, NAIROBI, Sep 6 – The Twitter account of Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents was suspended on Friday, the second time this year the Islamists have been pushed off the site.
A message from Twitter on the English-language @HSMPress1 account read that the account was suspended, without elaborating.
In a statement sent to AFP, the group denounced the suspension as “futile”.
“Our account has been closed in another futile attempt to silence the truth and the factual coverage of events in Somalia,” the group said.
Earlier this week the group used the site to claim they had ambushed the convoy of war-torn Somalia’s internationally backed President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Somalia’s presidency played down the incident, describing it as an IED explosion far from the convoy.
“Next time, you won’t be as lucky,” the Islamists tweeted after their attack, which the president escaped unharmed.
Twitter warns that accounts can be suspended if users publish “direct, specific threats of violence against others”.
Users are also blocked if they use Twitter “for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities”.
The Shabaab’s previous account, @HSMPress, was suspended in January after the group posted photographs of a French commando they killed and threatened to execute Kenyan hostages.
The Shabaab statement said the group presently had no other active Twitter feeds and warned users to beware of “parody accounts”.