Archive for the ‘AQ Arab Peninsula (Yemen)’ category

How decliners get data so wrong

November 23, 2017

Western habitus and Jihadist media:

media_battle_on_fire

The understanding of the jihadist movement is a research task which requires collaboration between data analysis and subject matter expertise, a formulation Jeffery Stanton described in his book Introduction to Data Science.

Daulati_Baqiyah

Previous posts have focused on the role of subject matter expertise, and how the study of the Jihadist movement has tried to understand it in terms of street criminals, gangsters, individuals obsessed with computer games (particularly first person shooters), and a desire to go from zero-to-hero. These interpretations originate from the attempt to view the subject matter – Jihadist media – through a Western and predominantly English language lens. In this lens, not even Latinized Arabic key words from the rich blend of Arabic dominated theological motifs are reflected upon sufficiently. This traps the interpretation within specific perceptive dispositions that Pierre Bourdieu calls habitus.[i] These interpretations frequently lack any attempt to address the theological aspects of the movement, even the simple references in the titles of media products go unnoticed. This, as a consequence, leaves the analysis dislocated from the repeated referencing of the concepts, which link together to construct chains that anchor contemporary media to the foundations created by scholars stretching back through the history of Jihadist writing, (and furthermore, the redundant yet coherent use of historical writings used by jihadists to enhance and enrich their posture).

For example, most discussion and interpretation of the series Salil al-Sawarim (SAS), located in a Western habitus, focused on the Hollywood style or slick production values – just as understanding of the movement often revolves around ideas of ‘brand’ and ‘marketing’. However, as noted in the previous post SAS:

 

is particularly illustrative of this emphasis on theology. Readers sufficiently initiated into the mainly Arabic language corpus of Sunni extremist theology will understand the title’s particular reference right away;[1] it refers to the book al-Sarim al-maslul ‘ala shatim al-rasul, “the Sharp Sword on whoever Insults the Prophet.” Its author is 13th century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328 AD),

Equally consider the sound effect used to underscore references to Ibn Taymiyya’s writings in numerous AQ and IS videos. It is no coincidence that it is a high pitched metallic sound effect which recreates a sword being drawn from its scabbard.

Interpreting the movement with references to a street crime, zero-to-hero, and gangsta lifestyle, creates an impression recruits are being lured to join ISIS with the promise of Big Screen TVs, blunts, 40s and bitches… (to quote ‘Steve Berman’).[ii] These interpretations lack any attempt to address the theological aspects of the movement, nor encoded cultural understandings, and the meaning evident to those from (or sufficiently initiated into) an alternative habitus.

William Rowlandson argues, definitions are “really a debate about who owns the words”.[iii] Framing the interpretation of Jihadist media within a Western habitus focuses interpretation firmly within the comfort zone of English speaking commentators who often have little familiarity with the theological and historical reference points used by the movement, nor a nuanced understanding of the concepts expressed by Jihadists in Arabic. To maintain their ownership over such interpretations, it has become increasingly important for some commentators to downplay the role of theology.

Instead, bolstered by a focus on defecting European Foreign Fighters, these commentators attempt to wrest the analytical locus of the jihadist movement away from the complex, and unfamiliar Arabic core – preferring instead to locate understanding within a Western habitus. This approach fences off alternative world views and further seeks to extend Western hegemonic ownership over meaning – developed since 9/11 became a moment of universal temporal rupture.

Western policymakers reviewing recent media statements, commentary and research will have found a confused range of interpretations for the Resilience and Appeal of “Islamic State” media content. This confusion is as often due to an imbalance between the level of subject matter and data analysis expertise. For example, the data analysis of ISIS networks on VK, deployed a robust data analysis approach for the online phase of the research, but from the outset struggled with the subject matter. The authors appeared surprised to find women prominent in the digital outreach efforts.

However, as Saudi former Usama bin Laden bodyguard and first-generation leader of AQAP Yusuf al-‘Uyayri wrote in ‘The Role of the Women in Fighting the Enemies’:

the woman is an important element in the struggle today, and she must participate in it with all of her capacity and with all of her passion. And her participation does not mean the conclusion of the struggle – no. Rather, her participation is counted as a pillar from amongst the pillars that cause victory and the continuation of the path.[iv]

The document highlights women as fighters and participants in battle (mujahidah being the female form of mujahid):

[T]o show the importance of your role in this clash today between the religions of Kufr and the Religion of Islam, and especially in the new crusade that the world is waging against Islam and the Muslims under the leadership of America, then we must remind you of an aspect of your role, reflected in the image of the Mujahidah of the Islamic Golden Age.

