Islamic State Twitter Account Wages War Against Twitter Employees
IS-related Twitter account calls for attacks on Twitter employees
NEW DELHI: A Twitter account related to the militant group, Islamic State (IS), has been issuing the group’s first direct call for attacks. However, instead of targeting politicians or policy makers, the account has been calling for attacks on Twitter employees.
The Twitter handle @dawlamoon reportedly represents Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem). The group expressed loyalty to IS in February, and claimed to have participated in the Gaza war on its behalf. Although little of this can be independently verified, and it is unlikely that the account represents official IS policy, it is nevertheless interesting as the account has thus far limited itself to posting official IS materials, news and updates.
Further, the online presence of IS is the result of a conglomeration of several accounts such as @dawlamoon, which have helped spread IS propaganda, including videos released by the group, such as the video of United States journalist James Foley’s execution. Social media platforms have attempted to clamp down on IS, shutting down accounts and prompting IS-affiliated forums to issue directives on how to avoid account suspensions and what to do if accounts were shut down.
As Vocativ.com reports, “the techniques [recommended] are simple but effective; opening new accounts by subtly changing names, usernames, passwords and pictures of suspended accounts, using numerals to replace letters and changing one character to create a similar username.”
As The Citizen reports this story, the Twitter account in question has been shut down, with the following message being displayed:
Vocativ.com however did compile the tweets, along with the translations. These are as follows:
“#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them!! Those who will carry this out are the sleepers cells of death.”
“#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks Twitter management should know that if they do not stop their campaign in the virtual world, we will the bring the war to them in the real world on the ground.”
“#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks Every Twitter employee in San Francisco in the United States should bear in mind and watch over himself because on his doorstep there might be a lone wolf assassin waiting.”
“#Attacking_Twitter_Employees is on the agenda of mujahedeen and lone wolves who are across Europe.”
Although Twitter was quick to ban the account after the death threats were issued, the account itself is proof of the Islamic State’s resilient online presence. The group has migrated from Twitter and Facebook to lesser known social media platforms such as Diaspora, initially established as a rival to Facebook. However, it’s presence on Twitter and Facebook very much remain -- with accounts using popular hashtags to further IS propaganda.