Tag Archives: Kenya hostages

Twitter closes Somali al Shabab account after hostage threats

BBC

al-Shabab Twitter account suspended

screen grab of twitter page
Twitter says it does not comment on individual accounts

The Twitter account of Somali militant group al-Shabab has been suspended, after it was used to threaten to kill Kenyan hostages.

Al-Shabab launched its Twitter account in December 2011, after Kenyan troops went into Somalia to combat it.

Earlier this month, it used Twitter to announce it would kill a French hostage and then said it had done so.

Twitter refused to comment on the suspension but its rules say that threats of violence are banned.

On Wednesday, the al-Shabab account posted a link to a video of two Kenyan civil servants held hostage in Somalia, telling the Kenyan government their lives were in danger unless it released all Muslims held on “so-called terrorism charges” in the country, reports Reuters news agency.

Al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, said it killed French intelligence agent Denis Allex in retaliation for a failed French operation to free him.

The French government has said it believes Mr Allex was killed during the raid two weeks ago, in which two French commandos also died.

Mr Allex – a French spy – was kidnapped in Somalia in July 2009.

Al-Shabab has been forced out of Somali’s main towns over the past 18 months but it still controls many rural parts of southern and central Somalia.

For more than 20 years Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, rival politicians and Islamist militants battling for control of the country.  bbc