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No sex please we are Muslim

Apparently computer virus writers have created a Trojan horse which tries to disrupt visits the pornographic websites by displaying messages from the Koran.  Unfortunately a leaked report carries a different message on the Great Ramadan Offensive

The low-risk Yusufali-A Trojan horse monitors the websites Windows users are visiting. If the malware sees one of a set of trigger words (such as "teen", "sex" or "penis") in the url it minimises the window so the user cannot see its content and displays a message from the Koran instead. The message, partly written in Arabic, contains the following English text:

Yusufali: Know, therefore, that there is no god but Allah, and ask forgiveness for they fault, and for the men and women who believe: for Allah knows how ye move about and how ye dwell in your homes.

"Unlike other malware, it appears this Trojan horse isn't trying to steal money or confidential information, but acting as a moral guardian instead - blocking the viewing of websites it determines are unsavoury," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Of course, it's possible for the Trojan horse to make mistakes and block sites that are not pornographic - such as medical sites, or social sites designed for teenagers."

Once the message is displayed the malware performs a variety of other actions before forcing infected users to shut-down. All very disconcerting but there's no need for undue alarm since the Yusufali-A Trojan is not yet in the wild. It's unclear whether the malware was written as a joke, or as a serious attempt to clean up the habits of internet users.

Malware featuring an Islamic theme is rare but not unprecedented. Previous examples have include the Mawanella worm which highlighted the friction between Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the Cycle worm which contained a message about life in Iran.

According to an on-line posting less altruistic actions are in preparation. Below is taken from CNSNews.com

Report Warns of Terrorists' 'Great Ramadan Offensive'

Al Qaeda's plans for a series of spectacular terrorist strikes in October, targeting American interests as well as U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East and said to be coordinated by Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenant in Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- are the subject of a non-public report issued by terrorism experts this week.

The attacks, planned to coincide with the Muslim observance of Ramadan and dubbed the "Great Ramadan Offensive," are designed to create a "fateful confrontation" with the U.S. and Israeli forces in the Middle East, according to a May 30 letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden. The contents of the letter are referenced in the report written by Yossef Bodansky, the former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

The Sept. 2 report is accessible only to government officials on the Global Information System (GIS) database. Cybercast News Service obtained the report on the same day as its release. It warns of planned attacks in Western Europe, Russia and perhaps the continental U.S. The specific targets are believed to include airports at Schiphol in the Netherlands and Fiumicino in Italy.

Italy remains on high alert and barricades have been placed around Rome's Colosseum. "Terrorism is coming home," the GIS report quotes one unnamed German senior official. "And it's coming home to those countries whose governments may have believed they were immune from terror because for years they have provided safe haven to notorious Islamic extremists."

An associate of Zarqawi named Abu Abdul Rahman al-Jazaeri, was said to be in Italy, but could not be located by authorities, according to Bodansky, who added that Jazeiri was believed to have recently received from a Zarqawi messenger "the definitive mandate to plan and carry out a major terrorist operation in Italy."

In late August Italy announced that it was at an elevated risk for a terrorist attack. The country expelled 700 suspected militants and arrested 141 others. News organizations reported that locks to the entrances of 49 subway stations had been changed and metal barricades erected around the 2,000-year old Colosseum in Rome.
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Piecing it all together

Details of the planned attacks were pieced together from intercepted communications between top al Qaeda leaders in the latter part of August, analysis of what counter- terrorism experts described as a dramatic increase in the volume of communication among jihad forces and the observation of an unprecedented movement of jihadists and messengers around the world apparently delivering instructions.

Zarqawi, linked to numerous bombings and the beheadings of several Western hostages in Iraq, reportedly titled his letter to bin Laden, "A Message from a Soldier to His Commander."

According to the GIS report, Zarqawi's letter to bin Laden alluded to "the forthcoming grand offensive comprised of escalation in the Middle East and a series of spectacular terrorist strikes" meant to overshadow the impact of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist strikes in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The letter also indicated Zarqawi was expecting bin Laden to approve and authorize the escalation: "I think that the plan for the next stage that was drawn up has reached you or is on its way to you. O God. Make the expedition of Osama proceed toward its goal ... We await your orders as to the next stage of the plan," Zarqawi wrote.