While acknowledging limitations on the involvement in battle – outside of specific circumstances – the document states

… we want you to follow the women of the Salaf (female companions of the prophet) in their incitement (inspire) to fight and their preparation for it and their patience on this path and their longing to participate in it with everything in return for the victory of Islam.

Far from being unlikely to be involved in online activities, this emphasis on incitement, preparation, and participation should highlight the expected role women may play within the online struggle – including on VK.

Familiarity with these texts is not just a niche historical interest. AQAP theologians such as Yusuf al-‘Uyairi and their many writings have long mattered to IS (not just in the time since they caught the attention of commentators as they swept into Syria). Many of the Arabic language productions by IS have strong lingual and theological ties to content produced by the original incarnation of AQAP, yet IS was the first group to have the room, territory and thus resource to apply the otherwise theoretical theology that was brought into organized existence by key leaders and theologians such as al-‘Uyairi. His study circles, strategic writings, sober analysis of U.S. intervention into Iraq etc. are reflected in the structure and output of contemporary IS media releases and notions. Furthermore, a eulogy of al-‘Uyairi (died 2003) by his brother in arms al-‘Awshan (who was also killed shortly after) was downloaded nearly 3,000 times in just one core IS-Telegram channel.

Data Science:

Familiarity with subject matter is one aspect of data science, the other is the familiarity with data handling and statistical techniques. One of the most common elements of commentary (and confusion) is the question of how much ISIS content is being produced, and what it looks like – sadly fewer column inches are allotted to the strategic purpose this content serves.

Since mid-September the stream of commentary, reports, and presentation claiming to show some element of the online presence or Virtual Caliphate has gathered pace. However, as methods vary wildly, and statements are often ad hoc responses what an individual personally saw on Twitter, rather than explanations of research that carries predictive value, politicians can be forgiven their moments of confusion.

Take these statements – both in November from Charlie Winter, one of the proponents of the flawed concept of a Virtual caliphate:

“The caliphate will continue to exist no matter what happens on the ground,”[v]

And

“My latest on the state of #IS’s virtual caliphate. Bottom line up front: It’s not doing too well these days”.[vi]

September:

Back in late September he told a Wired security event about the ‘Virtual Caliphate’:

“There’s a lot of propaganda coming out on a daily basis,” … “Hundreds and hundreds of unique media products, videos, magazines, radio bulletins, in lots of different languages coming out every single day.”[vii]

Tech World reported from the event:

ISIS and its central media office, Winter claims, is “really effective” at keeping up that flow of information – and the propaganda side is something that the group strongly tries to maintain. “I think some of them are addicted to this propaganda, it’s something the group really tries to cultivate, the interdependence between the brand and supporters,” he says.

October:

In October the claim changed, now ISIS had only produced a total of 300 items for the month of September. This claim included a graphic which purported to show “#IS’s media machine is contracting. A large proportion of the propaganda apparatus is now almost totally dormant”.[viii]

It later transpired that to produce the impression that sections of the ISIS media apparatus were “totally dormant” any foundation or province thought to have produced 4 or fewer pieces of content was excluded.

Despite the grainy resolution of the accompanying graphic it was possible to see that the approach had significant methodological problems. The viewer could make out which provinces were considered ‘dormant’. These included al-Furat, Somalia, Khurasan, Bayda’, Anbar, & West Africa. The problem was simple:  all these actually produced more than four pieces of content in September.

Publishing the image provided conclusive proof that from a data science perspective, the research is not analysing ISIS production, but recording the declining ability of a particular individual to locate ISIS content.

Furthermore, the impact of the methodological limitations means that from a data science perspective the graphs showing ‘content type’ actually record the type of content which this individual is able to find – not an assessment of the type of content ISIS is actually producing. A subtle difference, but one which makes all the difference in data science.

Equally problematic, this analysis equates the publication of a single photo with that of an hour-long video and a 16-page newspaper. As a result, the organisation that published the 46 minute speech by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at the end of September 2017 is recorded as dormant because it only produced the first recording of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to be released in the last 10 months.

It should be needless to write, this audio-release by al-Furqan is of much greater importance than a single image, or photo report – at least for IS sympathizers and operatives. Although currently we still find ourselves having to write it.

