After Taliban, al-Shabaab logs on to Twitter

Last Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 18:16

London: After Taliban in Afghanistan, an
Islamic terrorist group has opened a Twitter account as it
bids to win a PR war in the bloody battle for control of
Somalia.

Al-Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda, registered the
account @HSMPress on September 16 but only delivered its first
tweet yesterday, The Daily Mail reported on Friday.

The name of the account gives some idea of why it has been
created; the initials stands for Harakat Al-Shabaab Al
Mujahideen Press Office.

They currently have 1010 followers but follow none.
The Taliban too had opened a twitter account to espouse
its view in just 140 characters.

In September, as the guns fell silent in Afghan capital
Kabul after a 20-hour stand-off between NATO forces and
Taliban, the two sides had began another battle: on Twitter.

Both sides exchanged a series of tweets against each other
before they fell silent.

@HSMPress has posted 24 tweets till now.
The move onto Twitter could be seen as an attempt to
counter the widespread message of Kenya`s military spokesman
Major Emmanuel Chirchir, who uses his own Twitter account to
highlight the government forces` success in battling
al-Shabaab to his 10,000 followers, the UK daily reported.

Al-Shabaab wants to overthrow the Somali government and
controls large swathes of the country`s southern territory,
where it is believed to have imposed its own strict form of
Sharia law.

The terror group has claimed responsibility for the July
2010 attacks on Kampala in which 74 people died and is accused
of launching terrorist attacks on Mogadishu over two days in
August 2010 which killed more than 300 people.

The group has also claimed responsibility for an attack on
October 4 this year in which a truck filled with explosive was
driven into a Somali government ministry, killing 139 and
injuring 93, the daily said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 18:16

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