by Florian Flade
You love the iPhone, iPad and all the other communication devices designed by Apple? So does al-Qaida. For the first time last week the terror network´s media wing „As-Sahab“ has published a preview-banner of a new, soon-to-be-released propaganda tape – in the shape of a new iPad 2. The GIF-animation features screenshots from the upcoming video, including stills of late al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden and American convert Adam Gadahn aka „Azzam al-Amrikki“.
Why al-Qaida choose an iPad image to announce the new tape´s release? I don´t know. But al-Qaida used similar preview banners in recent years, mostly using the shape of iPhones. For example al-Qaida´s branch in Iraq – the „Islamic State of Iraq“ – posted a iPhone4-style banner on the Jihadi forums last year to promote it´s „Battle of the Prisoners Part II“ video.
The first intention in using the Apple products seems to be a very plain and simple one: Look! We are adapting to modern Western technology! We are not stuck in the 7th century but instead use devices like smart phones and portable computers to spread the message of Jihad.
In addition to that, al-Qaida is expanding its reach on the sympathizer and fan-side by providing video and audio files that can be played, streamed or even downloaded onto a up-to-date smart phone like the iPhone 4. Within the community of Western Jihadis in Europe and North America or even just those interested in the propaganda material without supporting the organization or ideology, there are for sure more than a handful of smartphone users. So it should not be surprising al-Qaida & Co are entering the world of modern portable technology. In fact numerous terror groups have been providing 3gp-format files of their video releases for years now – especially meant to attract those spreading the propaganda on their mobile phones.