November:

In November, the claims of drastic decline continue; “Nowadays, IS propagandists can barely get out 20 pieces of media in a week”.[ix] As in October, from a data science perspective the claim is based on the declining ability of a specific individual to find content, not actual IS production.

The gulf between rhetoric and reality continues to widen.

November has witness the continued weekly production of the 16-page newspaper al-Naba’ with associated infographics (now 106 issues in total) and numerous photo reports, at least 39 at time of writing (22nd November), collectively containing 215 unique images from 11 different provinces, including al-Furat, Khurasan, al-Khayr, Diyala, and the Khalid ibn al-Walid army. In addition, al-Bayyan has continued to be broadcast, providing a range of radio programmes and daily updates (available to stream, and download in MP3, text and pdf versions in a range of languages).

November also saw the launch of a new 16 page magazine al-Anfal along with videos from provinces including al-Baraka which produced two videos & one each from Damascus, Salah al-Din, al-Janub, and Diyala, bringing the total to six without the inclusion of non-Wilayat video production. This volume of production is a far cry from claims “ISIS is struggling to produce 20 items a week”.

In fact, not only does the current content for November eclipse the ‘struggling 20 a week’ mark, on current pace the images alone will exceed the claim of 300 pieces for September. A situation which echoes the 2016 CTC report on ISIS visual production. That report also claimed significant decline in ISIS production. However, subsequent analysis showed ISIS weekly production actually exceeded the CTC estimate of monthly production. (New Netwar p. 38) This was because CTC, just like these more recent claims of decline, were based on tracking the declining ability of the researchers to find content, not the ability of ISIS to produce it.

Given the ongoing level of production, it is hard to see how a data science approach could produce a credible analysis which shows a shift from; “There’s a lot of propaganda coming out on a daily basis” in late September to; “struggling to produce 20 a week” by early November. But this type of confusion is not unusual; the lack of collaboration between data analysis and subject matter expertise regularly results in research which fails to produce a coherent understanding of the information ecosystem. As is often the case these studies bear little resemblance to the observable reality for those able to access and understand the content produced by the jihadist movement.

For example, a Home Office funded VOX-Pol study concluded ‘the IS Twitter community is now almost non-existent’. Yet at the time of the study 40% of known traffic to ISIS content was coming from Twitter. In addition, a presentation during the recent VOX-Pol conference at ICSR contained research showing there were “90 tweets planning terrorist attacks are tweeted per minute”.[x] That conference also produced the rather cryptic statement that “The deep web should be inhospitable, but not too inhospitable”.[xi]

The need to understand how ISIS networks of influence operate at a strategic level is now evident to almost all – and it requires data science based on the collaboration between data analysts and subject matter experts to achieve it. Understanding the information ecosystem is about more than peering down soda straws at handpicked examples; it is about the way different parts of the ecosystem co-exist and intersect; it is about the way the humans behind the screens interact and fundamentally about the content they share. This includes the documents which outline the strategy and tactics which the Jihadist movement currently intends to use.

The Jihadist movement distributes their strategy in their own words, these words should not be obscured by disciplinary siloes, a failure to collaborate, nor an attempt to force the understanding of the movement into a Western, predominantly English language, habitus.

 

Notes:

[i] The influence of habitus within Critical Terrorism Studies, particularly with reference to 9/11 as a point of temporal rupture is discussed by Harmonie Toros. While this focuses largely on temporal elements the approach is equally applicable here.:

Harmonie Toros, “9/11 is alive and well” or how critical terrorism studies has sustained the 9/11 narrative, Critical Studies on Terrorism Vol. 10 , Iss. 2, 2017

[ii] Track 6, The Marshall Mathers LP

This deliberately crass reference to Dr Dre is used to emphasise the gulf between the imagery of western gangsta rap and what Jihadist media actually contains.

[iii] Rowlandson, W. 2015. Imaginal Landscapes: Reflections on the Mystical Visions of Jorge Luis Borges and Emanuel Swedenborg. London: Swedenborg Society.

