Thursday, August 28, 2008


SC Magazine, Cyberspace and the changing nature of warfare, n.d. "The internet is changing much of life as we know it, to include the nature and conduct of warfare. At times, cyber tools and tactics will favor nations robust in information technology, but the internet is a prodigious tool for a weaker party to attack a stronger conventional foe. As with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, the dynamic, asymmetric, and stillevolving nature of cyber attacks makes all aspects of cyber defense – including detection, analysis, investigation, prosecution, retaliation, and more – critical questions for national security planners to answer." Overview, with some interesting examples. The writer is Kenneth Geers, U.S. Representative (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), Cooperative Cyber Defense, Center of Excellence, based in Tallinn, Estonia.
Digital Divide, Microsoft, Intel and DTK Computer launch 'Netbook' in Middle East "Microsoft Gulf, Intel and DTK Computer today announced the launch of a new ultra-portable, low-cost 'Netbook' in the Middle East in an aim to bridge the digital divide and increase computer penetration in the region." - designed as an accessible and inexpensive computer (spec looks ok) - this is an advertorial.

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo)/, Egypt: Blogger Arrested, Faces Charges Under State of Emergency Law "On 23 August 2008, ANHRI and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center reported that the state security investigation agency had decided to keep in prison Mohamed Refaat, editor of the blog Matabbat, . The authorities have turned a blind eye to a 17 August supreme state security prosecution order calling for the young blogger's release."

Vanguard (Lagos)/, Nigeria: Country On Threshold of Broadband Revolution - Ndukwe, 27 August 2008 "The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said broadband services are within the doorsteps of the country as some operators have begun offering these services on wireless platforms ahead of a State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI, designed by the Commission to take broadband infrastructure to all the 36 state capitals of the country as well as urban and semi urban centres."

Reuters/Yahoo, Israeli peace pioneer Abie Nathan dies at 81, 27 Aug 08 "Nathan famously piloted a private plane, dubbed Shalom (Peace) 1, to then enemy Egypt in 1966 and was twice imprisoned by Israel for meeting Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat in the late 1980s and early 1990s when such contacts were illegal." Non-tech.

Interview with Ahmed Ahmed, from the Axis of Evil comedian tour.
Khaleej Times, Axis of Fun, 27 Aug 08 "With the media industry in particular booming at the moment there is a steady demand for quality acts and their wares. "I love touring the Middle East," Ahmed continued. "We tour the region and find the majority of our audience are Arab or Arab Americans which is cool because it means you have made an impact with the people that share the same heritage. Everyone in the region is pretty well clued up on pop culture and I guess we have to thank the internet and Youtube for that. Without them what we speak about and who we are wouldn't be as well known so it would be increasingly difficult to get the joke across.""

Strategy Page, Al Qaeda Media Massacre, 27 Aug 08 "Over the last few months, al Qaedas Internet propaganda department has been virtually destroyed. The most visible evidence of that is the sharp decline in al Qaeda press releases (often accompanied by vids of attacks on U.S. or Iraqi troops). Last year, there were as many as 200 of these items a month. Over the past few months, this fell over 90 percent."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


BBC News, Man convicted over Shia flogging, 27 Aug 08 non-tech
Anwar Ibrahim

The Star Online, Opposition chooses Anwar as new Opposition Leader, 27 Aug 08 Relevant to this blog, in the ways in which Anwar Ibrahim's campaign team have applied the internet over the years as a critical element in their activities.

Also see Reuters, Malaysia's Islamists endorse Anwar, PM pressured, 27 Aug 08 "Malaysia's Islamist party, a key partner in Anwar Ibrahim's opposition coalition, moved quickly to endorse him on Wednesday, removing a major obstacle in his push to win power."
Academic Freedom Issues

Sally Hunt, Comment is Free, Guardian, Research on terrorism is invaluable - but we do it under fear of arrest, 26 Aug 08 "The arrest of a student and a staff member at Nottingham University under the Terrorism Act in May highlighted the levels of confusion in our universities around academic freedom, sensitive research areas and violent extremism. Hicham Yezza and Rizwaan Sabir were arrested because Sabir had emailed Yezza a declassified open-source document, called the al-Qaida Training Manual, available on a US government website." Sally Hunt is general secretary of the University and College Union in the UK, and she makes some useful comments in this opinion piece.

