print
memri
February 9, 2012 No.
798

Second-Tier Al-Qaeda Activists Embrace Twitter for Online Jihad: The Case of the Ansarullah Blog

Introduction

Twitter has become an important social media website for terrorist organizations in their media jihad. As the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) has documented, groups such as the Somali Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahedeen,[1] the Taliban,[2] Hizbullah,[3] and Hamas,[4] along with an ever growing list of terrorist organizations are now actively tweeting.

Al-Qaeda, too, is active on Twitter, using it along with Facebook and YouTube in its media campaign to disseminate propaganda and to reach followers and potential recruits. The organization has always depended on its official, affiliated, and second-tier websites, as well as on online activists, to advance its philosophy.

Growing List of Al-Qaeda Groups Now Tweeting

Other Al-Qaeda sympathizers and media affiliates on Twitter include: Jihad Al-Ansar Media,[5] Nukhbat Al-I'lam Al-Jihadi,[6] Ribat Media Center,[7] and many others. Al-Qaeda's most important English language forum AMEF (Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum) is also very active on Twitter;[8] its Twitter efforts are supported by an entire network of online activists and groups.

Al-Qaeda Forums Urge Followers to Tweet

A recent example highlighting Al-Qaeda's efforts is a January 12, 2012 post on the Al-Qaeda-affiliated forum Al-Fidaa, by member "Al-Murabit Al-Maqdisi" announcing the launch of a new Twitter account called Jihad News (twitter.com/#!/slfeps). Noting that its aim is to disseminate news concerning jihad groups and messages from the groups' leaders, Al-Murabit Al-Maqdisi invited members of Al-Fidaa and of the other forums on which he posted the announcement to follow him on Twitter; an illustrated guide instructing online jihadi supporters on how to open a Twitter account to follow Jihad News was attached to the post.[9]


Al-Murabit Al-Maqdisi's announcement on Al-Fidaa

The post on Al-Fidaa read: "My brothers and sisters, supporters of jihad and the mujahideen everywhere. I pray to Allah, Lord of the universe, to accept our righteous actions. With the grace of Allah, a new Twitter page has been launched under the name 'Jihad News.' This page will share news of jihad and the mujahideen from everywhere in the world. It will also publish speeches by the leaders of jihad, as well as Koranic verses, sayings from the hadith, the words of scholars, and other things. It will also be possible to follow what is published on the page via mobile phone."


Instructions from the post explaining how to open a Twitter account

Ansarullah's Twitter Account Follows Jihad Groups, Redistributes Al-Qaeda Content, and Propaganda

One of the second-tier online Al-Qaeda affiliates now tweeting is the Ansarullah English Blog, ansarullah.ws/en/, whose motto, "With a Guiding Book and a Championing Sword," appears on its website. It is hosted in Germany, and first appeared online on March 28, 2010; six months later, on October 24, 2010, it launched its Twitter account, twitter.com/#!/ansaruddin1. Its avatar is the black Al-Qaeda flag, and the image on its Twitter page is a sword. To date, it has posted over 4,500 tweets, in the following categories: following jihadi organizations, redistributing content from jihad media outlets, posting videos and sermons of jihadi religious figures, and posting news relating to the U.S. war on terror, including items related to homeland security and Western jihadists (see Appendix I).

On February 6, 2012, Ansaruddin tweeted detailed information on the new U.S. presidential and VIP aircraft Mystic Star communication system. The tweet included images from the White House Flickr account and information from the website of the company that developed the system (see Appendix II).


ansaruddin1
Censored31 : A unit of the MYSTIC STAR communications system installed on presidential and VIP aircraft f... http://bit.ly/wjHGOf #JIHAD
February 6, 2012

Ansaruddin also uses its Twitter account to officially assist with distributing content from Al-Qaeda's main web forums, among them Shumoukh Al-Islam, At-Tawba, and AMEF, as the following January 5, 2012 tweet highlights:


ansaruddin1
we can send our question through this networks : Al-Fida Islamic Network, AMEF Network Al-Shoumukh Islamic Network GIMF Official Blogspot
January 5, 2012

Jihadi/Terrorist Organizations Followed By Ansarullah Twitter Account

Al-Qaeda Central; Taliban; TTP; Al-Shabab; Abdullah Azzam Brigades; ISI; Boko Haram; Sharia4France; Islamic Party of Turkestan; Jihadi Fronts in Pakistan; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan; Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; Jama'at Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad in Philippines; and Al-Mulathimun.

Jihadi Fronts Followed By Ansarullah Twitter Account

Afghanistan; Pakistan; Somalia; Syria; Kenya; Uzbekistan; Indonesia; Russia; Chechnya; Kashmir; Sudan; Libya; Yemen; the Caucasus; the United States; and the United Kingdom.

Jihad Media Organizations Followed By Ansarullah Twitter Account

Al-Sahab Media; Al-Furqaan Media; KavKaz Center; Sawt al-Islam; Jund Allah; GIMF; Al-Kataib Foundation; Al-Malahem Media; Al-Andalus Media; Paktivea Mujahideen; Ahya al Islam Network; Al-Fajr Media; Madad News Agency; Al-Qimmah Forum; Ansar al-Mujahideen Arabic Forum; IslamDin; Voice of Islam (Uighur Video); Salafimedia; Abna-e-Hafsa Studio; and Jund Al-Khilafa.

Al-Qaeda and Other Jihadi Leaders Followed By Ansarullah Twitter Account

Ayman Al-Zawahiri; Osama bin Laden; Abu Yahya Al-Libi; Abu Baseer al-Tartusi; Ibrahim Al-Rusbaish (AQAP); Fahd Al-Quso (AQAP); Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi; Anjem Choudary; Attiya Al-Libi; Anwar Al-Awlaki; and others.