Quoted in Harmonie Toros, “9/11 is alive and well” or how critical terrorism studies has sustained the 9/11 narrative, Critical Studies on Terrorism Vol. 10 , Iss. 2, 2017

[iv] Yusuf Bin Salih Al-‘Uyayri, The Role Of The Women In Fighting The Enemies, (Translated version) At-Tibyan Publications

[v] https://www.thedailybeast.com/winning-the-battle-losing-the-message-inside-americas-utter-failure-to-counter-isis-propaganda

[vi] https://twitter.com/charliewinter/status/928586607271268352

[vii] https://www.techworld.com/security/how-isis-runs-its-central-media-operation-3664672/

[viii] https://twitter.com/charliewinter/status/920651518172332032

[ix] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41845285

[x] https://twitter.com/VOX_Pol/status/919914070907736065

[xi] https://twitter.com/VOX_Pol/status/919952628632707074

Anwar al-Awlaqi – shooting star of AQAP and the online AQ spheres

November 8, 2010

Notorious Anwar al-Awlaqi, the US-born Yemeni ideologue that has in the last year or so been pushed and used by AQAP’s Yemen wing, has a new video, released online today. The video, the “filmed speech” is entitled “to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it” and is a short part taken from the Quran 3:187. The full part, according to the translation of Yusuf Ali is as follows:

“And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!”

 

As usual, the video is available for download in various sizes, with 1.1 gb being the maximum. While I frequently promised to publish more on my blog, I yet issue another promise and will blog something in the coming days when I have had the time to consume al-Awlaqi’s speech/sermon.

The video is in Arabic with the call “to spread this video everywhere and to translate it into English.”

 

After along while… a few brief updates…

September 30, 2010

Due to a lot of workload the blog had been totally out of date but now, perhaps with the bad weather kicking in, the blog will resume, at least spontaneously on parts of the huge data load of jihadist materials.

Some while ago AQAP Yemen published a couple pictures that may have been taken from a forthcoming video depicting various operations of the Mujahidin in Yemen. The original pictures had Arabic captions and now the al-Ansar Forum has re-published the same pictures with brief English descriptions.

With AQAP having been in control in Lodar, these pictures are sought to undermine how their ground is being defended.

“Image of an attack on a military checkpoint which oppressed Muslim women” . Naturally and ideologically bound as advertised.

AQ Yemen denies claims of killed leaders

January 18, 2010

AQAP just denied claims of the “Idols and the Crusaders” to have killed six leading members of AQ in an air strike in northern Yemen. “This is just part of a series of lies since the bombardment of Abyan, where the people suffered and witnessed how women and children were sacrificed, until the recent bombing, what was misguided to hit its target, all praise be God. The Yemeni government makes these claims, to undermine the alleged victories and to present its offering to Obama and their allies at the London Conference.” This is of course just done so that the corrupted leaders can get the most of western money offered to fight the Mujahideen on the Arab Peninsula. The statement includes a call to further the activities of online jihad in order to fight, combat and counter-argue the propaganda of the enemy. “An obligation for our ummah today is the public declaration of jihad against the infidel and their henchmen.” And this by all means, including to ‘reveal’ by this ‘media offensive’ how the US has besieged the Gulf of Aden, launching spy planes and drones into Yemen. Thus the need for actions is not restricted to land, but should also be taken onto the sea and the air, for “the fortresses of the warring Crusaders are present in the Gulf of Aden, in the Arabian Ocean, the Red Sea and American spy planes are violating the airspace of the Arab Peninsula, just how they proclaimed a open war against the people of Islam. Therefore it is our obligation to declare a open war on the Crusaders and their traitor henchmen.”

January 17, 2010

Confirmed by multiple sources: Qasem al-Remy, the military commander of the Yemeni AQ branch was killed in a Yemeni army strike in northern Yemen on Friday along with at least five other high value members of the network.

Al-Quds al-Arabi edition of 16/17 January: “Military leader of AQ on the Arab Peninsula and five of colleagues killed… Al-Zindani renews his calls for jihad”.

The Saudi newspaper Arriyadh announces the death of al-Remy as well, among “three other elements have been captured of the organization.” This was “confirmed by Yemeni governmental sources on Saturday.”

Among al-Remy, Ammar al-Wa’ely, who reportedly killed on Saturday in the air strike, among four other members of AQ, one an Egyptian citizen. Saleh al-Tees, Ayed al-Shabwani and the Egyptian Muhammad Ibrahem Muhammad Saleh al-Banna were killed in the strike.

New ideological writing by Anwar al-Awlaki

January 8, 2010

First of all, al-Awlaki’s blog is about to resume, as indicated by the address below the title.

Let’s see, how long his wordpress account will remain online with all the media focus on this US citizen currently, who just returned to his homeland, Yemen, to help build and support AQ on a global scale there. Allegedly, he is also responsible for the effective indoctrination and radicalization of Hassan Nidal Malik, who went on the killing spree in Fort Hood.