Also see previous posts, and Hicham Yezza, Comment is Free, Guardian, Britain's terror laws have left me and my family shattered, 18 Aug 08.

Related websites include Free Hicham which in turn links to other groups and sites.
"al-Qaeda in Britain"

Reuters, Police arrest two over Brown death threats, 27 Aug 08 "Media reports have said police investigations concern threats posted on a Jihadi website in January by a group calling itself al-Qaeda in Britain to mount suicide attacks on Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair unless Britain withdraws its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. It also demanded the release of Muslims imprisoned in Britain.

"The posting appeared on, a site which hosts a catalogue of Islamist messages, musings and writings and has been visited by more than 17 million people."

Not sure where they get the stats from on that, or how reliable they are.

Also see extensive coverage elsewhere, including This is London, Fifth suspect arrested over 'Islamic internet plot to kill Gordon Brown', 27 Aug 08

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Turkey YouTube

Guardian, Turkish court lifts YouTube ban after online censorship protest, 26 Aug 08 "A court in Turkey has lifted a ban on YouTube, the video sharing website, after hundreds of sites voluntarily blocked themselves in protest at growing internet censorship."

Moonwatch, "For the Muslim community, the sighting of this crescent moon will signal the beginning of Ramadan. Although new moon occurs on August 30th, it is extremely unlikely that any sighting of the crescent moon will be made that day. The first naked-eye sighting of the crescent moon may be made from southern Africa or, more likely, from South America on August 31st. Most of the world south of a latitude of about 40° north should see it easily on September 1st. However, it is most unlikely that it will seen from the United Kingdom until September 1st or, more likely, September 2nd. Consequently, we would like to encourage observers to try and observe the new crescent moon from August 30th to September 2nd in particular."

Plenty of resources on Ramadan are available online. These include the portal and Radio Ramadan (although at present, that has an 07 date on). There is another list on, Muslim Radio Ramadan Broadcasters in United Kingdom. An example of a Ramadan radio station can be found at UnityFM.

The Star, Cyberathletes get PM’s blessings, 25 Aug 08 "Six Malaysian youths created history last week by being the first Malaysian professional gamers to meet with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi."
Op-ed, Zainab Al-Arabi, Opinion: Muslim Women and the Internet, 26 Aug 08 "What I have found to be very remarkable while searching the net, is the enormous number of personal websites and blogsites created by Muslim women all over the world, namely in the United States and Canada."

Irshad Manji,, Pre-emptive censorship is offensive to Muslims, 22 Aug 08

Independent, UK's youngest terrorist convicted of bomb plot, 19 Aug 08 "A schoolboy who possessed a guide to making napalm on his computer and had notes on martyrdom under his bed became Britain's youngest convicted terrorist yesterday."

Also see this blog posting/opinion piece by Michael Asher:, British Schoolboy Convicted of Downloading Material from Internet, 20 Aug 08 "In a modern society that runs on information, illegalizing the possession of certain kinds of knowledge is a very slippery slope. As a college student in the 1980s, I myself downloaded much of the same information Munshi did -- though it came from online BBSes rather than the then-nonexistent Internet. I certainly had no plans to kill anyone. If Munshi had such plans, he should have been charged with them, rather than what he was."

CNN/, Islamic Cyber-Terrorists Hack Israel News Agency And Israel Insider, 26 Aug 08
TV, New Arabic Online Network Unveils Premier Global Television Service, 25 Aug 08 "JumpTV Inc. (TSX/AIM: JTV) and NeuLion Inc., leading providers of live and on-demand international and sports programming over the Internet, announced today the launch of a new online service -- -- that delivers the largest selection of live and on-demand Arabic television content available anywhere. offers Arabs worldwide an opportunity to tune into their favorite live television channels or on-demand programs with a simple Internet connection." advertorial

AFP, Govt targeting press with anti-terror propaganda: report, 26 Aug 08 "A government agency is sending anti-Al-Qaeda propaganda to news organisations in a bid to damage the global terror network's "brand", The Guardian reported Tuesday.

"Citing a secret Home Office document it had seen, the daily said counter-terrorism experts are also planning to use websites in a bid to "channel messages through volunteers in Internet forums"."

Herald Sun, Man 'a plagiarist, not a terrorist', 26 Aug 08 "IT security expert Samier Dandan gave evidence for the defence today in the trial of Sydney man Belal Saadallah Khazaal.

