in Syria for Islamic State."

Child recruitment to ISIS

Bloomberg, Mosul’s Children Lured to Islamic State to Swell Ranks "The 13-year-old encountered fighters on his street who told him he should visit their new centers in the neighborhood. He then watched a video of Islamic State battles in a nearby house, which had been converted into a makeshift Internet cafe and cinema.

"One of the fighters “said we can be heroes just like the men in these videos and we can have a salary and a gun,” Abdullah, who registered his name, said in a phone interview conducted with his family’s consent. “I thought I will be a hero and help my family with money but my father told me this is a bad idea and I will have a job one day if I study and finish my school.”"

Russia Bans Wayback Machine

Moscow Times, Russia Bans Wayback Machine Internet Archive Over Islamic State Video "The Russian government has blacklisted the California-based Wayback Machine, a comprehensive archive of the Internet, over an Islamist video available on the website.

"The video, called "The Clang of Swords," by the notorious terrorist group Islamic State, was declared extremist by a court in Russia's southern Stavropol region in July."

US urges online fight against Islamic State group

France24, US urges online fight against Islamic State group "As US-led airstrikes continue to target the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, Washington has called for the battle against the jihadist group be taken to the internet amid mounting concern over its aggressive recruitment efforts."

Iranian vampire movie

io9, Iranian Vampire Movie A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Is A Must-Watch Official site here

Civil Defense Chief Discloses Iran's Tough Response to US Cyberattack on Natanz, Civil Defense Chief Discloses Iran's Tough Response to US Cyberattack on Natanz "Head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali revealed on Tuesday that a US cyberattack on Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz failed due to his organization's tough defensive measures."

"And now for something completely different ..."

Dean Obeidallah, Daily Beast, Middle East Goes Monty Python on ISIS It's an interesting article, which points to this video (among others):

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UK Muslim leaders condemn IS

RT, 'Violent and terrible’: UK Muslim leaders condemn ISIS "Leaders of Portsmouth’s Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a “violent and terrible regime” in an attempt to stop more young people travelling to join the fight in Syria."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Egyptian woman gives birth on hospital doorstep after being refused treatment

MEMO, Egyptian woman gives birth on hospital doorstep after being refused treatment "A video showing a woman giving birth on the doorstep on an Egyptian hospital has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter leading to the suspension of the hospital's director."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twitter ‘source of all evil,’ says Saudi Grand Mufti, Twitter ‘source of all evil,’ says Saudi Grand Mufti "The micro blogging site Twitter popular among both men and women in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is nothing more than “a source of lies” and evil, the kingdom’s Grand Mufti said."

Video shows ISIS stoning woman in front of her father, Video shows ISIS stoning woman in front of her father 'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday that it received a video showing fighters believed to be ISIS militants stoning a woman to death in the presence of her father after accusing her of adultery."

Malaysia - net recruitment, Malaysia Islamic state "recruiters" arrested: They include Internet experts and politicians "The group of 14 people arrested earlier this week include personalities active in the recruitment campaign for the militias of the Islamic State (IS). Police sources explain that they were organizing the movement in Syria and used the internet to attract new (and increasingly younger) supporters. In particular, three of them played a very personal and individual role to promote, organize and finance trips to Syria."


Channel 4, Islamic State: just a bunch of #daeshbags? "A new hashtag is taking off on Twitter, and for once it is not One Direction related. It is #daeshbags - and it fits into an online movement ridiculing the #IslamicState group."

