An American jihadist in Somalia fears his comrades will kill him. Web users from Israel and Iran campaigning for peace on social networks. And an online campaign to find bone marrow donors.
American jihadist in Somalia fears for his life
American born Omar Hammami travelled to Somalia in 2006 to join, Al Shabab. He has since become one of the leaders of the militant Islamist group. But the one they call
Al-Amriki, meaning ‘the American’ posted a video online on Friday, saying he thinks his comrades want to kill him.
Omar Hammami is wanted by the FBI on terrorism charges and up until now had been considered as Al-Shabab’s senior-most foreign fighter. He is known for his online propaganda videos and rap songs in which he calls for a holy war and urges other foreigners to join Somalia’s al-Shabab.
But his latest message could have a negative impact on the group’s recruitment efforts. Al Shabab, an Al-Qaeda aligned organization which is seeking to other throw the Mogadishu government, responded to his claims almost immediately via Twitter, saying they were surprised by the video and “the American’s” life was not in danger.
Experts are saying this affair sheds some light on rumours of divisions within Al-Shabab ranks, and more specifically between local rebels and foreign fighters. According to Florian Flade, a German journalist and terrorism expert, the Shabab recently executed Kenyan and Ethiopian recruits accused of spying.
Israelis and Iranians reach out to each other on Facebook
With the ongoing tensions between Tehran and Jerusalem and plans for an Israeli army intervention to stop Iran from going nuclear, Israeli and Iranian web users are turning to the web to express, not their hate, but their love for one another. And the idea is proving very popular.
The Internet campaign is the brainchild of an Israeli man who uses the online pseudonym Pushpin Mehina. It seeks to bring the people of Iran and Israel closer together, and let them voice their opposition to armed conflict between the two countries. Graphic designer by trade, he created a series of posters bearing peace-loving, unwarlike slogans and posted them on his Facebook page. Messages that say the people of Israel have nothing against the people of Iran, messages that web users are asked to relay on social networks to demonstrate their belief in peace.
The graphic designer has added a short message to the posters, addressed to Iranian citizens. He says most Israelis do not want to go to war with them and that everything must be done to encourage dialogue between the two countries.
There has been a positive response from Israeli web users backing this appeal for peace. Hundreds of them have posted photos incorporating the campaign logo to denounce the eventuality of military action against Iran.
Scores of Iranian citizens have also responded to the campaign, posting their own graphic designs, reciprocating their love. Demonstrating that they too want to live in peace and they feel no hatred towards the people of Israel.
Finding bone marrow donors online
France’s biomedicine agency has launched an awareness campaign on the Internet for the national bone marrow donation week. The aim is to find 18 000 extra donors online. Web users are asked to post a picture of themselves online which will be integrated into a video telling Chloe’s story; the road to recovery of a young woman diagnosed with Leukemia.
Now trending on social networks
On Friday the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, announced his intention to resign before the end of the year. And ever since, the web has been abuzz with speculation over who will replace him. British web users have been having a bit of a fun, making the most ridiculous suggestions. Some even say they would be interested in the job. Other ideas as to who would be a suitable Head of the Anglican Church include well known football manager Harry Rednapp and children’s story book character Paddington Bear.
Video of the day
France’s data protection authority, the CNIL has launched a viral campaign to help teenagers understand the impact their social network posts can have on themselves and others. The campaign’s watchword is ‘think before you click’ and is built around a series of interactive videos. The viewer takes on the role of a young person at a party, who films the various goings on, and then has to choose whether or not to share the images online. These choices will determine how the party ends, and the young person will have to take responsibility for their actions; a novel, well-made project, which is available to view on sharing sites.