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Check out my new article for Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel: “#Jihad’s social media trend”

From December 5, 2012 to January 29, 2013, al-Qaeda’s top-tier forum Shamukh al-Islam was down (with a brief return for a few days after December 17). The suppression of the forum is likely the work of an intelligence agency, but no claim of responsibility has been announced. It has also accelerated an already growing trend: the migration of jihadi propaganda from web forums to social media.

In response to the blackout, many jihadi groups, media outlets, and individuals created new accounts on Twitter (and to a lesser extent Facebook). Others have likely migrated to popular second-tier forums like Ansar al-Mujahidin Arabic Forum (AMAF), which occurred the last time the al-Qaeda approved forums went down in late March/early April 2012. During that period, I was in the middle of collecting and analyzing data (from February 1, 2012 to April 31, 2012) on a number of jihadi forums spanning multiple languages and Twitter accounts for a New American Foundation paper, which showed empirically for the first time that lower-tier forums did indeed fill the vacuum created by the main forum’s absence.

Both of these forum takedowns — in March and April, as well as in December and January — exposed the limits of al-Qaeda’s official online media procedures, which are headed by its distribution network al-Fajr Media. Al-Fajr is responsible for coordinating between al-Qaeda Central (AQC), its affiliates’ media outlets (As-Sahab Media for AQC, al-Malahim for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Furqan for al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and al-Andalus for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)), and the forum administrators. In both takedown cases, al-Fajr could not deliver content from the al-Qaeda affiliates, at least in an official capacity, to the online masses.

Media outlets, groups, and ideologues that, while not expressly affiliated, are inspired by al-Qaeda’s worldview have not been hindered by this process, and therefore have not evolved mechanisms for releasing their content. Previously, popular online jihadi essayists like Abu Sa’d al-Amili wrote articles when the forums when down, encouraging readers to be patient and to understand that the forums would persist and would not be defeated. On December 23, 2012, however, Abdullah Muhammad Mahmud, a writer for the jihadi news agency Dawa al-Haqq Foundation for Studies and Research, which is disseminated via a WordPress blog, provided guidance to online jihadi activists. Mahmud told his comrades that going forward, it was legitimate to use Twitter and Facebook as sources of information for jihadi-related issues. This advice was in a sense revolutionary, as jihadis had previously emphazized the importance of the forums as a method for authenticating materials, to prevent forgeries of official group content. At the same time, though, many grassroots activists had already been active on online social media platforms for a few years on an individual basis.

Click here to read the rest.

Da’wah al-Ḥaqq Foundation for Studies and Research presents a new article from ‘Abd Allah Muḥammad Maḥmūd: “Facebook and Twitter Are Alternative Sites In Case of Suspension of the Jihādī Forums”

توقفت المنتديات الجهادية على الانترنت لأكثر من أسبوع مؤخراً ، وقد كان لهذا التوقف تأثيراً على أنصار المجاهدين والمتابعين للشأن الجهادي بشكل عام، الذين فقدوا بهذا التوقف مصدراً هاماً للمعلومات من جهة ومن جهة أخرى منبراً للتعبير عن مشاركاتهم ومواقفهم من الأحداث الجارية والتعليق عليها والكتابة والتحليل السياسي والشرعي للأحداث.

هذا التوقف المفاجئ للمنتديات الجهادية لم يكن الاول فقد توقفت عدة مرات لفترات زمنية مختلفة في السابق ومن المتوقع ان يحدث ذات الأمر مستقبلاً بسبب الهجمات المعادية التي تريد إيقاف هذه المنابر ومنعها من مخاطبة جمهور وعوام الناس .
فما العمل في حال توقف المنتديات؟!
لقد كان الإجراء السريع الذي اتخذته جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام وحركة الشباب المجاهدين بإنشاء حسابين لهما على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي تويتر هو الحل الأمثل فقد بثت كلتا الجماعتين أخبارهما وبياناتهما وإصداراتهما المرئية في فترة توقف المنتديات الجهادية عبر حسابيهما الذين حظيا بمتابعة كثيفة وبذلك تمكنت الجماعتين من تجاوز ما ظنه العدو ضربة قاسمة للمجاهدين بإقفال المنتديات الجهادية التي تعتبر المنابر الإعلامية التي ينشر من خلالها.
وهذا الأمر يستدعي من المنتديات الجهادية ان تخطو الخطوة ذاتها بفتح حسابات لها عبر تويتر وفيسبوك ويستدعي أيضاً من مرتادي المنتديات الجهادية وأنصار المجاهدين ان يفتحوا هم أيضاً حسابات على فيسبوك وتويتر ليتمكنوا من الاستمارار في التواصل في حال توقف المنتديات الجهادية.

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Source: http://dawaalhaq.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%83-%D9%88%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%B9-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%A7/

To inquire about a translation for this statement for a fee email: azelin@jihadology.net

al-Ma’sadat Media Foundation presents a new poem from ‘Umar Bin Maṣ’ūd al-Ḥadūshī: “In Praise of the Youth of al-Shamūkh and Facebook”

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: ‘Umar Bin Maṣ’ūd al-Ḥadūshī — “In Praise of the Youth of al-Shamūkh and Facebook”

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Source: http://www.as-ansar.com/vb/showthread.php?t=40032

New statement from Dr. Akram Ḥijāzī: “Penetration of the Facebook Page”

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: Dr. Akram Ḥijāzī — “Penetration of the Facebook Page”

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Source: http://www.almoraqeb.net/main/articles-action-show-id-292.htm

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