Friends With ISIS: How To Tell One Young Woman’s Story

Like most developing stories, nothing was for certain. Earlier this year I went to rural Washington State to meet a young woman who had befriended Islamic State sympathizers over the Internet.  Rukmini Callimachi, the reporter on the story, received a tip about “Alex” from an online activist. In February, we spoke to the 23-year-old woman and her grandmother by phone and discussed protecting their identities in exchange for telling her story.

Islamic State launches online magazine in French

15 pages of jihadist propaganda in color and in French can now be found on the Internet. The new magazine entitled Dar al-Islam has been available online since December 22. Previously the other major foreign language magazine was “Daqib,” a publication in English. (Photo: Twitter/Figaro)
15 pages of jihadist propaganda in color and in French can now be found on the Internet. The new magazine entitled Dar al-Islam has been available online since December 22. Previously the other major foreign language magazine was “Daqib,” a publication in English. (Photo: Twitter/Le Figaro)

15 pages of jihadist propaganda in color and in French can now be found on the Internet. The new magazine entitled Dar al-Islam has been available online since December 22. Previously the other major foreign language magazine was “Daqib,” a publication in English. The two magazines are released by the media communications branch of ISIL, Al-Hayat, which was founded in May 2014. The communication arm of ISIL often uses Twitter as its main platform. A recent Twitter post reads:

#Al-Hayat presents the first edition of the magazine “Dar Al-Islam”
— fr-alhayat (@fralhayat) 22 Décembre 2014

The magazine’s first edition is entitled “The Islamic state extends its territory.” In the introduction, the authors celebrate being “witnesses to a new era,” that of the restoration of the caliphate, which would allow Muslims to live according to Islamic law.
The magazine’s title translates to “abode of Islam.” One of its article’s reads: “It’s why the magazine is named Dar al-Islam, to remember the immense blessing it is to live under Allah’s law, among believers.”

The magazine is filled with grammatical errors, passages from the Qur’an and words in Arabic, and seeks to convince French Muslims to pledge allegiance to the caliphate. The authors denounce the “idolatrous”: “those who change the law of Allah,” and “the crusaders who love the cross and call a child the Lord of heaven.”

For Mathieu Slama, specialist in “crisis communication,” the magazine serves two purposes. The first is as a recruitment method. The last page of the magazine shows a French passport being burned. The second purpose is to show ISIL’s a willingness to institutionalize. The magazine uses Western journalistic methods: catchy titles, photos and summaries, shows the West that ISIL is becoming a legitimate institution.

Manuel Valls said he could not definitively ban this type of propaganda. The Cazeneuve law of November 2014 hardened provisions that punish the glorification of terrorism, especially on the Internet. However the European Commission must meet to discuss if the magazine can be banned, and the decision would not take effect until late February or early March 2015.

In Spain, “The radical ideas are being transmitted in the virtual world.”

Riay Tatary, president of the Union of Islamic Communities (UCIDE) of Spain defended yesterday that Islam “is peace and therefore can not be used as a synonym for violence or terrorism.”

He also insisted that the Muslim Spanish community is well integrated and that “ radical ideas are being transmitted over the Internet, in the virtual world. It occurs in homes, in closed rooms. “ He also pointed out that the youth receives a weak islamic educaction through the web and this creates a need among the community to strenghten universal values such as such as coexistence, tolerance, justice, equality, freedom.

Europa exports jihadists, case of Spain

March 20, 2014

 

Between fifty to a hundred Spanish individuals are believed to have joined jihadist groups. Most of them come from Ceuta and Melilla, where networks are working to recruit and dispatch Jihadist volunteers.
The route from Syria to Spain via Ceuta begins with the transfer by ferry to Algeciras and then by taking a plane to Istanbul from Malaga or Madrid. Once in Turkey , internal flights take them to the border province of Hatay. From this point on, Jihadists groups, such as Jabhat al Nusra or The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are in charge of bringing them into Syria.

One of the Ceutis that did this route was Rachid Wahbi who along with five other boys of the autonomous city, left for Syria. This taxi driver was 33 years old when he immolated himself in a suicide attack with a truck full of explosives into the headquarters of the Army of Al Assad in the city of Idlib , as evidenced in a video posted on the Internet .

 

Source: http://www.esglobal.org/La-Lista-Europa-exporta-yihadistas#.UysnNrsBZPo.twitter

Jail Sentence Over ‘Cyber Jihad’

March 5, 2014

 

A French convert to Islam was convicted of using the Internet to disseminate terrorist propaganda and promote participation in terrorist acts and was sentenced by a Paris court to one year in prison and two more on probation late Tuesday. The case is the first using a law passed in 2012 that makes “cyber jihad” a crime and potentially has serious consequences for freedom of expression in France. The law was passed in response to the attacks in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people including three children and apparently was inspired in part by extremist Internet postings. The maximum sentence in Tuesday’s case could have been five years in prison, and the relatively light term given to Romain Letellier, 27, suggested that both prosecutors and judges were still considering how to apply the new law. The prosecutor said that the trial was happening in a context where young people become radicalized rapidly after reading material on the Internet.

