Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) supporters are sending up to 100,000 messages a day on social networking site Twitter to plan attacks, the European Union’s law enforcement agency chief has warned.
Europol director Rob Wainwright warned that ISIS – which most recently claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks on a Tunisia museum – is believed to have up to 50,000 different Twitter accounts tweeting up to 100,000 messages a day, the former intelligence officer told a BBC radio station.
“As the communications of terrorist networks and criminal groups have moved increasingly [online], it’s opened up a whole new wave of problems for us,” said Wainwright, in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“There is a significant capability gap that has to change if we’re serious about ensuring the internet isn’t abused and effectively enhancing the terrorist threat.”
Current web data laws are “deficient,” and need to be re-examined to make sure security agencies can monitor all parts of the internet, he said, including the so-called “dark net” that enables users to use the internet anonymously on encrypted sites.
Europol – which supports police forces across Europe – is currently setting up a referral unit to earmark and shut down sites being used by organizations deemed to support terrorism.
However, the Hague-based Europol has no executive powers.
ISIS, who have taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria and spawned splinter groups across the Arab world, is widely known to use social media networks to spread propaganda and draw in foreign recruits.
I started iranaware.com as a hobby in 2005 & over the years it has grown into literaly a full time job all on its own. My hopes & desires for the funds are to cover the start up costs to take iranaware.com to the next level and Ill handle the rest. I want to add storage, high def video, & a much more modern site all together, where Ill be able to provide more quality content. Also the faith & support of you people in helping out with the site will give me a mental boost that Im doing what is right not just for myself but for the whole free world. ( I get a lot of death threats for doing it as well.) But, I am not scared of them so BY achieving this goal, it will entail me to keep the site running 100% free of cost & free of ads as well. I average about 3-5 hours a day doing research & keeping up on it all so every little bit helps trust me. I spend my days caring for my 93 yo grandma with dementia so when I say it all helps, I truly mean it
I will be upgrading all the content, posting the entire Islamic State video collection as well as releases from Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, al-Nursra & more. I also will have a helper to ensure that quality & the truth about radical Islam is available 24/7 for those that are not too scared to hear it. As the only country on this great Earth with little things like freedom of speech, our rights are being more & more eroded each day, & we must band together and protect each other. Also, other major items to continue to be covered daily is the slow extermination of Middle Eastern Christianity, & the continual threats against Israel that must be documented, no matter how much the US Government & the United Nations tries to cover it up. As of now iranaware.com is averaging around a 100,000 plus unique visitors a year, lets help move that up to a 1-200,000 a month.. I love doing this, and considering we reach so many, we cant stop here.
Don’t just look at it as helping me & the website iranaware.com, look at it as helping us all spread awareness to what could turn out to be preparing for the next true world war
Thanks, American Infidels
If you can spare it, even if its a 1.00, it all helps with the cause. Any excess funds will be donated to Boston area charities!
Please, a thousand thank-yous, & long live the United States & a Free Jewish State of Israel
and dont forget..
Twitter announced on Wednesday plans to set up an office in Dubai, the social media platform’s first in the Middle East and North Africa.
Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s vice president of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Emerging Markets, made the announcement during the ongoing Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai.
“Mena is a key strategic market for us and our new Dubai office will serve as the focal point to help our development across the region,” Shailesh Rao said during the summit.
“Dubai is a regional hub for many brands and advertising agencies and we are excited to build a team on the ground here who can work with partners directly, helping them get the most out of Twitter,” he added.
Rao also made the announcement on Twitter.
The social media micro-blogging platform is massively popular in the region, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE having the largest number of users.
The number of active Twitter users in the region has grown steadily to 5.8 million at the last count last year 2014 by the Arab Social Media Report, while worldwide there are about 288 million monthly active users, according to Twitter.
- Militants use social media to ‘impact on how the world perceives ISIS’
- They spread propaganda online and use social networks for recruitment
- Tens of thousands of Twitter accounts are currently controlled by ISIS
- As soon as one account is deleted, the terrorists set another one up
- Information was revealed in a new report by US-based Brookings Institute
Web-savvy militants fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq could control as many as 90,000 Twitter accounts worldwide, allowing them to spread their sickening propaganda with ease.
The terror group is able to ‘exert an outsized impact on how the world perceives it’ because of its shrewd use of social media and sheer number of online followers, terror experts have concluded.
Recommendations in the report by the Washington-based Brookings Institute report include governments and social media companies working together to find new ways to tackle the problem of pro-ISIS accounts spreading horrific murder videos and images and jihadist rhetoric.
The report, by Brookings academic JM Berger and technologist Jonathon Morgan, says: ‘While we do not believe that any mainstream social media platform wishes to see its services used to further acts of horrific violence, we also suspect some would rather not be bothered with the challenge of crafting a broad and coherent response to the issue.
‘While we can sympathise with the challenges and dilemmas such a response would entail, it is clear that social media companies do feel an obligation to respond to some social standards and illegal uses of their services.
‘We are not aware of any major company that takes a hands-off approach to the use of its platform to promote child pornography or human trafficking – or, less dramatically, phishing, spam, fraud, and copyright violations.
‘Extremism, while raising thornier issues, merits attention, especially when faced with a rising challenge of violent groups who manipulate platforms to reap the rewards of spreading images of their cruelty.’
The study of ISIS-linked accounts between September and December estimated there were between 46,000 and 70,000 IS-supporting Twitter accounts, with the researchers believing that the true figure was towards the lower end of this scale but setting an absolute maximum at 90,000.
It argues that the problem also applies to other social networks and extremist groups such as far-right organizations.
Brookings’ analysis was based on ‘robust’ data collected about 50,000 accounts, and partial information about a further 1.9 million.
Only a small number of the accounts were able to have their locations identified, as most had this function switched off. But of those that could be located, the vast majority were in the Middle East and North Africa. Other were found in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Australia, but these numbers were in single figures, the report found.
They noted that platforms including Facebook and YouTube have already introduced changes aimed at tackling extremist material.
Twitter had started suspending accounts linked to ISIS by the time the research was started, but the authors said this created a new risk, arguing: ‘While suspensions appear to have created obstacles to supporters joining Isis’s social network, they also isolate Isis supporters online.
‘This could increase the speed and intensity of radicalisation for those who do manage to enter the network, and hinder organic social pressures that could lead to deradicalisation.
‘Further study is required to evaluate the unintended consequences of suspension campaigns and their attendant trade-offs. Fundamentally, tampering with social networks is a form of social engineering, and acknowledging this fact raises many new, difficult questions.
‘Social media companies and the US government must work together to devise appropriate responses to extremism on social media.
‘Although discussions of this issue often frame government intervention as an infringement on free speech, in reality, social media companies currently regulate speech on their platforms without oversight or disclosures of how suspensions are applied.’
AP/ISTANBUL – Turkey filed over five times more content removal requests to Twitter than any other country in the second half of 2014, data published by the micro-blogging site showed on Monday.
The figures are likely to reinforce fears of a crackdown on Internet freedom in the predominantly Muslim NATO state where President Tayyip Erdogan has said he is determined to stamp out what he sees as illegal online activities.
Twitter’s transparency report showed Turkey filed 477 content removal requests between July and December, an increase of more than 150 percent compared to the first six months of 2014.
Russia and Germany followed with 91 and 43 removal requests respectively. Overall, government requests for removal of material were up by 40 percent.