Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mosquing Your Intentions

It's a sad day when Holy Places have to be searched ... :

ROME - Italian police arrested three Moroccans on Saturday [July 21st] — an imam and two aides — accusing them of belonging to a militant cell that allegedly used a mosque in central Italy as a terror training camp.

The cell held courses on hand-to-hand combat and used propaganda films and documents downloaded from the Internet to teach students how to prepare poisons and explosives, pilot a Boeing 747 and send encrypted messages, anti-terrorism police in Rome said in a statement.
Police did not say if cell members had participated in terror attacks or planned any. However they said the cell had contacts with two Moroccan Islamic Combat Group members arrested some two years ago in Belgium.

The Islamic group, known by its French acronym, GICM, is allegedly tied to al-Qaida and has been linked to the 2004 Madrid transit bombings and 2003 Casablanca attacks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Filling the World With Half Truths: Insurgency Propaganda

A report on the media tactics (a.k.a. propaganda arm) of the Sunni insurgency, compiled by radio free Europe.

Iraq's Sunni insurgency has developed a sophisticated media campaign to deliver its message over the Internet through daily press releases, weekly and monthly magazines, books, video clips, full-length films, countless websites, and even television stations. Part of the target audience for insurgent media projects are mainstream Arabic-language media, which often amplify the insurgent message to a mass audience.

The popularity of online Iraqi Sunni insurgent media, the authors contend, reflects a genuine demand for their message in the Arab world. A response, no matter how lavishly funded and cleverly produced, will not eliminate this demand. The authors argue that efforts to counter insurgent media should not focus on producing better propaganda than the insurgents, or trying to eliminate the demand for the insurgent message, but rather on exploiting the vulnerabilities of the insurgent media network.