9 Sep 2014

IS calls for assassination of Twitter employees

Twitter is investigating after an Islamic State user issued a direct call for the assassination of Twitter employees over the firm’s suspension of IS accounts.

An account linked to the Islamic State issued the call, via Twitter itself, for direct attacks and physical assassinations using “lone wolf” assassins in San Francisco.

“The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them,” read one of tweets written in Arabic and sent from an account named Dawla Moon, according to news site Vocativ.

The account that made the threats had 3,000 followers before it was suspended by Twitter late Monday. Most of the followers of the account had the Islamic State flag as their profile picture, indicating their allegiance.

The account stated that the attacks would be carried out on Twitter employees “by the sleeper cells of death”. The account also used a hashtag that translates as “the concept of lone wolf attacks”.

A Twitter spokesperson told Mashable: “Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials.”

A subsequent tweet stated: “Every Twitter employee in San Francisco in the United States should bear in mind and watch over himself because on his doorstep there might be a lone wolf assassin waiting.”


Islamic State supporters and jihadists have frequently found their accounts on Twitter and Facebook suspended by tech giants after the accounts fall foul of rules such as posting graphic pictures of beheadings.

Some accounts are removed when authorities such as the Metroploitan Police alert Twitter that the accounts are promoting terrorism, and thereby breaking the law.

But a number of well-known British male and female jihadists still have their Twitter accounts online, able to skirt around the rules by being careful to not be seen to be breaking the law.

One such account yesterday posted a threatening tweet first identified by Channel 4 News stating that David Cameron’s head ‘would be put on a spike’ in response to his “waging war” against Islamic State.

Channel 4 News has previously reported that Islamic State issued a strategy document outlining how IS plans to skirt the social media bans.