September 12, 2007

Three GIMF Online Jihadis Arrested in Austria

Three members of the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) have been arrested in Austria. The three were involved in an online video which threatened Germany and Austria with terror attacks if they did not suspend their support of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

AP:

Interior Minister Guenther Platter said the three all second-generation Austrian citizens with Arab origins were aged between 20 and 26. He said they were believed to have contacts to al-Qaida but offered no details, saying he did not want to prejudice investigations....

Platter said two of the three were a couple. House searches were continuing, he added. The three suspects are being interviewed, he said....

In a Web statement that surfaced in March, Islamic militants threatened to attack Germany and Austria unless the two nations broke ranks with the U.S. and withdrew their personnel from Afghanistan.

Just to reemphasize, the three were not arrested for planning an attack, but they were definitely in touch with al Qaeda and had threatened an attack.

The video Howie uploaded in March can be seen here.

Last week Germany arrested three men for a plot to attack U.S. interests in Germany. More arrests were promised. I speculated at the time that the three were somehow connected to GIMF, al Qaeda's propaganda outlet in Europe. Today's arrests may be related.

GIMF is the European propaganda arm in support of al Qaeda and other radical Islamist organizations. They are also longtime 'friends' of The Jawa Report. GIMF operative know who we are. As such can I be the first to say ha-ha!

The video was first released on GIMF's Voice of the Caliphate online television station in March of this year. The station regularly played al Qaeda produced propaganda. It was especially supportive of the Chechen jihad. The "station" still maintains, although no longer updates, a website on Google's blogspot platform here.

In addition to showing and distributing al Qaeda produced videos from al Furqan and as Sahab, GIMF produces it's own documentaries in support of jihad. Recently al Qaeda in Iraq sent a thank you note to GIMF for their supportive propaganda efforts.

The web based TV station is no longer active, but GIMF is. Most GIMF publications are now released through Islamist forums. They still do videos, including the release of the hostage video of Fox News reporters Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, but their mainstay has always been an online print magazine.

The group is also responsible for the release of the terrorist "training" video game, "The Night of Bush Capturing". The climax of the game is one-on-one combat against President George W. Bush.

Until recently, GIMF also maintained a large number of connected websites, most of them running on American servers. Those GIMF websites are now offline thanks to a campaign started by The Jawa Report and with help from LGF readers, Black Flag, and Weasel Zippers.

GIMF complained loudly and publicly about the campaign against their websites and has been busy trying to rebuild and recruit more online jihadis recently. We'll see if these three arrests put a dent in their organization.

These guys aren't that hard to find, and the Europeans could easily round them up if they only tried. Reporters from Germany's Die Zeit and Spiegel TV were able to interview GIMF leaders simply by requesting an interview in the comments at their now defunct website.

Thanks to Aaron at Internet Haganah for the tip and for raising GIMF's ire by diligently chronicling the online presence of their allies. He's an inspiration to us all.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:42 AM | Comments |