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Now, al Qaeda linked terror group takes to Twitter

Last Updated: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 15:29

Washington: Somalian-based Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al-Shabaab has reportedly taken to the micro-blogging site Twitter to win the support for its control of the country.

The move represents an attempt to counter Kenya``s military spokesperson Major Emmanuel Chirchir, who uses his Twitter to highlight the government’s success in combating the al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab opened its account titled @HSMPress, (HSM stands for Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen Press Office) on September 16, but tweeted for the first time on December 9.

Its first tweet was an Arabic phrase, which, according to the BBC, comes from the Koran and means ``In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful``.

The group updated its progress of ``martyrdom seekers``, described the Mogadishu battle and reaffirmed its ideology in a nutshell in its 23 tweets.

One Al-Shabaab tweet accused Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers of being addicted to qaat, which is enlisted by the World Health Organisation as ``a drug of abuse``.

“By time the intoxicated #TFG militia sober up from their excessive Qaat sessions, the scales of war would have turned rather significantly!” the message read.

The group currently has 927 followers, but does not follow anyone, The Daily Mail reports.

Al-Shabaab aims to topple the Somali government, and controls large parts of the country’s south, where it has imposed its own form of Sharia law.

The account is unlikely to garner support in Somalia since the country has few netizens and the group’s popularity has received a severe blow after it refused entry to UN aid workers to provide relief to drought victims.

Al-Shabaab, which means ``The Youth`` in Arabic, was formed in 2006 and is believed to have between 9,000 and 15,000 members.


First Published: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 15:29

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