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

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Latest update : 2013-09-24

Al Shabaab’s Western recruitment

Today on the net: Al Shabaab’s Western recruitment; a satirical video addressing sexual violence against women in India; and a marriage proposal... on a wakeboard.

Al Shabaab’s Western recruitment

Were some of the gunmen from the Somali Islamist militant group that stormed a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday and carried out a gruesome attack, Western nationals? An Al Shabaab spokesperson posted a list of names on the group’s Twitter page, before the account was removed by the social network’s moderators, and according to this list, some of the attackers were American.

Terrorists that could have been recruited from the state of Minnesota, where there is a large Somali community. For some years now, the al Qaeda linked organization has been trying to lure new members who have grown up in the United States, through propaganda videos like this one. It was aired on the Internet last month and tells the story of three trainee fighters who leave Minneapolis to join Al Shabaab training camps.

Omar Hammami, aka "The American" is or was the most famous of these Western jihadists. Born in Alabama, he would call for holy war and try to recruit people to the terror organization through his rap songs in English. He was reportedly killed on the 12th September, a year and half after posting this video message online in which he claims to have received death threats following internal conflicts within Al Shabaab. 

India: satirical video addresses sexual violence against women

A viral video by comedy group “All India Bakchod” is using sarcasm to raise awareness and address the rampant problem of sexual assault and rape of women in India. The clip entitled “It’s Your Fault” features two actresses performing in English, explaining sarcastically why women are generally to blame if they are attacked, because of what they were wearing for example, or the fact they were walking alone at night. It’s obviously tongue in cheek; it’s a way of openly criticizing the arguments perpetrators of sexual violence put forward when trying to justify their actions. The video has been met with widespread commentary online…

Web users have hailed the initiative and think using dark humour to approach a sensitive issue is a good way of reaching a wide audience. Many are saying the video should be used as part of a prevention campaign and aired on the television, adding it should be translated into the different regional dialects spoken in India, so the message can be conveyed to as many people as possible. 

But although the vast majority of people in India approve of the video, some have called the approach into question. This YouTube use for example says using humour to deal with a very serious problem may have an adverse effect. This other web user shares a similar sentiment, and worries that the irony of the clip may be lost on some people, who she fears could well take the message conveyed at its face value... 

Now trending on social networks

French web users have taken to social networks in their droves and have been posting under the hashtag #EquipedeFrancedebasket following France’s victory at the European basketball championships. France beat Lithuania in Sunday’s finals and messages have been pouring in online ever since, praising Tony Parker and his team mates for their great sportsmanship and dedication throughout the 2013 championships. Supporters are now hoping the French team will claim the World Champion’s title at next year’s tournament in Spain. 

Hacker rewarded for beating iPhone fingerprint lock

Computer Security researchers Nick Depetrillo and Robert David Graham have raised around 20,000 dollars in donations from web users to crowdfund a reward for the first person or group to hack the new iPhone’s fingerprint reader and pick the biometric lock. And it took just two days to find a winner. Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club claim they have tricked Apple’s biometric reader by printing a high resolution image of a user’s fingerprint onto a transparent latex sheet. 

Video of the day

The young women in this video is not going to forget her marriage proposal in a hurry; her boyfriend got down on one knee whilst the lovebirds were enjoying a spot of wakeboarding on a lake… as we can see in this clip which is currently doing the rounds online, she said yes!

By Electron Libre

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