Appendix I: Notable Tweets On Homeland Security News, U.S. Army Casualties, U.S. Laws Relevant to War on Terror, News on American Jihadis

ansaruddin1
AMEF : ::: Commander ::: New Images of Sheikh Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki | 2012 | (May Allah protect him): Ima... bit.ly/z2WpE1 #JIHAD
January 7, 2012


ansaruddin1
Ansaraullah.ws : For The Individual Mujahid – DHS Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program: ??? ???? ?????... bit.ly/ww4JXj #JIHAD
January 7, 2012


ansaruddin1
AMEF : Four Indiana-based National Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan: As'Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa...bit.ly/y3Lxps #JIHAD
January 8, 2012


ansaruddin1
Ansaraullah.ws : Ansar Al-Islam Group (English): An Important Statement from the Leadership of the Group:... bit.ly/ymCGJ8 #JIHAD
January 9, 2012


ansaruddin1
Ansaraullah.ws : GIMF: Important and Urgent Warning to Our Members – Statement Regarding the Distribution... bit.ly/yfCbKi #JIHAD
January 9, 2012


ansaruddin1
AMEF : Feds charge ex-Kosovo man in Florida Islamic plot: As'Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh... bit.ly/wxOI6y #JIHAD
January 9, 2012


ansaruddin1
AMEF : Ex-US soldier charged with trying to join Shebab: rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/09/…... bit.ly/zJUT58 #JIHAD
January 9, 2012


ansaruddin1
IslamPolicy.com : : Seeking Clarification: A Reaction to my Arrest for South Park Opposition By Younus Abdul... bit.ly/xkvz6O
January 10, 2012


ansaruddin1
AMEF : News about the release of sheik Abu Musab Al-Suri: Image:aawsat.com/2011/08/24/ima…... bit.ly/xlQtb5 #JIHAD
January 11, 2012


ansaruddin1
Support the Aseerun: Iraq War Veteran Arrested for "Secret" Conversion to Islam & Desire for Hijjrah: A criminal... bit.ly/Au1Mba
January 11, 2012


ansaruddin1
Young US Muslims face sentencing for material support conspiracy so vague, government can't... bit.ly/xY8dev
January 12, 2012


ansaruddin1
Ansaraullah.ws : Al-Malahem (Arabic/English Video): The Martyr of Dawaah (Biography of Sheikh Anwar Al Aw... bit.ly/xJcFR1 #JIHAD
January 12, 2012


ansaruddin1
AMEF : Al Qaeda in Yemen targets more American recruits: Anwar Al-Awlaki may have been killed in a drone ... bit.ly/yz3YPb #JIHAD
January 12, 2012

Appendix II: Information on U.S. Presidential and VIP Aircraft Communications System

A unit of the MYSTIC STAR communications system installed on presidential and VIP aircraft for global communications

This device below is shown in a White House photo of Marine One uploaded to Flickr on January 31, 2012. It appears to be embedded in a side table and rotated open from a closed position. Note angled position for easy access from the president's seat.


President Barack Obama and Brooke Anderson, NSS Chief of Staff, look at the Washington Monument while aboard Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md., Dec. 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/6797286201/in/photostream

The unit appears to be similar to this Esterline Palomar airborne communications system for VIP aircraft: VH-3 and VH-60 are the two Marine One ships. VH-71A is the planned replacement of the older ships.
http://www.esterline.com/communicationsystems/AvionicsSecureComm/AirborneComm/PalomarPrograms.aspx

http://www.esterline.com/communicationsystems/AvionicsSecureComm/AirborneComm/PalomarAirborne/CCS2100Units.aspx
These Palomar TEMPEST qualified secure ICS units are flying on P-3s, C-130s, VIP helicopters, Airborne Laser, WASP and other military airborne platforms.

Posted Yesterday by Censored31

*Steven Stalinsky is the Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute.

Endnotes:

[1] Steven Stalinsky, "Somali Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabaab Tweets Jihad and Martyrdom," December 13, 2011, Somali Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabaab Tweets Jihad and Martyrdom

[2] Steven Stalinsky, " Why Haven't The Taliban's Twitter Accounts Been Shut Down?"Why Haven't The Taliban's Twitter Accounts Been Shut Down?

Why Haven't The Taliban's Twitter Accounts Been Shut Down?

[3] Steven Stalinsky, "Twitter Continues To Evade Explaining Its Breaking of U.S. Law and Its Indirect Support For Online Jihad: The Case of Hizbullah and Al-Manar TV," December 22, 2011, Twitter Continues To Evade Explaining Its Breaking of U.S. Law and Its Indirect Support For Online Jihad: The Case of Hizbullah and Al-Manar TV

[4] Steven Stalinsky, "Hamas Tweets For Jihad and Martyrdom, For Expelling and Killing Jews, and For Conquering Jerusalem – Another U.S.-Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization Served By Using Twitter," December 29, 2011, Hamas Tweets For Jihad and Martyrdom, For Expelling and Killing Jews, and For Conquering Jerusalem – Another U.S.-Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization Served By Using Twitter

[8] Steven Stalinsky, "Now Tweeting: Ansar Al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF) – The Main Al-Qaeda English-Language Forum – Spreading Online Jihad, Inciting and Instructing Activists To Carry Out Terrorist Acts, Obstructing Counter-Terrorism Measures in the West," January 20, 2012 Now Tweeting: Ansar Al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF) – The Main Al-Qaeda English-Language Forum – Spreading Online Jihad, Inciting and Instructing Activists To Carry Out Terrorist Acts, Obstructing Counter-Terrorism Measures in the West

м