"Mr Dandan told the jury in the New South Wales Supreme Court that every chapter in the 110-page book had been copied verbatim from a website, with only a few paragraphs added.", Sydney man faces “terrorist” trial for compiling book, 21 Aug 08 "From the evidence tendered, it appears that the manuscript, whose title has been translated as Provisions on the Rules of Jihad—Short judicial rulings and organisational instructions for fighters and Mujahideen against infidels, offered inflammatory support and advice for an Islamic fundamentalist “holy war”. It praised the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, hailing Al Qaeda’s “impressive success of the conquest of New York”."
Hacking, Hundreds of Dutch web sites hacked by Islamic hackers, 25 Aug 08 "In what appears to be a mass defacement, where several hundred domains take advantage of a shared hosting provider,Net Devilz Netherlands starting as of this Friday, an Islamic hacker known as nEt^DeViL — this is not the NetDevilz team that hijacked the DNS records of the ICANN and Photobucket in June — managed to successfully hack a couple of hundred Dutch web sites as a hacktivist response to the release of the Fitna film, a controversial film released by Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament in March, 2008."
YouTube (Opinion Piece)

Jawa Report, YouTube: Helping Kill Americans Since 2005!, 25 Aug 08 "The most hardcore jihadis continue to hangout at forums like Ekhlaas and al-Firdaws where links to videos are swapped (many of these videos hosted at, which like YouTube is also owned by Google). But YouTube reaches a much wider audience and is much more easily accessed than the password protected forums where one is only admitted after having been "vouched" for." Op-ed discussion on YouTube, containing links to various sites.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tehran, Tehran's Web of silence, 24 Aug 08 "As Tehran's nuclear crisis grabs headlines, an ominous development is taking place inside Iran: the escalation of state repression against Iranian dissidents online. The hard-liner administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up the arrest of political dissidents, who have used the Internet as an alternative medium to express their views against the Islamic Republic."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ayman al-Zawahri

AP/, Al-Qaida No. 2 pays tribute to commanders, 22 Aug 08 "Al-Qaida's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, paid tribute to several commanders from the militant group killed in a recent U.S. strike in a new video recording posted Friday on a militant Web site."
Sources, Finding Nemo, the Terrorist Librarian. 21 Aug 08 "As the war on terror continues to infiltrate the blogosphere, an increasing presence in the jihadi movement is a virtual terrorist who uses the nom de guerre Nemo."

Saudi Arabia

MEMRI, Saudi Anti-Terror Cartoons, August 21, 2008, No 2031 "On June 25, 2008, the Saudi Interior Ministry reported the arrest of 520 Al-Qaeda operatives who had planned to strike oil facilities and economic centers in eastern Saudi Arabia. According to the report, the leader of the cell, who bore a message from Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was among those arrested, as were some 50 webmasters of websites that spread extremist ideas and encourage terrorism.

"After the arrests were made public, Saudi papers focused on condemning terrorism and terrorist ideology, through articles and cartoons."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marriage, Saudis Looking for Marriage Click Online, 20 Aug 08 "The world of online marriage websites raises many questions and these can only be answered if one personally enters that world in order to understand it. "

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mauritania, Mauritania: Al Qaeda calls to establish Islamic state after coup, 12 Aug 08, Abu Musab Abd el-WadoudAl Qaeda's North Africa wing has called for Jihad in Mauritania to establish Islamic rule after a military junta ousted the country's elected president. "Raise the banner of jihad and let us bleed and have our limbs severed until we bring back a caliphate styled along the lines of The Prophet's way," the leader of the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, Abu Mus'ab Abd el-Wadoud, said in a statement posted on the Internet on Tuesday."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Facebook, MP calls for Facebook ban, 10 Aug 08 "A Bahraini MP is calling for the blocking of websites such as the social network Facebook, which he says is corrupting the morals of Bahraini youngsters.

"MP Abdul Haleem Murad said such websites were against Islamic teachings and should be closed in addition to others where women posted their pictures and information."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Spain, Spanish police find Al Qaida manual on internet, 4 Aug 08 "Spanish police have found an Al Qaida manual on the internet that describes how to operate car bombs by remote control, Spanish radio reported on Monday. "

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tehreek-e-Islami Taliban Pakistan

Daily Times, Taliban warn ‘un-Islamic’ businesses of dire consequences, 31 Jul 08

"Tehreek-e-Islami Taliban Pakistan (TITP) has distributed a fifteen-days notice to several “un-Islamic” businesses in Kot Addu to shut down or face dire consequences.


