Archive for the ‘Use of information communications technology’ Category

GIMF: Class notes from Security and Intelligence Course–in English

06/14/2011 Leave a comment

Pic and brief blurb from the intro of the document is included below, and an active link.

I haven’t read it yet but will try to have a read and post some more a little later tonight.


This English translation is a summarized version from the original Course conducted by Mujahideen in Urdu language. This course is designed primarily for brothers who will be working in high risk areas. The course focuses on both Security and Intelligence. Since our main goal is to provide brothers with an idea of Security we decided omit a lot of details which were focused purely on Intelligence.

The main basis of the original Course, was taken from a Pakistani intelligence manual. Hence some of the topics are focused to such an environment as Pakistan. But still this remained as the basis of almost all the Security and Intelligence courses which are given in Khurasaan, whether in Urdu Pashto or Arabic.

That being said, Security policies are something which changes radically, depending on Countries, Cities and current state of affairs. It even varies from person to person. Hence it is impossible to provide a wide scale Security course.

As said, our intention of Publishing an English version of this Course, is to provide “basic Principles of Security” for working brothers in America, Europe and elsewhere, by which they can initiate their own local rules and standards.

A note on the failed VBIED in Times Square

05/03/2010 8 comments

I’m watching the news about the failed VBIED in NYC and I was hoping to write something a little more considered than this. However my thesis frazzled brain is just not cooperating at 1:30am on a Monday morning after an all weekend re-writing and editing bender. So I will limit  my comments, which I hope are slightly coherent.

No speculation from me on possible perpetrator.  Field is wide open there.

But what strikes me about it all is the problem that repeatedly faces terrorists…actually getting something to go boom.

My first take is whoever did this didn’t have a whole lot of training, if any. And could have solely gone off manuals they’ve found on the net.

There are ample training materials out there from all manner of terrorist groups and crazies. And plenty of things that outline how to build a device just like this.

That said they knew enough to try to take identifying markers off the vehicle. However, this too can be found in a number of online guides.

Anyway, my point is that it is far more difficult to get something to go boom (for the average untrained person) than what people think.  This is why, for example, training for construction of explosives and explosives devices in terrorist training camps has historically taken up to two years,  as opposed to the usual basic training where people are trained how to *use* explosives instead of how to build devices. It is an ongoing problem for militant groups. This is why some of them (and here I’m thinking AQ) often sent the detonator or a key part of it back with those it was deploying to carry out attacks. Especially for the more sophisticated attacks.  Or they gave intensive one on one or small group training. Not that this is the case here, but I point it out to reinforce the point that when groups or individuals don’t have training in construction of devices there is less likelihood their devices will detonate properly.

A lot of the manuals out there are quite detailed, but as I said it’s harder than what people think.

And if you think there’s not stuff out there that people can learn from, well this picture  is just a teeny part of some of the stuff out there. I’ve covered up the info for obvious reasons. As an aside the gent who made this picture trained with Ramzi Yousef, but that’s another story.

Sirajuddin Haqqani Q&A response is out

04/28/2010 1 comment

Thanks to @IbnSiqilli for bringing this to my attention.

You can find the download links here.

They’re not exactly the most detailed responses. Although he’s done well to dodge a lot of questions I thought for sure would trip him up. However, what is still the most interesting to me is what isn’t said, and what has been omitted.  And of course, the very careful use of words  when dealing with some of the trickier questions I suspect they thought they couldn’t really get away with not answering.

Would love to look at this in more detail. Alas it is back to the thesis for me.

Increased focus on the issue of prisoners in some jihadi publications/forums etc

04/11/2010 1 comment

I was just having a quick wander through the forums, which I haven’t done for a little while and noticed that there are quite a few new publications dealing with the issue of prisoners. It’s not something I’ve seen a great deal of focus on lately and particularly not by high profile figures of the ilk who are currently propagating works on the matter.

I haven’t downloaded them, but am just making note of it since at least two of those who have released works recently have the authority to issue a  fatwa in relation to operational matters. Their publications could just be general explanatory works but it’s always worth keeping an eye on what is contained within them in case there is sanction for something specific.

Abu Walid al Masri’s response to my questions on militant use of the internet

03/25/2010 Leave a comment

Folks Abu Walid al Masri’s response to my questions for the BBC Radio interview I did last week are up. The topic was militant use of the internet. The response is in Arabic, and I’ve copied it onto my blog for safe keeping.

You can find it here, where I’ve also included the original link to his blog. [update: links are fixed. I was checking out microsoft's new translator program which @lewisshepherd pointed out to me and had too many windows open, accidentally copied original from there with wrong hyperlinks. all fixed now]

The translation will go up on the weekend. It’s just being tidied up.

I don’t have a link to the radio piece yet, will chase that up tonight/tomorrow.

