Indonesia Blocks Web Access Over Film

Internet companies in Indonesia blocked access to YouTube and Myspace on Tuesday, heeding a government order aimed to stop people from watching a film critical of Islam and the Quran. The Indonesian ministry ordered internet service providers to block sites where Wilders’ film appears, stating that it could disturb relations between the faiths. The internet providers said that the block was temporary, and included also Google Video, and other file-sharing sites.

Dutch Anti-Koran Video Released: Wilders Sparks Political Protest

It is little more than a makeshift collage, but it contains a horror show of images meant to distort Islam. Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders has launched his long-awaited video screed criticizing the Koran. Criticism is mounting. Geert Wilders chose the time to publish his anti-Koran film carefully. He picked a Thursday evening, shortly before the Dutch evening news and before Muslims in East Asian countries like Indonesia visit their mosques for Friday prayers. Until the very last minute, there was fierce speculation over whether and when the cinematic pamphlet would be broadcast. And until very recently, Wilders was offering only vague responses to these questions, especially after no television broadcaster was willing to show the film. Even a US Internet provider decided to take the Dutch right-wing populist’s Web site offline. “Fitna,” Arabic for “strife,” is now available online at Liveleak, a video platform similar to YouTube. It was viewed well over a million times within just one hour. Gerald Traufetter reports.

Bavarian Taliban’ Video: The Smiling Suicide Bomber

C_neyt Ciftci, a young man from Bavaria, blew himself up outside a government building in Afghanistan, killing two US soldiers and two Afghanis. SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained a video documenting the final minutes in the life of the first German-born suicide bomber. It’s the perpetual grin that is most disturbing. The young man looks directly into the camera. He seems cheerful in his small cap and white shalwar kameez, the traditional Afghan dress. He smiles as he hoists the heavy bags of chemicals on to his shoulders. Grinning, he points skyward to Allah. Matthias Gebauer reports.

Video Threat After Austrian Politician’s Anti-Islam Comments

A video containing an unspecified threat to Austria was posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube on Tuesday following anti-Islamic remarks by a hitherto unknown far-right Austrian politician. Police said they were still evaluating the video, but had offered the Graz- based activist, Susanne Winter, personal protection after she denounced Islam’s prophet and Muslim men in general as “child molesters”. Winter had accepted the added protection following her remarks at the weekend, said a spokesman for the interior ministry, Rudolph Gollia. He said the government’s anti-terrorism office was “still in the process of evaluating” the video. Nevertheless, there appeared no reason to increase security in Austria for the time being, Gollia added. The video, lasting four minutes and 48 seconds, contained coverage of a speech Winter made at the traditional New Year’s congress of the populist far-right FPOe party on Sunday. Winter is the FPOe’s candidate for the upcoming municipal elections in the southern city of Graz. The video then showed pictures of the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, and warned: “Look, Susanne, something like this could happen to your country and you are responsible.” “It was a mistake for you to take on … Allah’s warriors,” the video said in German. “We, the Muslims, are those warriors with whom you now have a problem.”

Greater Surveillance Of German Muslims? Some Want More Spot Checks Of German Mosques

Conservative German politicians Thursday called for increased surveillance of Germany’s Muslim community following the revelations that the London terrorist attacks last week were likely carried out by British Muslims. “We have to know what’s going on in every mosque,” Bavaria’s interior minister, G_nter Beckstein, told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. “We have to have an intelligence presence there where extremist ideas are being preached.” Beckstein, who is tipped as a potential federal interior minister if the conservative opposition wins this fall’s possible early election, said greater efforts were needed to watch Germany’s Muslims amid the unsettling realization that the bombing attacks in London were the work of British citizens of Pakistani origin. “Accordingly we have increase surveillance of religious fanatics,” he said, calling on the German Muslim community to increase their cooperation with the authorities. “We need the help of tolerant Muslims.” Beckstein’s sentiment was echoed by other conservative politicians. Wolfgang Bosbach, the Christian Democrats’ parliamentary spokesman for interior issues, said suicide attackers could not be scared off by heightened security, making it more important to recruit informants from the local Muslim community for the intelligence services. Uwe Sch_nemann, the conservative interior minister of Lower Saxony, even called for increasing the frequency of random control checks at German mosques. “We need this instrument and we must make greater use of it,” he said. Sch_nemann also called for a special sitting of parliament during the summer recess to pass measure creating a proposed national terror suspect index. “This has to be done quickly since we’ll need it before the World Cup,” he told the paper. Boosting Video Surveillance Beckstein also said more closed-circuit cameras to help secure soccer’s largest sporting spectacle, which Germany will host next summer. Officials in Berlin have already decided to boost security on public transport in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg with the installation of more video surveillance. “Following the attacks on the British capital, we don’t want to be accused of not doing everything we can,” the head of the company responsible for the public transport in Berlin (BVG), Thomas Necker, told the Berliner Zeitung. The BVG will also keep all video footage recorded for three days instead of the current 24 hours. Brandenburg’s interior minister, J_rg Sch_nbohm, has also outlined plans to install closed-circuit cameras in various public areas including train stations and airports. “The swift success of Britain’s police investigations just goes to show how important closed-circuit cameras are,” Sch_nbohm told the tabloid Bild. In London, video footage of the four suspected bombers was able to be retrieved just five days after the attacks took place.