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Digital Jihad? Alleged Pakistani Terror Mastermind Launches Web Site & Urges Followers to Use Social Media

Digital Jihad? Alleged Pakistani Terror Mastermind Launches Web Site & Urges Followers to Use Social Media

"We have to follow the noble deeds of our prophet...."

Over time, radical groups are recognizing the importance of social media to more readily spreading their messaging. The Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, among other groups, are harnessing the power of new media to disseminate their platforms and Islamist ideologies. And now alleged Pakistani terror mastermind Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has joined the ranks, touting the importance of these technologies to furthering "jihad."

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is reporting that Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), which is the charity arm of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has launched a new web site advertising its social media push.

It's important to note that the group, led by Saeed, is credited with implementing the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. In April, the U.S. government put a $10 million bounty on the alleged terrorist's head. The L.A. Times has more:

The move could draw the ire of the country's Islamist mullahs and conservative Pakistanis who see Saeed as a powerful voice against Pakistan's nuclear arch-rival, India. It also comes at a sensitive moment in U.S.-Pakistan relations, when Pakistani lawmakers are hammering out new ground rules for a reset of the frayed alliance following errant U.S. airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border last November.

In an announcement posted on its Rewards for Justice website...the U.S. government stated that it would pay up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who formed the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1980s and now heads up its social welfare wing, Jamaat ud-Dawa. The U.S. and India have long regarded Jamaat ud-Dawa as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba's militant activities.

In the wake of the U.S. effort to apprehend him, Saeed is apparently now stressing the need for the group to ramp up usage of new and social media. Previously, the group's web sites were shut down following the U.N. Security Council's 2009 decision to label JuD and LeT terror arms. Since that time, they have relied on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread their ideals.

MEMRI has more about the newfound web site that has emerged as well as an accompanying video:

As per its domain name details, a new website, www.jamatdawa.org, was created by the Jamaatud Dawa on May 24, 2012. The new website seeks to portray Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is wanted by India for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in a softer light. In a video message, which has been posted on YouTube and is linked from the new website, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed stresses the need for using social media to advance the mission of Jamaatud Dawa.

"We should keep in mind, first of all, our jamaati mazaj [group mindset] while working on the media. [We] should improve our moral affairs extremely," he proclaimed in the video. "And if we want to understand our group mindset and maintain a high moral standard, then the first thing is that we should pray regularly...."

As for the media -- something that conservative Islamists generally lament due to its potentially profane messaging and imagery -- Saeed said that it's a mixed bag. He also spoke about the importance of Dawa (Islamic proselytizing) and jihad:

"Media is a two-sided sword. Instead of it having an impact on us, we want to use it in an effective way. Inshallah [Allah willing, we] want to convey our message of Dawa [invitation to Islam] and kihad to the people through it. [...]

Our objective is Dawa. We are not carrying any other goal in the world. Dawa is the mission of prophets. And the Last Prophet [Muhammad], in addition to Dawa, established the dominance of Islam through the practice of jihad. We have to follow the noble deeds of our prophet...."

Here's the video, below:

Get more information about the Pakistani terror mastermind's new-found web presence here.

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