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So now ISIS has its own fake news

Friday, March 10th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — propaganda and, i suppose, impropaganda ]
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Publication of the last three issues of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah have been preceded or accompanied by bogus issues, thus giving ISIS its own quota of fake news. I’m of course delighted because one can compare authentic and fake versions as visual DoubleQuotes. Here are some examples from the latest issue, #7, courtesy of Charlie Winter:

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MEMRI has graciously made its February report, Release Of Two Suspicious Fifth Issues Of ISIS’s ‘Rumiyah’ Magazine – Timeline, Characteristics, And Takeaways, openly available — here are the basic paras:

On January 6, 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) released Issue 5 of its online magazine Rumiyah. The issue, which included, inter alia, the usual threats to the West and advice for carrying out attacks there,[1] was picked up by Western media outlets and widely reported. Much less attention, however, was given to two other purported issues of the same magazine, which were released a few hours prior to the official Islamic State release of Issue 5.

Each of the two fake issues of Issue 5 of Rumiyah appears to have a different purpose. While the first was reportedly a rogue PDF file packed with malware aimed at infecting the devices of anyone downloading or opening the file, the content of the second was surprisingly well crafted content in what appeared to be a malware-free PDF file, making the point of its release not entirely clear.

This is not the first time that a jihadi magazine or other release is comprised, especially in light of the fierce cyber warfare being waged against terrorist groups. The most prominent example of this is the 2010 operation that aimed to undermine the first release of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) English-language magazine Inspire. That attack resulted in the release of two modified PDF versions of the magazine, and has had a negative impact on one of the magazine’s distribution channels as well.[2] In another incident in 2013, which also targeted AQAP, a video of the group was purposely sabotaged and a segment calling for the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Yemen at the time was removed prior to its official release.[3]

Terrorist groups’ distribution chains and channels have evolved in the last decade. What was once a single download link posted on a password-protected top-tier jihadi forum, is now a widely distributed URL to jihadi content posted on the San Francisco-based Internet Archive (archive.org)[4] that goes viral on Twitter, Telegram, and elsewhere within minutes of its initial release. Jihadi response to suspicious content, on the other hand, has been relatively consistent during that same period, with overly cautious and even paranoid behavior characterizing many members of online jihadi circles. In fact, social media has in many ways made it more difficult to “trick” jihadis into consuming dubious jihadi content, since warnings about such content are now generated and disseminated faster and easier than ever before.

The graphic at the head of this post is taken from a February Heavy Terror Watch post, ISIS Alleges Someone Is Publishing Fake Islamic State Magazines

It’s all faintly hilarious / deadly serious: fake news, ISIS-style.

News from left, center and right? this site provides links

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — see also post on left, center, right news maps ]
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I ran across the AllSides site recently. Their aim seems laudable:

Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.

At the moment, their focus is on Obama and the wiretap:

WHITE HOUSE
Obama Denies Wiretap

From the Center
Trump wants congressional probe of claims on Obama, won’t comment further
President Trump called Sunday for a congressional investigation of his claims that predecessor Barack Obama had him wiretapped…
USA Today Bias: Center

From the Right
The Obama Camp’s Disingenuous Denials on FISA Surveillance of Trump
President Trump’s early Saturday morning tweeting has exploded to the forefront an uncovered scandal I’ve been talking about since…
Guest Writer – Right Bias: Lean Right

From the Left
Obama Refutes Allegation That He Wiretapped Trump Tower During Campaign
U.S. President Donald Trump accused predecessor Barack Obama on Saturday of wiretapping him during the late stages of the 2016…
Huffington Post Bias: Left

They also feature a host of topics you can explore, such as the environment — and there you can find not only relevant news, but also:

  • Think Tanks from the LEFT
  • Think Tanks from the CENTER
  • Think Tanks from the RIGHT
  • Those pages in turn will take you to:

  • The Environmental Defense Fund
  • The Council on Environmental Quality
  • Brookings Institution
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • The Cato Institute
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • Are Zenpundit readers already familiar with this site? Does it strike you as fair and balanced? Do you know of other sites that serve the same or a related purpose? Any other comments?

    News from left, center and right? two maps to guide us

    Sunday, March 5th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — see also post on left, center, right news links ]
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    To complement a post in this series which provided links to left, center and right news sources, here are two maps to help you sort right from center from left, a response to one of them from InfoWars, and a blank map you can fill in with your own sense of what goes where — or with noughts and crosses if you prefer, or for that matter, moves in a HipBone Game on a weird Venn-diagram influenced board…

    **

    The first map comes from Vanessa Otero:

    InfoWars didn’t like its positioning as “garbage” on Otero’s chart, and responded in Alternate Reality: Viral Propaganda Chart Demonizes Independent Media — subtitled Chart exemplifies dying dinosaur media’s extreme liberal bias:

    Otero also offers a blank format for do it yourself mapping:

    **

    Pew is, at least theoretically, non-partisan, although they too presumably have an Overton window. The below may, accordingly, seem to you more accurate than Otero’s chart above — but please note, this one dates from 2014:

    What do you think?

