Three jihad propagandists have been arrested — one later released — in Austria, and another suspect in Canada. “Austria’s ‘Jihad by Telecommute,” by Yassin Musharbash for Spiegel:
They translated and prepared terror videos, claims of responsibility and al-Qaida propaganda on the Internet. Austrian police have now attributed this handiwork to the Global Islamic Media Front and the leader of this network is reportedly among the arrested.
It’s been three weeks since the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) put out an ad for a translator to help with the growing workload in terror news. “Brothers and sisters with English language skills are especially sought,” wrote a GIMF member. “We’re looking for someone with time to sacrifice for Allah and thereby support the jihad.” Instructions were to send an e-mail response, after which one would receive “a little job” in return.
“Jihad by Telecommute” could have been GIMF’s business slogan. For almost two
years it operated a pair of Internet sites in German, one of which used a discussion forum to publicize acts of terror committed by bin Laden & Co. No one else in the German-speaking world was more effective at this task.
At least until Wednesday, when Austrian police took three people into custody believed to be connected with the site — including two men, 26 and 21, and a 21-year-old woman. They are accused of having been involved in the production of a video published on the GIMF homepage on March 11 that showed a disguised Arabic-speaking spokesperson threatening attacks in Germany and Austria if those countries did not withdraw their soldiers from Afghanistan.
One line from a video asking the question, “Is it not dumb to embolden the mujahedeen to carry out attacks in your country?” proved particularly worrisome to the authorities.
One has since been freed, though there is also a suspect in custody in Canada. “Austria frees one in Internet Islamic threat case,” from Reuters:
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian authorities on Friday freed one of three people arrested on suspicion of posting a video message on the Internet threatening attacks on
Austria and Germany, a judiciary spokesman said.
A fourth person is in custody in Canada in connection with the same case of links to al Qaeda.
In Austria, a Vienna judge released a 26-year-old man for lack of sufficient evidence that he committed a crime, judiciary spokesman Christian Gneist said.
Austrian authorities said they decided to close in on the suspects after learning that the man and wife were about to leave the country to go to Egypt for their honeymoon.
The suspect arrested in Canada had also been about to leave the country, Austrian authorities said.
Lastly, two other details from Agence France-Presse:
Public security chief, Erich Buxbaum, said the three, all resident in Vienna, were second-generation Austrian Muslims whose families came from the Arab world.
“It was a conspiratorial network but we have no concrete evidence of planned terrorist attacks in Austria or elsewhere,” he said.
Nevertheless, wiretaps carried out before the arrests allegedly revealed discussion on how to handle explosives, he added.