An Aug. 8 televised message from bin Laden's overall second-in-command -- Ayman al-Zawahiri - is now viewed as the approval Zarqawi was anticipating. "What you have seen, O Americans, in New York and Washington and the losses you are having in Afghanistan and Iraq, in spite of all the media blackout, are only the losses of the initial clashes ... You will see the horror that will make you forget what you had seen in Vietnam," Zawahiri said.

The al Qaeda official's threat, according to the report, wasn't delivered until the jihad forces were organized and ready to strike.

The GIS report also cites an Aug. 21 message recorded by Zarqawi, which references the next phase of the terrorist jihad. "The [mujahedeen] in Iraq, have, praise be to God, moved the battle from the ground (in Iraq) to the land of the cross."

Zarqawi's message claimed that "[J]ihadist units have been founded in all of Western Europe, to defend the powerless within the nation. For the crimes the Crusaders have committed against the Muslims, they will reap in their own homes, God willing."

A few days later, according to GIS, a doctrinal statement from Zarqawi emerged, which stressed the priority of al Qaeda in Iraq establishing "another base that will export jihad to all parts of the world the same way the mother al Qaeda in Afghanistan was."
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'The heart and lair of the Great Satan'

Bodansky's report states that "concrete preparations for the consolidation of Islamist-jihadist springboards against the heart and lair of the Great Satan are being completed -- for Western Europe in the Balkans, for Russian and Eastern Europe in Chechnya, and for the United States in the tri-border area in Latin America."

Widespread anticipation throughout the Muslim world of the Great Ramadan Offensive was being picked up by intelligence analysts in August and then was reinforced by a slew of theological statements -- all buttressing what the GIS report calls "a forthcoming, well-coordinated global onslaught."

The marked increase in the volume of communication, both encrypted and open, exceeded that of the months prior to September 2001, the report states.

Bodansky said there is a growing awareness among Western European intelligence services of the "chatter" and activation of jihadist units, led by veterans of Iraq and Chechnya. In early August 2005 Pakistanis arrested a senior operative called Osama bin Yussaf who had detailed maps of Italian, German and British cities stored in his computer.

Germany faces the challenge of second and third generation immigrants inspired by the idea of a global jihad, the GIS report notes. Such young jihadists often hold down a regular job, have European passports and are valued assets due to their low profile, and easy mobility.

Bodansky also points to the Aug. 23 decree by Islamist rebels in Chechnya establishing an "emergency government." Details of the decree, not previously reported, inidcate that a "war leadership council" was established and would likely "implement the next cycle of terrorist strikes against Russia" as part of the coordinated global attacks.

Hurricane Katrina's message

Terrorist leaders may also have taken the devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina as a symbol that God is pleased with their plans to launch the "Great Ramadan Offensive," according to the GIS report.

"Allah has punished America with winds and water," said one imam quoted in the report. America is under "the curse of the Jews," said another.

"It's clear the jihadists regarded Katrina as a sign from God they're doing the right thing," said Gregory R. Copley, president of The International Strategic Studies Association in Washington, D.C.

In a separate analysis, Christopher Brown, research associate with the Hudson Institute's Transitions to Democracy project, warned of the strategic opening that the hurricane aftermath offers jihadists.

"If this attack is launched soon, the devastation to the American economy alone could easily far exceed that of the September 11th attacks and could be equivalent in terms of economic impact to the detonation of a small nuclear device on American soil," Brown said.

He also suggested that the timing of Zawahiri's past video messages indicates a terrorist attack may be imminent.

His first messages, on Sept. 9 and Nov. 9 of 2004, preceded the Dec. 6, 2004 attack on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Feb. 20 and June 17, 2005 video messages by Zawahiri preceded the July 7 series of bombings in London. A third set of messages - on Aug. 4 and Sept. 1 - also creates cause for concern, Brown contends.

"If the pattern that has been outlined holds true," says Brown, "then al Qaeda is very likely about to launch a new major or series of major attacks within the next month."

Copley agreed, telling Cybercast News Service that, "I think Europe is going to be a prime target, but I think there's no question the U.S. is very much on the schedule.

"There will be big things happening over the next few months," he added.

Ramadan, a religious observance which includes a period of fasting, is scheduled according to the Islamic calendar. This year it is scheduled from Oct. 4 to Nov. 2. Muslim soldiers on the battlefield are exempt from Ramadan.
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