Somalia's al Shabaab rebels back on Twitter after suspension

MOGADISHU Tue Feb 5, 2013 3:50pm IST

Related Topics

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's Islamist al Shabaab militants, who have used Twitter to announce assassinations and bombings, are back on the microblog service two weeks after their account was suspended.

" will function like the one they closed," a spokesman who declined to be named said on Tuesday.

Al Shabaab's previous official Twitter account was suspended around January 24, days after group, which is aligned with al Qaeda, used the social media site to threaten to kill two Kenyan hostages.

The group tweeted a link to a video of the abducted civil servants and threatened to kill them unless the Kenyan government released all Muslim prisoners in its jails.

Twitter rules say threats of violence are forbidden but the site declined at the time to comment on why al Shabaab's account, which had thousands of followers, had been suspended.

Al Shabaab's Somali- and Arabic-language Twitter accounts were never closed.

The new account, using the handle @HSMPRESS1, has attracted over 1,100 followers within two days.

Al Shabaab wants to impose its strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, across Somalia. However, it has lost significant territory in the southern and central parts of the country in the face of an offensive by African Union troops.

(Writing By Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia and Kevin Liffey)

FILED UNDER:

Tech Roundup

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Killer Unmasked

Killer Unmasked

'Jihadi John' killer from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner.  Full Article | Video 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Ab Tak Chhappan 2" is a futile film: Shilpa Jamkhandikar  Full Article 

DLF Penalty

DLF Penalty

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty.  Full Article 

Fresh Charges

Fresh Charges

Canadian woman accuses Bikram yoga founder of sexual assault.  Full Article 

Maid Abuse Case

Maid Abuse Case

Hong Kong woman jailed for six years for abusing Indonesian maid.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage