Twitter, begun as an online social networking and micro-blogging service in English in 2006, has since gained popularity in other languages, including Arabic across the Arab and Muslim world. Recent research on Twitter users shows that Arabic is now the fastest-growing language on the site, with the number of Arabic-language tweets 22 times greater than it was a year ago. One segment of this group is members of jihadi and terrorist organizations.
As part of their online media strategy, jihadi organizations have in recent years begun using Western websites and technologies – uploading videos to YouTube and to the Internet Archive, creating official Facebook pages, and, lately, “tweeting” news flashes from the jihadi fronts (see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 849, “HASHTAG #Jihad: Charting Jihadi-Terrorist Organizations’ Use Of Twitter,” June 21, 2012, http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/6470.htm).
One notable example of how online jihadis are using Twitter against the U.S. military is a jihadi’s tweet linking to a YouTube video with footage of what were identified as U.S. Marines arriving in Port Salif, in western Yemen, on June 30, 2012. The tweet, from an account registered to one “Abu ‘Abd Al-Rahman” (@zoom6061), noted that the Marines’ arrival was “an opportunity for the mujahideen to taste the flavor of white meat.”
Abu ‘Abd Al-Rahman’s Twitter page
To request a full copy of this MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor report, send us an email with the report title, number, and date in the subject line, and include your name, title, organization, and official contact info in the body of the email.