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New statement from the Global Islamic Media Front: “Announcement About the Official Account of the GIMF on Twitter”
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Praise be to Allah and blessing and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah,
Your brothers at the Global Islamic Media Front are pleased to announce its official account on Twitter
and we ask you all to follow us on the following page:
We confirm that this is the only GIMF official account on Twitter.
Don’t forget us in your prayers
لا تنسونا من صالح دعائكم
Don’t Forget Us in Your Sincere Prayersإخوانكم في
Your Brothers at
الجبهة الإعلامية الإسلامية العالمية
Global Islamic Media Frontرَصدٌ لأَخبَار المُجاهِدين وَ تَحريضٌ للمُؤمِنين
Observing the Mujahideen News and Inciting the Believers
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.
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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.
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