Yesterday a new writing was published by al-Awlaki (AA), who issued “44 ways to support jihad” – in English, rich with Arabic-Islamic terms that are packed in translated religious sentiments which can be appealing to some.

UPDATE The user “TS” was so kind to inform me (see comment) that this writing by AA is not new and has been published in February 2009. Thanks for the info and the link (http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/nefaawlaki44wayssupportjihad.pdf). With so much content being disseminated every day, I thought this English document had been new as well, sorry for any confusion I may have caused!

Most interesting is the short introduction, where the audience, the youth, is particularly highlighted. This highlighting is not new and AQ leadership of all levels most commonly address their appeals and calls to the “youth of Islam”, who must, should and are able to wage most effectively a jihad against invading criminal non-Muslim elements and their allies:

“Jihad is the greatest deed in Islam and the salvation of the ummah is in practicing it. In times like these, when Muslim lands are occupied by the kuffar, when the jails of tyrants are full of Muslim POWs, when the rule of the law of Allah is absent from this world and when Islam is being attacked in order to uproot it, Jihad becomes obligatory on every Muslim. Jihad must be practiced by the child even if the parents refuse, by the wife even if the husband objects and by the one indebt even if the lender disagrees.

Dear brothers and sisters the issue is urgent since today our enemy is neither a nation nor a race. It is a system of kufr with global reach. The kuffar today are conspiring against us like never before. So could we be heading towards the great battle between the Romans and the Muslims – Al Malhamah – which the Prophet (saaws) spoke about?

Again, the point needs to be stressed: Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim. So as a Muslim who wants to please Allah it is your duty to find ways to practice it and support it. Following are 43 ways for the brothers and sisters to support Jihad fi sabeelillah.”

The writing goes on, addressing 44 factors that are vital – ideologically as well as practical military – and deemed a divine command to be fulfilled by pious believers.

A short selection (let us call them the “top ten” – even if it aint ten), that is a bit outstanding outside of the usual ideological writings that deal with the topic, copy-and-pasted:

4. Fundraising for the mujahideen

In addition to paying from your own money you should also encourage others to do the same. Rasulullah says: “The one who guides others towards a good deed would receive rewards equal to those who practice it.” By fundraising for the mujahideen you are also fulfilling a sunnah of Rasulullah (saaws) which he would often practice before going out for a battle.

5. Financing a Mujahid

Rasulullah (saaws) says: “Whoever sponsors a fighter in the cause of Allah has fought” (Majma’ al Zawa’id). This includes all the expenses of the mujahid including his travel expenses. This gives a chance for the rich and the poor to receive the rewards of Jihad, the poor by fighting and the rich by sponsoring them.

8. Sponsoring the families of the prisoners of war

Taking care of the family of a prisoner is equal in reward to taking care of the family of a mujahid. It is extremely important for such a practice to become the norm so that in the future when our brothers go out in the path of Allah they would know that if they die or if they are captured their families would be taken care of.

10. Contributing to the medical needs of the mujahideen

The mujahideen are in great need of any medical assistance they can get. They need physicians, they need hospitals and clinics that would open their doors to them and they need medicine. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslim physicians and nevertheless we hear many stories of injured mujahideen who suffered from simple wounds but because of the absence of medical help they had to suffer in agony until they died. Those Muslims who studied medicine and claim that they are doing it for the sake of Allah and to benefit the Muslims, we say to them: Where are you?

It is said that Khattaab – the great Muslim commander in Chechnya – was injured in a battle and his brothers found no Muslim doctor to take care of him so they had to take him to the Red Cross and have them treat him under gun point! Muslim health care workers have a great responsibility and their contribution to Jihad is indispensable.

In fact their rewards could be even greater than those of the fighters.

13. Fighting the lies of the Western Media

The perceptions of many Muslims are formed by the Western media. Allah says: “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one (fasiq) with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful” (49:6)

So what about when the news is coming from a kafir rather than a fasiq?! The danger of the Western media stems from the fact that it puts on the cloak of truth and objectivity

when in reality it is no more than the mouthpiece of the devil. Can’t you see that the Western media is constantly trying to underplay the atrocities committed by the West while exaggerating the violations – which are few and far in between – committed by Muslims? Can’t you see how the Western media succeeded in presenting the awlyaa’ (friends) of Allah, the ones who are fighting in His cause, as the followers of evil, while it presents the Pharaoh of this day and his armies as the army of good? The Western media is so good in its deception that its lies pass on a wide section of the Muslim ummah. The fact is that this media demonizes the mujahideen, spreads lies about them, blows out of proportion their mistakes, tries to sow the seeds of disunity amongst them, attempts to ruin the reputations of their leaders, and ignores or demonizes the scholars of truth when on the other hand, it glorifies and promotes the scholars of falsehood.