My Jane’s article on Al Qaeda command and control is now available

03/24/2010 1 comment

Folks, here is my Jane’s article on the evolving dynamics of AQ’s command and control structures and processes.

One caveat… I wrote this in September/October  last year so it is a little dated in terms of drone attacks etc. However, I still stand by the arguments I made in this piece.

Feedback, as always is welcome. But please bear with me if you’d like a response. I’m drowning with the dissertation at the moment, but I will try to answer any follow up questions.

Many thanks to Tim at Jane’s whose efforts to get me this pdf  I really appreciate.

The reference information for those requiring it is JANE’S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, 21 (12) November 2009, p 16-20


Interesting forum post on Waziristan

03/21/2010 Leave a comment

I found this little breakdown of the groups active in Waziristan quite interesting, especially the listing of the smaller groupings towards the end of the post. Also interesting is the history of this particular author, but that’s another story.

Link is here

Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies

03/20/2010 1 comment

thanks to @abuaardvark for the link

Hmmm, so much one would like to say, but in this instance, one can’t…. suffice to say tip of the ice berg as these issues go.

Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies –

Forum townhall meeting with Sirajuddin Haqqani

03/17/2010 Leave a comment

The questions are now in and I think close today for the upcoming forum  ‘town hall’ meeting with Sirajuddin Haqqani. There is no indication of how long it will take him to respond to the questions posed by forum readers.

The questions make for fascinating reading as to the issues on the mind of those in the forums.  Below is a pretty random list of some of the issues covered off and the questions posed. One thing that strikes me about the questions readers are asking is that these types of questions are normally posed to a Sheikh/senior figure with authority. It’s been something AQ usually only does, so I find this quite fascinating and it will be very interesting to see how Haqqani answers the questions, some of which are seeking guidance on issues outside his scope of operations/authority.

Ok, to the list of questions

  • the impact of recent arrests
  • the attack by Abu Dujana al Khorasani
  • the difference between Pakistan Taliban and Afghanistan Taliban
  • whether Haqqani or the Pakistan or Afghan Taliban support global jihad and an extension of their operations into the global realm
  • his opinion on other militant groups in Iraq, Somalia, the Arabian Penisula, Kashmir, Turkestan, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria
  • lots of questions about Hamas and general questions about whether the Taliban wish push beyond jihad in Afghanistan to liberate Jerusalem
  • position on Iran, questions about Baluchistan
  • position on Hekmatyar
  • position on Pakistan
  • the David Rhode escape
  • the US soldier held captive and prisoner exchanges more generally as well as recent claims about exchange for Siddiqui
  • his position on elections in Afghanistan after a US withdrawal
  • the role of women in the Afghan jihad
  • jihadist media and his exposure to it
  • position on China
  • position on using drug money to fund jihad
  • whether the Taliban will demand reparations after US withdrawal
  • whether he is getting support from groups in the Arabian Peninsula
  • whether Mullah Omar has authority to approve attacks outside of Afghanistan and whether he would globalise the jihad
  • his position in relation to Mullah Omar and bin Laden
  • the relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda–quite a few questions on this
  • whether or not bin Laden would be put on trial by Omar if he returned to Afghanistan under new Taliban rule (clearly this reader has read Abu Walid’s work

As I said earlier, many of these types of questions are normally thrown at al Qaeda leaders, as the defacto leaders of global jihad, so I find it fascinating that Haqqani is being asked similar questions.

I wonder whether this is because they genuinely think he has this authority or because he is more accessible (especially since AQ’s As Sahaab has totally gone down the toilet courtesy of Adam Gadahn taking over the reins) and Q&A’s with al Qaeda have been few and far between. Although having said that, there was one a few months ago. These questions to Haqqani weren’t quite at the level of that Q&A in terms of explicitly seeking fatwas, but they are moving in that direction.

How he responds to these I think will be telling and will reveal how this particular wing is setting itself up, with an eye on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and what comes next. Haqqani will have to be careful because a lot of these questions fall firmly into al Qaeda’s ambit and bin Laden is not at all fond of strategic competition. Mind you with Sahaab the way it is and bin Laden’s absence from the scene and Yahya and co being unusually quiet, AQ may not be able to do much about this. Or alternatively we may see it put something out in the future that attempts to put it firmly back in the mix in relation to the issues that are being raised in this Q&A.  If I were AQ I’d be seriously worried about my brand value and strategic control when my adherents are asking a group with a thus far local agenda all about my ambit of global jihad. This leads me back to Sahaab being down the toilet and AQ having a serious strategic communication problem of late.

Anyway, that’s just my off the top of my head thoughts on the matter. I wish I had time to write something more considered about this, but I’m knee deep in  chapter edits. Link is below (in Arabic for those interested)

~ Link

Source: Saudis keen to regulate BlackBerry Messenger for ‘security’

03/07/2010 Leave a comment

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