Virtually Islamic Blog

Researching Islam, Muslims and the Internet

'Islamic State'

Gille Kepel's Analysis

Gavin Mortimer, Spectator, The link between the gilet jaunes and the Strasbourg attack, 13 Dec 2018
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Russia detains 7 alleged IS, Al-Nusra supporters

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Seven Detained In Russia For Allegedly Supporting Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front, 13 Dec 2018
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Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, Don't Shut Down the Internet's Biggest Jihadi Archive, 10 Dec 2018 Read More…

UAE deportation policy

Economic Times, UAE quietly deporting IS sympathisers of Indian origin, 6 Dec 2018

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IS 'History'

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The Islamic State Research Office's Self-History

Long read, with lots of interesting detail. I haven't gone through it all yet.
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Online Radicalisation in Hawaii

USDOJ, U.S. Soldier Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS
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UK: Prosecution for spreading IS propaganda

Telegraph & Argus, CCTV operative spread graphic Islamic State propaganda, court told
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IS Telegram

BBC Monitoring, Analysis: IS steps up use of Telegram 'groups' feature
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'IS' Case

Mail Online, Muslim woman, 23, who chatted online with jihadi brides and knew about a terror attack BEFORE it happened 'didn't understand' she was a member of ISIS
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True Origins of ISIS

Hassan Hassan, The Atlantic, The True Origins of ISIS: A secret biography suggests that Abu Ali al-Anbari defined the group’s radical approach more than any other person, 30 Nov 2018
Important article from Hassan Hassan.

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Building pictures of online activity, 'Big picture' platforms boost fight against online terror activity, 29 Nov 2018
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Austrian Islamic State figure reportedly killed in Syria coalition strike

BBC Monitoring, Austrian Islamic State figure reportedly killed in Syria coalition strike
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Australia ISIS sentencing

The National, Australian court sentences ISIS supporter to 38 years in jail
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Dawn of the Code War

John P. Carlin, Inside the hunt for the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Politico Read More…

“Of Fathers and Sons” film

Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, “Of Fathers and Sons” — a Startling Film Goes Inside a Generational Apocalypse in Syria

What appears to be a depressing but essential piece of cinema (I have only viewed the trailer so far).

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IS responsibility issues

Mina Al-Lami‏ @Minalami has a significant Twitter thread on IS responsibility issues Read More…

IS Gab

Jihadoscope, Islamic State supporters boast of presence on controversial social media network Gab [via Twitter]

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The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the Islamic State’s Territorial Collapse

Liesbeth van der Heide, Charlie Winter and Shiraz Maher, The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the Islamic State’s Territorial Collapse report "In light of the territorial demise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, this report analyses the continued risks posed by IS. " Read More…

'Islamic State' Genocide: Report

NPR, Islamic State Dumped At Least 6,000 Bodies In Mass Graves In Iraq, U.N. Says

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ISIS still a 'problem' online

CNBC, ISIS may be quashed on the ground, but it's still a 'problem' online, EU security official says

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Explosive device features IS parody

Explosive device features IS parody Read More…

Anjem Choudary net restrictions

Guardian, Jailed preacher Anjem Choudary faces strict controls after release, 18 Oct 2018
"Restrictions on convicted Isis supporter cover using the internet and speaking in public."

E-jihad storage issues

E-jihad storage issues unpacked, discussing Google Drive and Dropbox. Read More…

Canadian social media IS captive

Muhammed Ali was active on IS social media:, ‘I just want to go back’: Canadian ISIS fighter captured in northern Syria speaks out

Gender specific propaganda

Nikita Malik,, Why Do We Underestimate The Role Of Women In Terrorist Organizations?, 26 Sep 2018 "It is important to remember, moreover, that Islamic State was the first terrorist organization to spearhead a systematic campaign to reach out to women – using gender specific propaganda to do so. The group later inspired others, including the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban, or TTP) to follow suit and produce content tailored specifically for its ‘jihadi sisters’, and elaborate on their role in promoting the mujahideen (fighters)."

Afaq - IT support for IS

9News, The secretive IT unit helping Islamic State supporters hide in dark corners of Internet, 24 Sep 2018 "Afaq's purpose is to help Islamic State jihadists and supporters to remain safe and secure online, while they actively recruit would-be fighters and spread violent propaganda across the Internet."

Mosul Eye

Guardian, Lucy Lamble, Small Changes, The Mosul historian who risked his life to blog about life under Isis – podcast, 26 Sep 2018 "When his beloved city was occupied by Islamic State, Iraqi Omar Mohammed was determined to document every atrocity – as anonymous blogger Mosul Eye" Essential listening

Bitcoin and IS

Kurdistan24, Islamic State using cryptocurrencies but not to launch attacks in Europe: Europol, 20 Sep 2018 "The Islamic State (IS) has used cryptocurrency such as Zcash to fund its terrorist activities online, but has not done so directly to finance attacks in Europe, the EU police agency Europol said in a recent report.

"In its 2018 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), the law enforcement agency found that, while IS continues to use the internet and cyber-tools “to spread and inspire acts of terrorism,” it had not used such means in direct attacks on European soil."

Debunking Myths on Gender and Extremism

Rachel Bryson, Debunking Myths on Gender and Extremism, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, "In this collection of papers, experts weigh in on assumptions about women’s roles in violent Islamist extremism that hold back informed policymaking."
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