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Geopolitics

After Bin Laden: Martyrdom Celebrated In German Recruiting Video

The Islamist "Farooq the German," killed last year in Afghanistan, is now being celebrated as a martyr in a new German-language propaganda video.

An image from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan video.
An image from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan video.
Florian Flade

A new Islamist propaganda video is circulating that celebrates a young German jihadist believed to have died in a suicide attack last year in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan. In the 12-minute German-language video, the "Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan" (IMU) presents the story of the 21-year-old Islamist.

He went by the moniker "Farooq the German," having left Germany a year ago for Pakistan's Waziristan region to join the IMU terrorist organization.

"Our brother Farooq left his native Germany in order to meet his master," explains the German Islamist Yassin Chouka in the new biographical propaganda video. "If the enemy had seen him, they would not have dared to call him a terrorist."

"Farooq the German" fought a Jihad against both foreign and ethnic enemies in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, say his former comrades. In early July 2010, he decided to join a "martyrdom operation" and was subsequently killed.

"Our brother Farooq and three other Mujahideen went to Afghanistan in order to attack a CIA site in the center of Kunduz," explains the German Islamist in the new propaganda video. "They stormed the building together. After killing the guards, they executed their martyrdom operation one by one."

Farooq actually survived the first attack. While hiding under the corpses, he called a fellow soldier with his mobile phone and told him that he wanted to die a martyr's death on the spot. "Now, there are parts of his body scattered throughout the mortal world," says the man in the video.

Jihad is a duty

In the film, a photograph shows Farooq posing alongside three other Islamists, two Caucasian and one Afghan. But film footage also shows the German Islamist speaking to the camera himself.

"I would like to address some things that are happening here in Kunduz, Afghanistan," says the German. "We have recognized here that the jihad has become obligatory for all believers. My dear brothers in Germany, it cannot be that some Mujahideen lead a jihad, and that others sit at home and do nothing."

Addressing German solidiers based in Afghanistan, he says "How can you be satisfied with the fact that the German army has invaded the Kunduz and tried to declare war on Muslims, on believers (...) We are fighting a jihad so that the word of Allah is the greatest - we are not fighting for Afghanistan, not for a country."

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) does not specify which attack was committed by the German. The date given, however, leads intelligence officials to believe that "Farooq the German" was killed in the July 2, 2010 attack on the American-run Organization Development Alternatives Inc (DAI).

A 32-year-old German guard from Schleswig-Holstein was killed in the attack, while two of the would-be kamikazes were shot and killed before they were able to detonate their explosive vests.

Within the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), at least three Islamists with German ties have already died. The Bonn-based German-Afghan Javad S. was killed in Pakistan during the fall of 2009 while fighting the Pakistani army. Shahab D. from Hamburg and Bünyamin E. from Wuppertal were both killed in October 2010 during a U.S. drone attack on a house in the tribal area of ​​North Waziristan.

Several other German members of the IBU have been arrested in both Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years, and are currently awaiting trial in Germany.

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Future

Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGO — TikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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