After two months of absence, Al-Shabaab back on Twitter.
Harar24 (Mogadishu) – The Al-Qaeda affiliated movement Al-Shabaab has opened yet another official Twitter account after a long hiatus. The Twitter account has a history of getting suspended but then reappearing shortly after, however the last suspension seems to have kept Al-Shabaab away from Twitter for what may have been the longest time, but broke their silence today. The opening of the account was welcomed by many jihadis and the account instantly gainded a large following.
The group had been getting their Twitter account suspended several times during the Westgate attack, which they claimed responsibility for, however after every suspension they were soon to resurface. During the Westgate mall attack, the group was busy “live tweeting” events from the account, something never witnessed from any jihadist movement or in jihadist history.
Al-Shabaab took to Twitter in December 2011, in its early stages the account was known for making fun of the KDF’s spokesman Maj. Chirchir and his mistakes in the English language. Over time the account evolved into one that was publicizing attacks carried out attacks by Al-Shabaab, casualties inflicted in operations and a means of reaching out to the media, journalists and the press.
Throughout this year the account had been closed eight times, opening for the ninth time today. The first time it had been suspended was in January when it threatened to kill the French national Dennis Alex whom they had abducted.
Amidst the absence of Al-Shabaab’s official twitter handle and the confusion caused thereby, fake and parody accounts started to spring up claiming to be Al-Shabaab’s official account.
Al-Shabaab’s back on Twitter now “furthering the cause of jihad” as they put it, but the question on many people’s heads remains, how long will they remain this time?