Home Al-Shabaab Tweets Terror

Al-Shabaab Tweets Terror

Since the Kenyan army has gone into Somalia in October (during my trip to Kenya), the main Islamist group Al-Shabaab has used Twitter in its propaganda war against the Kenyan government.

It’s latest tweets, posted yesterday on @hsmpress, include photos and descriptions of two Kenyan government officials they’ve kidnapped, Fredrick Irungu Wainaina and Mule Edward.

The latest two were kidnapped from their government offices in Northern Kenya where Irungu is said to be “Registration Clerk for Kenyan Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons” and Edward a “Government District Officer (DO) for Burderi, Wajir South.”

The terrorist organization, known in full as Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen, had been accused of kidnapping tourists from coastal Mombasa and other locations in the lead-up to the October invasion. One of the tourists, a French national, died.

Al-Shabaab has been using Twitter since early December.

Kenya-based TechMtaa commented:

“The account seems to be run by someone who is taking lots of caution on how he/she logs in. The language looks so American stoking the fear that some US Islamic extremists are aiding the organisation in its terror activities. The account is mostly active at night and the user does not posts for a long time before abruptly logging off.”

The New York Times reported that the U.S. government was considering an attempt to shut the organization’s Twitter down. That has not happened. Whether holding off is a function of the ease with which a new account could be started, legal issues with a shut-down or because the account is a source of intelligence is unclear. I think the latter might be most likely.

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