You don’t need to rely on the Washington Post, or as Hugh calls it, the Bandar Beacon. You could have found out right here at Jihad Watch in May that Zarqawi was offering “religious justifications for jihad and military advice on how to conduct it.”
Jihad Watch: ahead of the curve.
“The Web as Weapon: Zarqawi Intertwines Acts on Ground in Iraq With Propaganda Campaign on the Internet,” from the Bandar Beacon, :
The jihadist bulletin boards were buzzing. Soon, promised the spokesman for al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, a new video would be posted with the latest in mayhem from Iraq’s best-known insurgent group.
On June 29, the new release hit the Internet. “All Religion Will Be for Allah” is 46 minutes of live-action war in Iraq, a slickly produced video with professional-quality graphics and the feel of a blood-and-guts annual report. In one chilling scene, the video cuts to a brigade of smiling young men. They are the only fighters shown unmasked, and the video explains why: They are a corps of suicide bombers-in-training.
As notable as the video was the way Abu Musab Zarqawi’s “information wing” distributed it to the world: a specially designed Web page, with dozens of links to the video, so users could choose which version to download. There were large-file editions that consumed 150 megabytes for viewers with high-speed Internet and a scaled-down four-megabyte version for those limited to dial-up access. Viewers could choose Windows Media or RealPlayer. They could even download “All Religion Will Be for Allah” to play on a cell phone.
Never before has a guerrilla organization so successfully intertwined its real-time war on the ground with its electronic jihad, making Zarqawi’s group practitioners of what experts say will be the future of insurgent warfare, where no act goes unrecorded and atrocities seem to be committed in order to be filmed and distributed nearly instantaneously online.
Zarqawi has deployed a whole inventory of Internet operations beyond the shock video. He immortalizes his suicide bombers online, with video clips of the destruction they wreak and Web biographies that attest to their religious zeal. He taunts the U.S. military with an online news service of his exploits, releasing tactical details of operations multiple times a day. He publishes a monthly Internet magazine, Thurwat al-Sinam (literally “The Camel’s Hump”), that offers religious justifications for jihad and military advice on how to conduct it.
Read it all.