Paddington the bear is traditionally known for having been found at the eponymous London station with a note saying “please look after this bear” written by his Aunt Lucy. In modern times, however, the young Peruvian with a taste for marmalade sandwiches – or Zionist infidel, depending on your point of view – could soon find himself on the business end of a cyber-fatwa.
Belvoir Fortress, south of the Sea of Galilee overlooking the Jordan Valley, was a Christian outpost of particular geo-political significance during the Crusades, constructed by the Knights Hospitaler in the twelfth century. As such it recently attracted the attentions of a group of Islamist hackers in Algeria calling itself the Dz-SeC Team, which set about defacing its website.
Or so they thought. In fact the website they defaced belonged to Belvoir Castle, nestling in the Leicestershire countryside, a former Royalist stronghold which these days finds its raison d’etre in conducting costumed guided tours and, most famously, providing the venue for the annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
Before the hack, the Teddy Bears’ Picnic homepage bore the legend: “Enjoy games, a treasure hunt, storytelling and singing with Belvoir’s big cuddly bear.” Following the cyber-jihadis’ geographically confused attack, however, the website emerged as a black page on which was emblazoned the Algerian flag and slogans in Arabic.
Downtime couldn’t help but notice the prescience of one such slogan: “The Internet does not protect the ignorant!”
And who could argue with that?