On December 10, 2012, the Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group Al-Shabab Al-Mujahedeen posted links via Twitter to the most recent speech of its leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubair. It is the first time the group has used Twitter for this purpose.
This unprecedented move was due to the hacking and shutdown, starting last week, of major jihadi forums trusted by jihadi groups.
The group’s Twitter account, which has over 17,000 followers and has been active since December 2011, usually posts news and images of the group’s activities, particularly its military operations.
Using twitlonger.com, a service enabling the posting of tweets longer than 140 characters, the group provided dozens of links for downloading the new video, and the password to do so. A transcript of the video was later posted as well.
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Since the shutdown of jihadi forums, pro-jihad Twitter users have launched a campaign to repost jihadi statements and media productions, to counter the attacks on the forums.