Jihad Straight to Your Ipod? AQAP’s Latest Gimmick

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) put out a new audio production through  their media outlet, Al-Malahim Media, by way of Al-Fajr, featuring former GTMO detainee, Shaikh Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, who is now a religious authority for AQAP.

I’m drawing your attention to this, not because his statement entitled, “How Could You Abandon Jihad?” was that compelling – because it wasn’t (although it was pretty alarmist) – but because of the banner graphic they used featuring a personal audio player. I’ve seen this before but for some reason I was inspired to comment this time.

The notion that kids anywhere (at least those who speak Arabic) can download a rabid jihadist statement in mp3 direct to their Ipod is precisely what thinkers like Abu Musab al-Suri had been hoping for – the convergence of new media technology, a prioritization on education and global jihadist ideology taught by actual shaikhs .  It’s a bad development for us and the key for longevity for them.

Curiously, the next generation of English hardliners have been leveraging this the “j-pod” approach (I just coined that here) actually much more aggressively than the AQ movement (the legacy left by Omar Bakri and Al-Muhajiroun) as well as the Al-Awlaki and Abdullah Faisal followers…

Just my two cents…


  1. Ibn Siqilli says:

    Great catch! I didn’t even think twice when I saw that image. Your post reminds me of a piece of artwork I wrote very briefly about from awhile back:


  2. Isn’t it ironic how the West fights oppressive states with proxies and technology to increase free speech, but then it turns on its heels and tries to destroy it when the mujahideen use it?

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Walsh. Ryan Walsh said: RT @azelin Jihad Straight to Your Ipod? AQAP’s Latest Gimmick – Jarret Brachman: http://bit.ly/c1MPw3 #NYUCT [...]

  4. Naadir Jeewa says:

    J-Pod? How will we tell the difference between Jihadis and Douglas Coupland fans?

  5. Ibn Siqilli says:

    There are no attempts to “destroy” the technology, nor does Prof. Brachman argue for such an approach.

  6. The above was not a comment on JB in particular, but on the West in general. Take the law that the UK just passed for example. The United States is also not short of its censorship advocates. Joe Lieberman is a pioneer of censorship legislation.

  7. Ibn Siqilli says:

    Indeed, Senator Lieberman is, though he started his advocacy of censorship through regulation re: video games, music, and popular culture. Many who advocate for censorship are not speaking solely, or even primarily, about jihadi groups.

  8. To see what’s on the computer in your flat we need a warrant.

    To see what’s on that device in your pocket all we have to do is stop you out on the street – and that’s if we’re playing by American rules.

    Elsewhere, we simply arrange for you and your device to part company, at least long enough for us to make a copy of all the data on it .

    Either way we get your videos, your contacts, your login credentials for assorted social networking websites and email accounts, not to mention everything you [thought you had] erased. The Umm isn’t going to be very happy with you when we show her *that* stuff.

    And how will we know where to find you? That’s the beauty of it – your device will tell us where you – and it – are.

    Freedom of speech? You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

    So by all means keep talking. When you talk you’re working for us.

  9. Matt says:

    I am still bowled over when I see stuff like this. Is there a more glaring instance of hypocrisy? The Taliban banned toothpaste, music, and movies all while using Russian made AIRCRAFT and the internet to spread their message. In their version of a perfect world where they are the kings do they get to keep using the internet or are they chained to the dark ages like the rest of us?

    More proof that the global jihadi mentality is an exercise in insanity and irrationality.

  10. Joey says:

    Nice post Aaron.


  11. Cindy says:

    Aaron said in part, “And how will we know where to find you? That’s the beauty of it…”


  12. [...] a recent blog post, Mr. Brachman noted signs of growing technical sophistication from the Yemeni militants’ [...]

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