 

Al Andalus 2.0. La ciber-yihad contra España

This work analyzes the explosive combination of terrorism, new information technologies and historical grievances. The recovery of alandalusIslamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula remains an essential objective for Al Qaeda and their allies. The radicals found in the Internet an opportunity to enhance and reinterpret in harsh terms the myth of a paradise taken away by force. From abundant new information, the book explains the role that  Al Andalus plays in the jihadist universe is explained, details all corners of cyberspace where it is possible to find Spanish references as a vehicle to incite violence, traces back the role played by internet in the 11-M in Madrid, and delves into some of the major police operations against groups and individuals who have used cyberspace to wage jihad against Spain.

Divided into two parts, the first devoted to “Medium and Message” with the eternal justification for Al Qaeda and its franchises to hate the West as responsible for the assaults on Muslims.

The second part deals with cyber-jihadists arrested in Spain, which provides a comprehensive overview of police operations carried out against the people who have used the Internet as a means of radicalization.

This work analyzes the explosive combination of terrorism, new information technologies and historical grievances.

 

Manuel Ricardo Torres Soriano, Al Andalus 2.0. La ciber-yihad contra España (Granada: Biblioteca GESI). 210 pages. 2014. (ISBN: 978–84-616-7991-1)

Islamophobia on the Internet: The growth of online hate targeting Muslims

December 9, 2013

 

On International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2013, the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) have released a major new report into the growing problem of online hate targeting the Muslim community.

The report examines anti-Muslim hate on Facebook and was produced by the Online Hate Prevention Institute, Australia’s only charity entirely dedicated to the growing problem of online hate.

This major work examines 50 anti-Muslim Facebook pages. The Facebook pages range from “The Islamic threat” which today passed the 113,000 supporter mark and continues to rapidly grow, to “Mohammad the PIG” which vanished after reaching 2000 supporters. From these 50 pages the report documents 349 images of anti-Muslim hate. These images represent 191 unique images and many repetitions as messages of hate move between the different pages. The message of hate in this report are divided into seven themes which the report discusses.

 

Full report at ohpi.org.au – http://ohpi.org.au/islamophobia-on-the-internet-the-growth-of-online-hate-targeting-muslims/

Kansas school surrenders to ignorance, removes Islam display

Back to school means back to the culture wars for Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.

On the very first day of school, someone snapped a photo of a bulletin board display in the hallway featuring the Five Pillars of Islam and then posted it on Facebook.

“This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer,” said the caption under the photo. “This can not stand.”

The Islam display went viral migrating from the “Prepare to Take America Back” page on Facebook to likeminded pages and Web sites. Islamophobia is a cottage industry on the Internet.

School officials were immediately inundated with complaints from gullible and misinformed people who apparently believe the canard that public schools indoctrinate kids in Islam – and persecute Christians.

I wish I could report that Minneha administrators faced down the Facebook smears and courageously defended their bulletin board display.

But sadly, the school surrendered to ignorance and fear and removed the Five Pillars of Islam display – ostensibly to “alleviate the distraction.”

As it turns out, a bulletin board in another part of the school features an image of the Last Supper as part of teaching about the religious art of the Renaissance. Other religious images are featured on bulletin boards at other times of the year. These inconvenient facts were left out of the Facebook posting.

30-Year Prison Sentence in Plot to Bomb U.S. Bank

A Bangladeshi man who tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, only to discover that the bomb was a fake and that he had been under constant federal surveillance, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.

The man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 22, came to the United States in January 2012 on a student visa with plans to carry out a terrorist attack, carrying instructions on how to make a bomb out of household items, as well as audio recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical cleric killed by an American drone strike in 2011. Mr. Nafis tried to find assistance and camaraderie on the Internet, but his efforts led him instead to an F.B.I. informer, who in turn introduced him to an undercover agent.

The agent met repeatedly with Mr. Nafis beginning last summer. In a sting operation, months long, Mr. Nafis developed his plot from a vague idea to a detailed plan to bomb the financial district, an attack that he hoped would “shake the whole country,” according to recorded statements he made during the investigation.

Islamists in Spain are able of committing murders like the ones of London

26 May 2013

The main International Terrorism investigator from the Real Instituto Elcano, Fernando Reinares, believes that “in Spain there is a small but significant number” of Islamic fundamentalists who justify “moral and utilitarian” terrorism and, therefore, may take actions such as the killing of the British military in the street.

In his view, Western governments should “above all, identify and locate the segments of the population who are vulnerable to jihadist propaganda and prevent the propagators of this ideology to spread it, either through the pulpit or through the Internet.”

He also added that it should be “kept within the law, an appropriate monitoring of suspects, to prevent them from developing activities related to terrorist mobilization.” And finally, “urging Muslims to make their voices heard against the Jihadists and Salafists”.