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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/25/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Twitter accounts for terrorist group have been suspended

A Twitter account called HSM Press Office began sending a series of tweets claiming to be from Al Shabab, the militant terrorist group claiming responsibility for the massacre at a Kenyan mall. The Somali-based group has had five other Twitter accounts suspended, according to the Site Intelligence Group.

In what is seen as showing off their social media savvy, the Al Qaeda-aligned rebels have used other accounts to spread their viewpoint. This has been dismissed by Kenyan officials as propaganda. The accounts have used mostly English as opposed to Somali or Arabic.

In what is seen as showing off their social media savvy, the Al Qaeda-aligned rebels have used other accounts to spread their viewpoint. This has been dismissed by Kenyan officials as propaganda. The accounts have used mostly English as opposed to Somali or Arabic.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/25/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Twitter, Al-Shabab, Kenya, mall attack, taunts, threats


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Among the tweets alleged to have been sent by the group is a warning that the bloodshed has only begun. The taunting, gloating tweets give the impression that the militants remain in control.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reported that 11 suspects were captured and five were killed by gunfire, which brought an end to the siege at the Westgate mall in Nairobi.

One of the tweets posted earlier by @HSM_PR includes a surveillance image of two gunmen inside Westgate "unruffled and strolling around the mall in such sangfroid manner," the caption reads. There's no time stamp on the footage.

Another tweet from Al Shabab's purported Twitter account says the two men pictured were among the Islamists holding hostages at the mall.

The twitter account also blames Kenya's "flagrant massacre of Muslims in Somalia" for igniting the violent standoff.

An alleged Al Shabab spokesman, in a tweeted audio link, demands that the Kenyan government stay out of Somalia - or else.

"We give this warning to the Kenyan Government and those who side with it: If it wants to live peacefully and safely, it must withdraw from our country, stop meddling in our affairs, set our captives free, and denounce all forms of fighting our religion," the spokesman says in the audio. "If you refuse to do so, you have seen what you will reap, which is only the beginning. Thus, anticipate hard days."

At least 62 people were killed in the rampage at Westgate Mall.

In what is seen as showing off their social media savvy, the Al Qaeda-aligned rebels have used other accounts to spread their viewpoint. This has been dismissed by Kenyan officials as propaganda. The accounts have used mostly English as opposed to Somali or Arabic.

The Site Intelligence Group, which monitors "jihadist threats," said the latest account is Al Shabab's sixth incarnation after Twitter suspended its previous five.

The first Al Shabab account was created in December 2011.

Twitter's terms of service says users can't post "direct, specific threats of violence against others."

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