Taliban and Google Earth

BBC News, Panorama: Inside Taliban stronghold - included a Taliban commander, discussing strategic use of Google Earth

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Book: Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring', New Book: Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring' "Palgrave Macmillan published a new book titled "Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring'" edited by Saba Bebawi and Diana Bossio." Info here

Umm Abduh

#BBCtrending: Syria's nine-year-old YouTube storyteller "Like many children in Syria's conflict, nine-year-old Rasha's life has been changed forever by the civil war. She has witnessed the destruction of her part of Aleppo by shelling, and can no longer attend school because of the danger.
"But unlike others her age, she has a different life on YouTube. She has become the star of "Umm Abduh", a YouTube series satirising the war which was uploaded during Ramadan, and is now about to be broadcast on TV."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

iMuslims Review

C P Slayton, iMuslims, Five years on; still not outdated, July 28, 2014 ""iDo not overlook this book merely because it was published in 2009. Bunt's research followed close enough the cutting edge of social media and internet activity in the Muslim world for this book to apply certainly five years on, if not eight." I am currently working on my next book, but this recent review was drawn to my attention on the Amazon.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robert Fisk, on ISIS and the internet

Robert Fisk, Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques "At its most basic, you have only to read the viciousness of internet chatrooms. Major newspapers – hopelessly late – have only now started to realise that chatrooms are not a new technical version of “Letters to the Editor” but a dangerous forum for people to let loose their most-disturbing characteristics. Thus a major political shift in the Middle East, transferred to the internet, takes on cataclysmic proportions. Our leaders not only can be transfixed themselves – the chairman of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, for example, last week brandishing a printed version of Dabiq, the Isis online magazine – but can use the same means to terrify us."


Independent, Isis’s teenage Austrian poster girl jihadi brides 'have changed their minds and want to come home', 12 Oct 2014 "Experts now believe that the social media accounts associated to the girls were commandeered by Isis, with images and posts doctored to encourage other girls to follow suit."

Also see, Austrian youth flocking to ISIL, 10 Oct 2014 "Mainstream Austrian media have been filled with screen shots of Facebook profiles and posts of Austrians who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. One newspaper even published a Facebook interview with one of Austria's foreign fighters."

There's also this quote from an imam, Mamdouh El Attar: "Those who have gone to Syria and Iraq didn't attend religious classes or prayers. They are easily manipulated because they have no idea what Islam really is."

'Rich kids' Instagram, Iran blocks Tehran ‘rich kids’ Instagram page also see, 'Poor Kids of Tehran' takes on Iran's elite

How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad

Euronews, How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad "In public meetings or online propaganda videos, Islamist hymns, known as anasheed jihadiya or simply nasheeds, have become inseparable from the image of violent groups in the Middle East. These chants are now the soundtrack of jihad."

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Saudi drive campaign, Saudi activists revive women’s right-to-drive campaign

First court date set in case to ban Facebook, Twitter in Egypt, First court date set in case to ban Facebook, Twitter in Egypt "Lawyer Mohamed Hamed Selim filed a lawsuit in late August to temporarily ban the popular social media sites until they acquired legal permission to operate in Egypt. The lawsuit cited security concerns and warned that the websites could be used as tools in intelligence plots against the state."

High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah, High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah "Iran's Ministry of Communication recently announced that it will give more mobile providers licenses for high-speed Internet services. But the Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi says authorities should first introduce measures that would prevent access to the "un-Islamic" and "negative features" of the technology."

“Cub of Baghdadi”, ISIS supporters mourn death of ‘youngest fighter’, 9 Oct 2014 "Supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group have recently circulated pictures of the “Cub of Baghdadi,” who they say is the youngest ISIS “martyr” from the Arabian Peninsula to have been killed in Syria.

"On “The Cub of Baghdadi Channel” on YouTube, ISIS supporters on Oct. 7 published an obituary for the young boy."

Baraka Blue

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

'The jihadi hunters'

Boston Globe, The jihadi hunters "Zelin and Berger are something new in the intelligence world: part of an emerging breed of online jihadi-hunters who have done pathbreaking work, often independently of government and big media outlets, on a shoestring budget. Numbering less than a dozen, they have earned their reputations over the past four years by being the first to report key developments later confirmed by mainstream research and reporting—such as the split between the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, the burst of jihadi recruitment in the West, and the entry of Hezbollah into the Syrian battle. The meteoric rise of ISIS has been a catalyzing moment for these analysts, pushing them into the spotlight as one of the most important sources of information and context."

