On the street Malika El Aroud is anonymous in an Islamic veil covering all but her eyes. In her living room, El Aroud, a 48-year-old Belgian, wears the ordinary look of middle age: a plain black T-shirt and pants and curly brown hair. The only adornment is a pair of powder-blue slippers monogrammed in gold with the letters SEXY. But it is on the Internet where El Aroud has distinguished herself. Writing in French under the name Oum Obeyda, she has transformed herself into one of the most prominent Internet jihadists in Europe. She calls herself a female holy warrior for al-Qaeda. She insists that she does not disseminate instructions on bomb-making and has no intention of taking up arms herself. Rather, she bullies Muslim men to go and fight, and rallies women to join the cause. It’s not my role to set off bombs — that’s ridiculous, she said in a rare interview. I have a weapon. It’s to write. It’s to speak out. That’s my jihad. You can do many things with words. Writing is also a bomb. Elaine Sciolino and Souad Mekhennet report.
The New York Time discusses the increasing use of technology, specifically the internet, in organizing terror interest. The article follows a 48-year-old Belgian woman named Malika El Aroud, who posts on the internet under the pseudonym Oum Obeyda, who while she does not disseminate instructions on how to make bombs nor intends to take part in violence herself, post encourages and bullies Muslim men to fight. Ms. El Aroud calls herself a female holy warrior for Al Qaeda, preferring to use the power of writing rather than weapons as an internet jihadist. She, along with her husband, were convicted in Switzerland of operating pro-Qaeda web sites, but is currently a suspect In what Belgian authorities say they believe is a plot to carry out terror attacks in Belgium.