Twitter ‘Investigating’ Militant ISIS Threat Against Co-Founder

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The social network said it is working with law enforcement agencies to look into an alleged militant threat against Jack Dorsey and others

Twitter is working with law enforcement agencies to investigate alleged death threats against co-founder Jack Dorsey and others by supporters of Islamic State.

An Arabic-language message posted on code hosting site JustPaste.it on Sunday called on “jihadists” to “target the company Twitter everywhere; people and buildings, don’t leave anything”, and to make the “necks” of Twitter employees “an official target for the soldiers of the caliphate and their supporters”.

cyber security

The message adds: “Virtual war upon us on the Internet will bring real war against you”, and includes an image of Dorsey with crosshairs superimposed over his face.

The message seems to have bee posted in response to Twitter’s closure of numerous IS-related accounts, following a company policy that bans “direct, specific threats of violence against others”.

“Close our accounts and we’ll come back fast,” the message states.

“Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials,” Twitter said in a statement, saying it had no “other details to offer at this time”.

Militants including IS supporters have relied heavily on messaging services such as Twitter to communicate, as well as making use of video-sharing sites to distribute recordings of gruesome violence.

While Twitter frequently removes accounts used for such purposes, it says it does not actively monitor the content of its accounts, which it says is in line with standard industry practices.

Military hack

Supporters of militant groups such as IS have also made use of Twitter and other social networks to publicise their causes, for instance in a hack of the Twitter and YouTube accounts of US Central Command in January.

A 20-year-old British citizen was arrested following that incident and charged with founding the group that perpetrated the hack.

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