Skip to comments.Muslim Web sites in spotlight as Qaeda scares spread
Posted on 01/28/2004 3:46:33 PM PST by JohnathanRGalt
By Firouz Sedarat, Jan 28, 2004
DUBAI (Reuters) - Islamist Web sites are drawing a wide audience as possible harbingers of al Qaeda attacks but experts say they are erratic and unreliable sources of warnings that could save lives.
Analysts say the sites, used by al Qaeda backers to spread their message, are unlikely sources of exact information on where or how Osama bin Laden's network might strike next -- though an experienced eye may spot the more probable comments.
Mainly, the Arabic-language sites, usually bulletin boards where anyone can post anonymous messages, provide a forum for users with nicknames like erhabi (terrorist) and abuosama (Osama's father) to vent anger at the West and United States.
"There's no official al Qaeda site, only sites run by Qaeda supporters but even these lack credibility as anyone can post there," London-based Islamic activist Yasser el-Serri said.
The sites praise as heroes the hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities, and often carry threats of even bloodier acts.
Last week, an Internet statement by a group claiming to be the Yemeni wing of al Qaeda vowed to strike a "devastating and crushing blow" against the United States to avenge the 2002 killing of its leader by a CIA drone aircraft.
"We are capable now, of destroying an entire American city -- repeat: an entire city -- while your government remains arrogant," one recent post said.
"No one knows if a post is from a boasting young man or from an intelligence agency," Serri told Reuters. "But with experience, one can tell which may be genuine, by eliminating fakes based on their bad knowledge of Islam."
London-based analyst Paul Eedle who closely follows pro-Qaeda sites, agreed that a trained eye was needed.
"The way to assess the authenticity of statements is to see what other Islamists on the Net think of them," he said. "In this and other spheres, the Internet is a self-authenticating community."
EFFECTIVE PROPAGANDA TOOLS
"Since September 11, al Qaeda has used the Internet as a media machine, managing the public perception of it. That's almost as important to it as setting off bombs," Eedle said.
"Al Qaeda has a clear programme to maintain a clash of civilisations between the West and Islam, and to terrify opponents and win over supporters."
Gary Bunt, a University of Wales lecturer who runs a site on Islam, virtuallyislamic.com, said Islamists had proven much more tech-savvy than their governments.
"A number of these site are exciting to take a look at. They've been designed very intelligently, a great deal of thought goes into how to put the message across," he told Reuters by telephone. "That has had an impact."
Mainstream media have been reluctant to report many of the threats posted on the sites. But Jeremy Reynalds, a U.S.-based analyst who frequently reports on Islamist sites, said the decision was a difficult one.
"I have debated with myself as to whether I am helping fuel a panic or whether I am doing the public a service.
"Do you withhold the information until you can verify it or do you publish it and say: this is not necessarily reliable but we have decided to let you know, in case."
Nine Inch Nails?
I'd trust them more than NEIN :-)
Yep . . . Anyone who tried to advance the notion that islam is a "religion of peace" would be a poseur for sure. And there do seem to be lots of those, mostly ignorant westerners trying to fake it. I think I'm pretty good at spotting those.
Thanks for the ping . . . Good article . . . Especially pleased to learn of Gary Bunt's websites. Good stuff.
|Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-al-Sheikh
Who is NIN?
"... terrorism is a strange phenomenon in a country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has been unwaveringly implementing the Islamic Shariah."
From Gold Market Summary:
Gold Market Summary
Author: Jim Sinclair
This past week is simply an interlude in gold's well-established uptrend. As I see it, the potential for this reaction is only a few dollars off the top and five days in duration.
Well, we are this evening about there. The gold price cup-shaped formation should give us a shot early next week at the $430.30 level.
My greatest concern is the technical position of the U.S. dollar. Look, we all know that the problems of the dollar are severe but we are a minority. The majority kid themselves because it is self-serving. To cut to the chase, I am concerned that the dollar may be predicting some type of terrorist event on U.S. soil that has yet to appear but nonetheless is close in time.
Last evening's dollar-positive intervention should not have been a total flop. We know there was a major interest that was active right before the 9/11 event in the option market on the short side of just those airlines used in the incident. That was money in the know so to speak.
The statements from Europe that the level of the Euro is no problem at all is likely motivated by an inability to change what is occurring - so why not make it appear that it's government-approved. The rule of thumb in government is never saying anything that might even suggest that markets are bigger than government. Well, the government intervention last night ran into something very big out there as a dollar seller.
I want all of you to be very careful as this month comes to an end. Home is a nice place and a home in the country and away from major population centers might be a great use for your profits.
blundered the link to Gold Market Summary
True in a terror-free world as well.
Below is an article by Rick Mathes, a well known prison ministry leader:
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths who explained their belief systems.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.
The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation he replied, "Non-believers!"
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Pat Robertson or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"
The Imam was speechless.
I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?"
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.
Chuck Colson once told me something that has sustained me these 20 years of prison ministry. He said to me, "Rick, remember that the truth will prevail." And it will!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.