Two big stories in the U.S. this week revealed how ISIS is monitoring Twitter and using it to spread its propaganda and issue threats in entirely new and terrifying ways. The UK Daily Mail reports:
ISIS militants and their supporters are using social media to encourage protesters in Ferguson to embrace radical Islam and fight against the U.S. government.
Jihadists in Syria and Iraq and their sympathizers in the West have taken to Twitter to send messages of support to hundreds of demonstrators taking part in a ninth night of angry protests in the U.S. city following the shooting by police of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
The militants’ tweets denounce local officers for the way they have attempted to quell the violence, make reference to historic acts of police brutality, and even use the hashtag #FergusonUnderISIS in an attempt to get angry young men in the city to declare allegiance to the Islamist group.
The news comes as footage purportedly taken from the scene of the Ferguson protests appeared to show one demonstrator marching along a street holding a sign reading ‘ISIS is here’.
Although the Daily Mail notes that the sign may simply be a political statement comparing the police to ISIS, it says the “CNN footage [was] embraced by Jihadists who have claimed they prove Jihadists are already playing their part in the protests.”
Here’s an example of Jihadists calling for action in the U.S. based on Ferguson on Twitter:
Jihadists also seized on the release of the video of James Wright Foley’s beheading to target Americans on Twitter. After I used the hashtag #RIPJamesFoley, one tweeted at me a photo of his bloody decapitated head and body. Screenshot censored:
I reported the tweet but it is still up (as of August 22) at this link – GRAPHIC UNCENSORED IMAGE AT THIS LINK. If you decide to click the link, please report and block the image and account to Twitter.
Herman Cain’s former press secretary Ellen Carmichael was sent the following threatening image in a tweet that has since been removed, but the user is still active:
— محمد الزوبعي (@AbuAli4ps) August 20, 2014
There are reports that Twitter is working to remove the images and ISIS accounts, but clearly they’re not working quickly enough.