    Brutal Times 01

    Friday, September 30th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — “You’re not haunted by the war, Dr Watson. You miss it.” Yes, this will be a series. ]
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    brutal-times-dq

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    Part of what’s interesting about the upper image above, the one of a woman (presumably) wearing a burqa and holding a gun, is the number of times it has been used by the Daily Mirror — in articles on such topics as:

    ISIS bans the BURKA after ‘veiled female assassin’ kills two terrorist commanders in Iraq
    Desperate ISIS commanders now sending female fighters to die in combat
    See US army taunt ISIS with special message in footage of coalition airstrike
    Hundreds of ISIS brides sent for COMBAT TRAINING in Libya after being ‘promoted’ from role as wives

    The legend under that last one reads “ISIS is using hundreds of women on the frontline in Libya” — which might lead one to believe the photo was taken there, in Libya. Why, then, would it also be applicable to two pieces about ISIS in Iraq?

    That image is a glorious stimulus for hatred, though, which seems to mean it bears frequent repetition. And guess what, it might have been shot with a model, a male model for that matter, in Brixton, not Libya or Afghanistan (where blue burqas are common) or Iraq…

    **

    Um Hanadi (the cook, whom you’ll notice, lower image above, does not wear a burqa) is on Facebook, CNN reports:

    After listing all the attacks against her, and all the loved ones lost to ISIS, Um Hanadi said: “I fought them. I beheaded them. I cooked their heads, I burned their bodies.”

    She made no excuses, nor attempted to rationalize this. It was delivered as a boast, not a confession.

    “This is all documented,” she said. “You can see it on my Facebook page.”

    So we checked. Among many pictures of her with her dead husbands, fighters and generals, there was a photo of her in the same black combat fatigues and headscarf holding what appeared to be a freshly severed head. Another showed two severed heads in a cooking pot. In a third photograph, she is standing among partially-burned corpses. It’s impossible to verify whether the photos are authentic or Photoshopped, but we got the point.

    Two questions for moralists / ethicists:

  • Is a woman killing ISIS militants morally or ethically any different from a man doing so?
  • Is a woman who cooks the heads of her and our deceased enemies a desirable ally?
  • **

    Hey, that Express piece about the “veiled female assassin” who killed two ISIS militants even gets to offer you this tasty view, with the accomnpanying legend “A woman wears a veil, which is now being banned in parts of northern Iraq”:

    muslim-woman-wearing-black-veil

    Now, is that hot, or what?

    **

    Sources:

  • Iraqi News, Veiled woman kills 2 ISIS militants in Mosul
  • CNN, The Iraqi housewife who ‘cooked the heads’ of ISIS fighters
  • Uh-oh, The Times believes Dabiq is “Koranic”

    Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — the London Times gets the Qur’an wrong, let’s hope it’s not this sloppy about cricket! ]
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    In an article titled Death to Cheshire florist, declares Isis magazine, London Times writers David Brown, Sara Elizabeth Williams, and Tom Coghlan write about Rumiyah, the new ISIS magazine:

    Charlie Winter, a researcher who follows Isis media closely, said of Rumiyah: “Intriguingly, it features relatively little original content, suggesting Isis is having to cut corners in its media operations.”

    It is not clear if the new magazine has replaced the main Isis title, Dabiq, which has appeared sporadically in recent months. Dabiq is named after a town in northern Syria where Isis believes a Koranic prophecy foretells the final victory for a Muslim army against an alliance of world armies before the apocalypse. Syrian rebel and Kurdish fighters are now less than five miles from taking the town.

    “If you put out a publication about a place you no longer control it might raise eyebrows,” said Raffaello Pantucci, the Royal United Services Institute’s director of international security studies.

    Okay, I’ve included the Charlie Winter and Raff Pantucci quotes because they’re both germane to the bigger question of how ISIS is faring these days. It’s the middle paragraph that disturbs me.

    **

    Dabiq in the Qur’an?

    On the contrary — it’s not even in David Cook‘s two seminal books about Islamic end-times writing, ancient or modern, nor in J-P Filiu‘s Apocalypse in Islam.

    Dabiq (the town) was mentioned by Abu Mus’ab az-Zarqawi (died June 2006) in a quote featured at the start of the first issue of Dabiq, the ISIS magazine (july 2014):

    The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify – by Allah’s permission – until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.

    The last page features the longish hadith that backs up Zarqawi’s point — I posted the whole thing just the other day in A Tale of Two Places – Dabiq and Rumiyah. And Will McCants gives it the detailed treatment in his fine book, The ISIS Apocalypse.

    But the Qur’an?

    Dabiq simply isn’t there. And yet three Times writers think — let me repeat —

    Dabiq is named after a town in northern Syria where Isis believes a Koranic prophecy foretells the final victory for a Muslim army against an alliance of world armies before the apocalypse.

    And so Times readers get the impression ISIS is basing its worldview on the strongest possible Islamic authority, when in fact it’s using a little-known saying attributed to Muhammed by Abu Hurayrah.

    Consider also that Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi in his respected book, Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features (pp 19-20) comments on Abu Hurayrah — who contributed more hadith to the corpus than any other single Companion —

    Bearing in mind Abu Hurayrah’s intense dedication to learning hadith, his devotion to the Prophet, and the various tests which were applied to his memory and scholarship by his contempories during his life, it appears very unlikely he himself fabricated any hadith. This does not mean, however, that material was not falsely imputed to him at a later date. The fact he narrated a uniquely large number of traditions itself did make inventing hadiths in his name an attractive proposition.

    **

    And not a fact checker in sight.

    It all kinda makes LapidoMedia‘s point, doesn’t it? We need religious literacy in journalists who deal with current events that include sugnificant religious influences..


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