Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 4 Issue: 40


A man holding dual Moroccan and German citizenship has discussed the code used by Islamist militants on the internet chat rooms during his trial on terrorism charges in Schleswig, Germany. Identified only as Redouane al-H., the suspect was arrested by German police in 2006 for recruiting suicide bombers for attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. Redouane claims to have taken an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden and is also believed to have been an associate of the “Hamburg Cell” behind the 9/11 attacks. In detailed testimony Redouane explained the simple code used by Islamists on the internet. Explosives were “dough,” suicide bombers were “taxi drivers” and “getting married” was to die as a martyr. If a brother was “sick,” this meant that he was under detention. The suspect claims that the terrorist group he is alleged to have formed was actually a relief mission for Darfur (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 29).


Thorarinn Jonsson, a student at Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) is facing mischief charges after deciding to explore the artistic dimension of terrorism by leaving a realistic-looking bomb at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on the evening of November 28. The device consisted of what appeared to be three pipe-bombs with wires and a circuit board, tucked into a plastic liquor store bag with a note that said “This is not a bomb.” At the same time two videos were posted to the YouTube video-sharing website. Entitled “The fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto, 28.11.07,” they showed a girl walking through the museum before what appeared to be an explosion (National Post, November 29). The hoax cost the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research at least $100,000 when a gala fundraiser being held at the museum had to be evacuated.

Apparently successful in achieving his 15 minutes of fame, the 25-year old “artist” was clearly unrepentant afterwards, claiming he “expected police to immediately realize what they were dealing with… the most I expected was the museum would be closed a little bit early.” Jonsson also ridiculed the massive security effort involved in evacuating the museum, calling in experts to defuse the suspected bomb and closing one of Toronto’s busiest intersections for hours: “Police waste their time all the time doing all kinds of things” (CityNews, November 29). Jonsson also explained the artistic importance of his work: “I’m taking something that’s clearly a sculpture. It’s clearly not a bomb. But by taking it out of context and putting it into another context, by leaving it lying around… It suddenly takes on a different meaning.” In recent years OCAD students have sought to make a name for themselves in the artistic community by intentionally vomiting on masterpiece paintings in art galleries and videotaping the skinning of a live cat.