Ayatollah’s Twitter

Slate, A Deep Dive Into the Ayatollah’s Twitter Hate for America "The Ayatollah’s abhorrence for the United States permeates his feed, regardless of the topic. When the Ayatollah tweets about a seemingly unrelated topic, such as press freedom, he remembers how much he dislikes America."

CNN: Why are young jihadists joining ISIS?

Virtual Hajj

Slate, The Controversy Over a Virtual Hajj for Muslims " "Technology is changing how the faithful engage with the tradition, too. Preparing for hajj used to just be a course full of texts and lectures, but now YouTube videos and online forums make lessons livelier. The prototype for a new app, Mecca 3D, was released this summer, and lets users explore a true-to-scale digital rendition of the Mosque at Mecca. It has been downloaded about 80,000 times on Android, according to its creator, Bilal Chbib. He hopes to add interactive lessons and to integrate the program with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality simulator."

My chapter on this subject comes out later in the year. Details to follow

The Isis propaganda war

Steve Rose, Guardian, The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad "Isis is using techniques plundered from movies, video games and news channels to spread its message. Who is masterminding the operation – and what is the best way to counter it?"

Monday, October 06, 2014

'Viral tweets show ISIS sweet-talking Texan blonde', Viral tweets show ISIS sweet-talking Texan blonde, 6 Oct 2014, "A blonde Texan woman found herself the center of unwanted attention after she recounted the story of her conversion to Islam on Twitter, receiving marriage proposals from suspected extremists that have since gone viral."

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Alan Henning, Prayers said for Briton killed by ISIS fighters "Prayers are being offered in churches and mosques for Alan Henning, a British aid worker murdered by ISIS militants, as another Briton is reunited with his family after being freed by captors in Libya."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

British IS fighter

Guardian, British Isis fighter calls David Cameron a ‘despicable swine’ in online video, 3 Oct 2014 "An apparent British Islamic State (Isis) fighter has appeared unmasked in a video posted online in which he calls the prime minister, David Cameron, a “despicable swine”."

Friday, October 03, 2014

Haj app offers information on infectious diseases, Haj app offers information on infectious diseases "The Ministry of Health has launched a smartphone application that provides Haj pilgrims access to important health-related information and resources."

Kuwaiti man files complaint against wife for disturbing him on WhatApp, Kuwaiti man files complaint against wife for disturbing him on WhatApp "A Kuwaiti man filed a police complaint against his wife, accusing her of disturbing him on WhatsApp when he is out hanging with friends, according to local media reports. The police reportedly questioned the wife and charged her for “misusing the phone.""

Boko Haram leader rejects claims of his death in new video, Boko Haram leader rejects claims of his death in new video

ISIS Is Putin’s Problem, Too, and This Chechen Is One Reason Why., ISIS Is Putin’s Problem, Too, and This Chechen Is One Reason Why.

Tabaski (Eid al-Adha): Senegal's expats go online to buy rams

BBC News, Senegal's expats go online to buy rams e-commerce (or eid-commerce) in Senegal. "The company [Niokobok] lets the Senegalese diaspora around the world shop online for food, electronics and solar systems sourced in Senegal to be delivered to family and friends there.

 "They also deliver rams and goats for Tabaski - as well as all the traditional trimmings: potatoes, onions, and sauces. Customers can go to the website and view videos of the animals for sale, before making their selection."

Young and old Muslims challenge Islamic scholars as "Hajj selfies" go viral, Young and old Muslims challenge Islamic scholars as "Hajj selfies" go viral more on hajj selfies

Mobily network registers tangible success on ‘Tarwiya’ Day, Mobily network registers tangible success on ‘Tarwiya’ Day "Mobily confirmed that more than 70 percent growth in data traffic in comparison with last year rate during the “Tarwiya” day before the pilgrims move to Arafat." infomercial, but interesting

John Cantlie

Independent, John Cantlie: Father of British Isis hostage appeals for his release, 3 Oct 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014