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Al-Zarqawi "kicked" from Iraqi militant website
25 Nov 2004 by RussusThe CIA declared another victory yesterday against desperate terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after reports that he is on the run again. But this time the lost ground is in cyberspace and the source of Zarqawi's malchance is Iraq's most prolific and vitriolic militant website.
The Baghdad based site, which receives over twenty thousand hits a day, "kicked" the 37 year old Jordanian for "prurient, juvenile behaviour" including flaming, baiting and using obscene language.
"Islamic law says that there shall be no unfair fighting tactics, such as biting, hair pulling, kicks to the testicles, and other womanly ways. We think we have correctly interpreted that law here and we will uphold it in a fitting Muslim fashion," said site owner Mullah Urfah Badee.
Urfah, who is both a webmaster and a cleric, created the site in 2001 for a few friends who wanted a quick and easy way to share videos and pictures of captives with western governments. The site now has over 500 registered members, and includes pages on topics such as blowing up embassies, dying for an unjustified cause and a who's who faction list.
But Urfah says the site is not just for those interested in crushing the western occupiers. Indeed, pages titled "burkha knitting patterns", "watercolour minaret" and "restaurant reviews" can also be found, and are mostly written by regular users. The restaurant review section is particularly well developed, rating establishments according to "number of walls still standing", and "best times to avoid the shelling".
As a Turkish "freelance fighter" explained, the trouble with Zarqawi first began in May 2003. "When someone posted a new idea about overthrowing the heathen oppressors, Zarqawi would reply with a 'rolled eyes' smiley. Nothing else. Every time."
"It was even worse when arguments flared up," said a Syrian weapons trader. "He would always retort with 'Hey man, I was in Afghanistan. Where were you?' Like he should get a f***ing medal."
Zarqawi further tested the patience of administrators by insisting he had 2,000 loyal troops, who were "the sword of Allah, cutting the maggots from the wound of Iraq". JPEG copies of CNN articles (with his name and photo highlighted) often followed these. Intelligence estimates say there are "possibly hundreds" of well-established factions in Iraq at the moment.
"I don't doubt his faction exists," sighed one moderator. "They're probably just all his dimwitted brothers and cousins." The site later received internet records that proved Zarqawi used fake user names in order to praise and encourage his own fanatical ramblings, an action known online as "sock puppeting".
Administrator Urfah summarized the website's final reason for booting Zarqawi, "Although on one hand he is someone who has deep set beliefs on the direction Iraq should take, on the other he is, as we say in Iraq, four legs short of a camel."
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