YouTube, Facebook link Filipino terrorists to al-Qaeda, global jihad

Posted at 09/11/2012 7:43 PM

(Editor's note: This is the first part of a Rappler series and includes excerpts of Maria Ressa’s upcoming book, "10 Days, 10 Years: From Bin Laden to Facebook." Set to be published in October, it includes research done for the International Center for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore and the Naval Postgraduate School’s CORE Lab in the US.)

MANILA, Philippines - On Nov 6, 2011, a Filipino man with long hair uploaded a three-minute, 20-second video on YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine. It was a video of himself, wearing a camouflage jacket and a mask covering his face and head. He was speaking in Arabic and asking Muslims around the world to support and contribute to the jihad in the Philippines.

Identified as Commander Abu Jihad Khalil al-Rahman al-Luzon, the man on the video called on Muslims to unite and help their brethren, saying there was “no way to restore the Islamic Caliphate and the glory of the religion but through jihad.”

It was the first of its kind for the Philippines, triggering a wave of videos, letters and audio messages from Filipino jihadists which were promoted on al-Qaeda linked sites and jihadist websites like Shumukh al-Islam and Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF).

They declared allegiance to al-Qaeda online and on social networks.

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