Al-Qaeda seeks geek fanatics for Jihoo!
Ricin mashup 2.0 in a cyberjihad stylee
It's official: the days of Ozzie bin Laden promotional vids featuring the fun-loving al-Qaeda big cheese holding forth at length to some antiquated VHS camcorder while lovingly fingering his AK-47 are well and truly over.
Yup, the terror organisation has now, according to this chilling report, upped its game to the point where it's "turning out high quality material, some of which rivals productions by Western media companies" and which "look like professionally edited documentaries or television news broadcasts, with flashy graphics, maps in the background and split screens".
Of couse, you're not going to find the sort of expertise required to churn out top-notch propaganda in rural Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda is accordingly "recruiting computer-savvy technicians to produce sophisticated web documentaries and multimedia products aimed at Muslim audiences in the United States, Britain and other Western countries".
Afghan Qari Mohammed Yusuf, self-confessed cameraman for Ozzie's video production outfit al-Sahab, declared: "The al-Qaeda men who are coming today are not farmers, illiterate people. They are PhDs, professors who know about this technology. Day by day they are coming. Al-Qaeda has asked them to come."
No kidding. In fact, this recruitment drive has been going on for yonks. Back in 2005, we reported that al-Qaeda had placed internet small ads punting "vacant positions for video production and editing statements, footage and international media coverage about militants in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and other conflict zones where militants are active".
What's actually scary about all this is not that al-Qaeda might at some stage decide to knock out a quality web soap opera (Decapitation Street), but that the influx of computer and net-savvy propellorheads will inevitably lead the organisation to ponder a Web 2.0 tentacle - Jihoo! - with a Google-style Ozzieplex somewhere in Tora Bora and promoting user-generated content interfaces such as Beardbook (Name: Abdul. Location: Lahore. Status: "Abdul is homicidally pissed off." Activities: Cricket, beheading foreign hostages, blowing up giant statues of Buddha, discussing finer points of Sharia law...), "Jihoo!Tube" Ricin mashup vid-sharing site, "Eternal Life™" ("suicide-bombing avatars ascend to virtual heaven to be attended by cybervirgins"), "design your custom exploding Nike trainer" ecommerce operation and "Jihoo! Maps" boasting top quality US sat images of every potential infidel target marked with a big red flashing arrow. ®
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Osamas Production Company
Al Queda always has had good production for Osama's Video chats. He is in a family palace in Saudi and inserted into the Tora-bora pics using a set or CGI. His family have the money and the resources.
It would explain why the Americans can't find him in Pakistan and the family money and influence explain why they don't look harder. If a word from a Saudi Prince can stop the SFO in their tracks then they can certainly cool the hunt for a terrorist.
After all, a DV camcorder is small portable and relatively inexpensive in Dubai so why produce with such poor quality unless it helps conceal some nifty manipulation. Most of these look like they were projected onto a screen then recorded using an old VHS camcorder, and those are hard to find these days even here, let alone the NW Frontier!
Hollywood and the CIA are not the only ones who can fake videos!
Can I get stock with that manifesto?
I want to know why you need a PhD to work at Jihoo! and do they offer stock options?
@John Foo 1. Ricin is surprisingly easy to get your hands on, 2. In practical terms, it really sucks as a weapon. ..... just a sec. door bell. hmmm someone bought a nice black suburban... hang on... oh, SNAP!
I actually downloaded the nucleotide sequence for ricin from NCBI BLAST for no particular reason. To my surprise that it was freely available (and would be a cinch to use this to design PCR primers to clone it). Strange thing was, afterwards my zonealarm was registering about 200 alerts every minute for days every time I logged on to the web. I did a whois and the information that came back said "this block of IPs are reserved for special uses" or sometihing like that. I used one of those google maps-linked whois IP locating tools and it indicated a point on the north bank of the Thames in central London. This is abosolutely true, I would encourage you to try it yourselves. Seems that us biochemists are being watched by Big Brother......