News / Asia

New Jihadi Magazine Makes Anti-Drone Appeal

Handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone, undated file image.
Handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone, undated file image.
Reuters
A new jihadi magazine set up by militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan has appealed to Muslims around the world to come up with technology to hack into or manipulate drones, describing this as one of their most important priorities.
 
The first issue of the English-language online magazine, called 'Azan,' was published on May 5, the SITE intelligence monitoring group said. It compared Azan to 'Inspire'' magazine, set up by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
 
In what appeared to be an acknowledgement of the effectiveness of U.S. drone strikes, the magazine said these were affecting the war in the Waziristan tribal areas of Pakistan — where al Qaeda is based along with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Afghan Taliban fighters.
 
Devoting a section of the 80-page issue to drones, it said these represented a challenge to the Muslim community, or Ummah.
 
"With the death of so many Muslim assets, this is one of the utmost important issues that the Ummah must unite and come up with an answer to," said the magazine, which opens with excerpts from speeches from Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
 
"Any opinions, thoughts, ideas and practical implementations to defeat this drone technology must be communicated to us as early as possible because these would aid the Ummah greatly in its war against the Crusader-Zionist enemy."
 
Western officials say drone strikes have been highly effective in disrupting the activities of al Qaeda and its allies in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Critics object to the secrecy of the drone program, question its legality and raise concerns about civilian casualties.
 
Drone strikes anger Pakistan

Pakistan — which in late 2011 ordered the CIA to leave the remote Shamsi air base in western Pakistan which it used for drones — condemns drone strikes. It has repeatedly denied cooperating with the United States in identifying targets.
 
Azan magazine accused the Pakistan Army of continuing to work with the United States — going as far as to suggest it had set up new secret bases in Pakistan to replace Shamsi. Given intense hostility to drones in Pakistan, this would be very difficult to do without detection.
 
Azan covers many areas where al Qaeda is active, from Syria to Mali, and celebrates Afghanistan as the base for the start of global jihad. Its focus, however, is on Pakistan.
 
One section is devoted to criticizing Malala Yousufzai, the schoolgirl who survived being shot by the Pakistani Taliban last year after she spoke out for her right to an education.
 
Another segment attacks the Pakistan Army for turning its back on traditional enemy India to fight in the tribal areas. Laced with references that have a strong resonance in Pakistan, it appeals to young soldiers to turn away from the military.
 
The army has been accused of fighting militants who attack Pakistan while tolerating those who focus on Afghanistan. Azan, however, says it considers the entire state apparatus — from the army to police to intelligence agencies — as the enemy.
 
The alleged evils of democracy also get their own section — echoing comments made by the Pakistani Taliban in recent weeks. They have carried out a string of attacks, mainly on liberal, secular-leaning parties — ahead of an upcoming May 11 election.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More