"The letter, typed and printed on computer, had Baitullah Mehsud’s photograph on it along with two gunmen, Khosa said. There were also Quranic verses about Jihad around the picture, he added.

"The message said that Western and Indian media was damaging the character of youths and madrassah students, the official said. The business of music and movies is ‘Haram’, it added."
Malaysian Computers

The Star Online, Malaysian computer for only RM500, laptop for RM1,000 "Three months from now, Malaysians will be able to buy the i-Dola laptop and Jean-i personal computer (PC) at basement prices.

"Mimos is now ready to licence the production of the Malaysian computer codenamed Mak Cik, which it took two years to develop. The laptop and PC are named after the Prime Minister and his wife."

Washington Post/, Al-Qaida in Iraq leaders reportedly leaving for Afghanistan, 30 Jul 08 "The leader of the Sunni insurgent group Al-Qaida in Iraq and several of his top lieutenants have recently left Iraq for Afghanistan, according to its leaders and Iraqi intelligence officials. It is a possible further sign of what Iraqi and U.S. officials call growing disarray and weakness in the organization."
UAE Unblocked

The National, Censors unblock 1,000 websites, 30 Jul 08 "Internet users will soon be able to access more than 1,000 websites that UAE censors had deemed offensive, according to officials from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

"The TRA will instruct web service providers to unblock the sites as part of its new “internet access management” policy, which was introduced today.

"The new policy will require the Government-controlled internet provider duopoly of Etisalat and du to unblock the sites before Aug 29. It would also formalise the UAE’s internet censorship standards and dictate a clear framework to internet service providers concerning which sites should be restricted, the TRA announced."
Muslim RAW India

Rediff India Abroad, Muslim RAW, a new jihadi outfit?, 30 Jul 08 "Muslim RAW, which operates a blog, was the first to report the death of suspected terror mastermind Shahid Bilal. Investigating agencies told that they have a strong suspicion that this outfit could be an offshoot of either the Harkat-ul-Jihadi-al-Islami or the Students Islamic Movement of India and that its members are based in Hyderabad. The IB believes that SIMI and HuJI are interconnected and the former is just an executing agency for the latter."
Anwar Ibrahim update

The Star Online, Net-ful of contradictory ‘proof’, 31 Jul 08 COntroversy over the identity of 'Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid' and the contents of his medical report regarding Anwar Ibrahim:

"With powerful Internet search engines at their fingertips, no stone is left unturned.

"“The frenzy is frightening. The innocent is declared guilty and the guilty presented as innocent. We don’t know what to believe,” said a lawyer who is keenly tracking the controversy.""

It's a complex story. Some clarification can be found at

Malay Mail, 'Missing' doc's report sparks more confusion, 1 Aug 08

Also see Financial Times, Transcript: Anwar Ibrahim, 31 Jul 08 "The FT’s Assif Shameen spoke to Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, about the sodomy charges that he faces and his intent to return to politics."

Anwar Ibrahim Blog, Dr. John Esposito and Dr. John Voll of Georgetown University support Anwar Ibrahim, 1 Aug 08

Free Anwar Ibrahim Blog
On Tour

Ummah Welfare Trust, Qirat Nasheed Tour Shaykh Abu Ali, Shaykh Abu Muhannad, and Qari Saad Nomani ("can imitate 75 recitors"). The original e-mail press release offered an online link to these performances, which take place in August. This isn't on the website, so suggest returning for updates, etc.
Abdullah Al Khyat, The Arabic Network Calls on the Saudi Authorities to Annul the Decision to Expel Egyptian Resident Abdullah Al Khyat, 26 Jul 08 "The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information(ANHRI) stated today that: "The decision of the Saudi authorities to expel Abdullah Al Khyat - an Egyptian who has been a national resident of Saudi Arabia for 44 years - for his writings in newspapers and on the internet is a blatant violation of freedom of opinion and expression and risks the displacement of his entire family, many of whom have been studying in Saudi universities and schools for years."
NoTube, Sudan Bans YouTube Website, in an Unacceptable Violation of the Internet and Information Freedoms, 29 Jul 08, "Said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information –ANHRI.NET today, that the Sudanese government blocked the YouTube Website (, and made it inaccessible to the internet users in Sudan since 22nd July, where an error message appears stating that the Sudanese National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) blocked the site was blocked."