al-Shabab’s Twitter page suspended

Twitter has suspended the Somali militant group al-Shabab’s account following its tweets threatening to kill hostages from Kenya.

al-Shabab posted a link to a video on its Twitter account featuring two civil workers from Kenya it is holding hostage in Somalia. The terrorist group set up their Twitter account in December 2011 following the deployment of Kenyan troops into Somalia to fight them.

Twitter is refusing to comment on the suspension of the terrorist organisation’s account, but maintains its rules stipulate such activity is not allowed. From the Twitter help centre: “You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

al-Shabab, which is an affiliate of the extremist group al-Qaeda, demanded that the Kenyan government release all Muslim prisoners detained for charges of terrorism. Failure to do so will cost the lives of the Kenyan civil workers.

The terrorists also made use of its Twitter account earlier this month to relay a message saying it would murder French intelligence agent Denis Allex, captured in 2009, and in a later tweet said they had done just that after a French operation to free him failed.

Over the course of the last 18 months, the terrorist group was forced out of Somalia’s main urban centres although it still operates in and controls much of southern and central rural Somalia.

Somalia is a country marred by 20 years of fighting between rival politicians, Islamist militants and clan based warlords all of which have been fighting to take over the country.

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