Angry that its Twitter accounts have been repeatedly shut down, the Islamic State is apparently urging followers to kill employees of the social media site.
A message in Arabic titled “Twitter is in range of the Caliphate” was posted Sunday on the Web site JustPaste.it, which the terrorist group frequently uses to publish messages.
“We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back,” it read. “… Your virtual war on the Internet will pull you into real wars on Earth.”
The threats, initially reported by Buzzfeed, were accompanied by a digitally altered image showing Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in the crosshairs of a gun.
“How will you protect your helpless employees, Jack, when their necks become a target for soldiers of the Caliphate and supporters scattered in your midst?” the post read.
Twitter’s terms of service ban posting direct, specific threats of violence or to further illegal activities. The company said it has identified thousands of accounts affiliated with the Islamic State, most of which have been suspended by company administrators.
But a 2014 article on the Islamic State’s social media presence in the Geopolitical Monitor said that many accounts continue to fly under the radar, and new handles are swiftly created to replace deleted ones. The group has continued to use Twitter to share graphic videos of its killings and to encourage followers in the West to carry out attacks on their own.
The JustPaste.it message — also, ironically, posted on Twitter — called on “individual jihadis” worldwide to target the company. For extra-dramatic effect, it also described an imagined scene in which an Islamic States sympathizer slits the throat of a Twitter employee.
“Don’t allow any one of the atheists to survive,” it read.
A spokesman for Twitter, Jim Prosser, told BuzzFeed that the company’s security team is investigating the truth of the threats in conjunction with law enforcement.
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