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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2012-03-25

Al-Qaeda’s lone wolves

Al Qaeda appears to be recruiting “lone wolves” in Europe and the US via the web. A documentary on U.S. presidential campaign finance. And Albert Einstein’s archives are now available online.

Al-Qaeda’s lone wolves

Was Mohammed Merah acting alone? Or was he acting as part of a terrorist conspiracy? The young man, who had travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan on two occasions, claimed to be an Al Qaeda militant. But nowadays it’s no longer necessary to be part of a structured group to pledge allegiance to the terrorist network. Weakened by the death of Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s ideology is now inspiring these lone wolf attacks.

In December 2009, Nigerian man Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit during a suicide mission for the militant Islamist organization. And this has been Al Qaeda’s strategy in recent years, encourage ‘lone wolves’ to carry out attacks.

The recruitment plan consists of radicalizing young people in the US and Europe over the Internet. Al Qaeda started publishing a magazine online in 2010. Written in English it encourages Muslims in the West to carry out attacks near to their homes. The webzine features articles on handling weapons, how to make explosives, and also how to remain undetected by intelligence agencies.

The online magazine is thought to be the work of Anwar al-Awlaki, widely known for his online propaganda videos. His sermons, in which he calls for a holy war, were translated into English and also into French. This American born Iman was killed last year in a drone attack in Yemen, but his videos are still in circulation on the web.


USA: a documentary about campaign financing

Jean Nicholas Guillo and Gerald Holubowicz are making a documentary about how the US presidential hopefuls raise the money that funds their campaign for the White House, and more specifically how the 2010 supreme court decision to allow unlimited campaign contributions from businesses has affected the process. And to help fund their project the two Frenchmen are appealing to the generosity of web users.

The film makers have set up a page on crowd funding site "Kickstarter" to raise enough money to complete the documentary, which is called “Moneyocracy”. They are hoping to raise 48 000 dollars by the 13th April, with every last cent going towards making this ambitious project reality.

And to help make this happen and get web users on board, Guillo and Holubowicz have released a trailer for their documentary online, explaining what the project is all about and how democracy in America is under threat, that corporate money is now influencing elections, as businesses inject huge sums of money into the candidates’ campaigns.

Photojournalists by trade, they have also set up a website and a blog on the Tumblr platform, providing additional information on what they are hoping to achieve and so that interested web users can follow the development of the project and add their own comments along the way.


Now trending on social networks

The story has stirred up a great deal of controversy in the US. On the 26th February, Trayvon Martin, a black 17 year old, was shot dead by a man patrolling the streets as part of a neighbourhood watch program, as authorized by local law. The man said he was acting in self-defense and has not been arrested, much to the outrage of many web users, including some celebrities. They are demanding justice and calling for a full enquiry. This petition gathered over 984,000 signatures, and the US justice department has since announced the opening of an investigation.


University of Jerusalem unveils digitized Einstein archives

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is in the process of digitizing all the archives Albert Einstein bequeathed to the university he helped found. Over 80 000 documents will be available on this site upon completion offering a fuller portrait of the man behind the scientific genius. In addition to a multitude of notes left by the Father of relativity, the documents will also reveal more personal information about his private life, including correspondence with his lovers.


Video of the day

In this video Japanese dance troupe the "wrecking crew orchestra" performs one of their routines in pitch black. Inspired by the science fiction film “Tron”, the dancers are wearing light suits for this incredible performance which you can see in its entirety on sharing sites.

By Electron Libre



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