From The Australian, on July 31st:
Hunted in reality, jihadists are turning to artificial online worlds such as Second Life to train and recruit members, writes Natalie O'Brien
THE bomb hit the ABC's headquarters, destroying everything except one digital transmission tower. The force of the blast left Aunty's site a cratered mess. Just weeks before, a group of terrorists flew a helicopter into the Nissan building, creating an inferno that left two dead. Then a group of armed militants forced their way into an American Apparel clothing store and shot several customers before planting a bomb outside a Reebok store.
This terror campaign, which has been waged during the past six months, has left a trail of dead and injured, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars' damage. The terrorists belong to a militant group bent on overthrowing the government. But they will never be arrested or charged for their crimes because they have committed them away from the reach of the world's law enforcement agencies, in the virtual world known as Second Life.
(Nice one, guys, making your poor newspaper readers plough through three paragraphs — nearly 150 words — before admitting that you're describing events in an imaginary world.)
Meanwhile, back in March, I wrote:
Some time in the next year or so, I expect to wake up one morning and see a newspaper headline in my RSS reader: "TERRORIST TRAINING CELL RAIDED IN SECOND LIFE".
This doesn't mean that Osama bin Laden is a gamer, or indeed that there are any terrorists in SL. (Au contraire, real terrorists are more interested in blowing shit up than playing games.) Worst case: some whack jobs will figure out that SL — or it could be WoW or EO — is a cheap tool for multi-user chat that isn't currently being monitored by the feds. (Expect this window of opportunity to close about ten seconds after this article is published.) What such an article will really signify is that the mainstream press have finally discovered MMOs.
I called that one in print on March 27th, and you can find the whole article at Guildcafe.
It's a bit soon to call full house, and realistically speaking it's trivial, but I felt the need to share; there's nothing as heartening to a jobbing SF author as actually having one of their concrete predictions come true, on schedule (especially when you're engaged in the final death march to finish off a book).