You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Twitter shutters terrorist account of Somalian group

NAIROBI — The flagship Twitter account of al-Shabab, Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, was closed Friday for the second time this year, less than 24 hours after a US-based terrorism specialist reported violations of Twitter’s terms of service.

The closure comes only days after al-Shabab claimed a failed assassination attempt against Somalia’s president and tweeted that the next time the president wouldn’t be so lucky.

Continue reading below

Al-Shabab uses Twitter mainly to make claims of enemy kills and to spread its view of events in Somalia and East Africa. A United Nations report on Somalia released last month said UN specialists believe the person running the English-language account is a British member of al-Shabab.

Twitter in January suspended al-Shabab’s previous account two days after the group used the platform to announce a death threat against Kenyan hostages. Twitter’s terms of service says it does not allow specific threats of violence against others in its posts.

The extremists’ use of Twitter has upsides and downsides, say terrorism analysts. Analysts and governments can use the rebels’ Twitter postings to gather intelligence, but militants can use the accounts to spread propaganda and recruit fighters.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.