Twitter Allows Terrorist Groups, Suggests People Follow Their Pages
Terrorist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda have been turning to social media sites, including Twitter, in an effort to sway the public to their cause.
Journalist Bridget Johnson who writes the "PJ Tatler" on PJMedia.com recently clicked her Twitter "follow" button, as many in the media did, to track al-Qaeda's Twitter page "@shomokhalislam."
The al-Qaeda Twitter page was suspended on Sunday (and remains suspended), but according to Johnson it was live since last Tuesday.
Al-Shabaab continues to be live on Twitter with over 5,000 followers.
Johnson also says that after she started following al-Qaeda's Twitter page, she got a suggestion email from Twitter to follow other terrorist groups.
For those who do not read Persian, Johnson explained Twitter's recommendations:
The first suggested account, “Islam Workshop,” is connected to an al-Qaeda web forum to “rouse the believers."
The second appears to be linked to the Al-Battar training camp, al-Qaeda’s program that has offered DIY as well as hands-on terrorist advice.
The third suggested Twitter account appears linked to a Kurdistan-based affiliate of al-Qaeda.
The fourth claims to be “one of the foot soldiers” of Al-Shabaab, and posted several press photo from the Westgate [mall] attack while gloating about Shabaab’s gruesome accomplishments.
The last account, posing with the girl, is former Guantanamo Bay detainee Abdulaziz Sayer Owain al Shammari, who was arrested by Pakistan in 2001 and transferred to his home country Kuwait in 2005.
Twitter won't explain why some terrorist pages remain live, but terrorists do appear to lose their accounts if there is enough outcry by Twitter users.