So my dear brothers and sisters part of your duty is to campaign amongst Muslims to raise their awareness regarding this issue. You should encourage them to be careful and critical of the Western media. A Muslim should not believe Western sources unless they are confirmed by a trustworthy Muslim one. I say a “trustworthy” Muslim source because the verse was warning us from accepting the news of a disobeying Muslim. Now that is not to say that we should not believe the media in anything it says even in its weather forecasts! No, what we are saying is that you should not believe what they say about Islam and Muslims. A media source that could otherwise be very objective and truthful could become a fabricator when it comes to covering news on Muslims. That is how the disbelievers dealt with Muslims since the dawn of history…and there is no reason for us to believe why that would change.

18. Following the news of Jihad and spreading it

Following the news of Jihad and the mujahideen is important because

• It keeps your attachment to Jihad alive.

• It strengthens your belongingness to the ummah.

• It encourages you to join Jihad when you see the heroic acts of the mujahideen. It kindles your desire for martyrdom when you see the courage of martyrs.

• Those who follow the news of the mujahideen will see how Allah is protecting his servants and guiding them towards victory. They will see how the ummah is heading towards the era of Islam under the leadership of: “al Ta’ifah al Mansoorah” mentioned in the hadiths of Rasulullah (saaws).

• Reading history or Fiqh books on Jihad provides you with the theory. Following the news of the mujahideen provides you with practical examples of how our brothers are applying the theory in today’s world. It provides you with something tangible, something real.

• The news of Jihad is the news of the conflict between good and evil which has existed since the time of Adam and will continue until the end of time. Following the developments of this conflict brings Quran into light. When you read Quran with this awareness you would have a more engaged relationship with the book of Allah than a person who is living in the seclusion of his ivory tower. This engagement with the book of Allah reaches its height when you yourself are engaged in this conflict by joining the ranks of the mujahideen. I need to repeat what I mentioned in point 13 that you should only spread authentic information from authentic sources. Because spreading

rumors is an attribute of the hypocrites: Allah says: “And when there comes to them something [information] about public security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, then the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it.” (4:83)

23. Arms training

Preparing for Jihad is obligatory since Jihad today is obligatory and the sharia rule states that: “Whatever is needed for an obligatory act becomes obligatory”

Arms training is an essential part of preparation for Jihad. Allah says: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you don’t know but Allah knows” (8:60) The Messenger of Allah (saaws) said regarding this verse: “Power is marksmanship, power is marksmanship” (Related by Muslim)

The issue is so critical that if arms training is not possible in your country then it is worth the time and money to travel to another country to train if you can.

29. WWW Jihad

The internet has become a great medium for spreading the call of Jihad and following the news of the mujahideen. Some ways in which the brothers and sisters could be “internet mujahideen” is by contributing in one or more of the following ways:

• Establishing discussion forums that offer a free, uncensored medium for posting information relating to Jihad.

• Establishing email lists to share information with interested brothers and sisters.

• Posting or emailing Jihad literature and news.

• Setting up websites to cover specific areas of Jihad, such as: mujahideen news, Muslim

POWs, and Jihad literature.”

As you may have guessed, number 29 is certainly one of my personal favorites… However, it must be noted, that AA’s addressed bullet points have been established – continuously – over the previous years and in the meantime the jihadists usage of the internet has reached a technical highly professional output with content that is in some parts highly appealing for the audience.

Anyway, the 44 ways are not entirely new and are, as a matter of fact, a cheap write-off of the “39 Ways to Serve Jihad and the Mujahidin on the Path of God”, by Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Salim (aka ‘Aisa bin Sa’ad bin Muhammad Al ‘Awshin), a Saudi ideologue who wrote for the AQAP magazine The Voice of Jihad (2003-2008). His document contains similar thoughts, intentions and motivations.

This edition was published by a platform prior to the extensive online publishing foundation The Voice of Jihad. I’ll spare you the details.

“Anwar al Awlaki Blog is proudly powered by WordPress” – we will see for how long.