Social media sites, such as Twitter, can be excellent tools for breaking news updates and staying connected with what’s going on all over the world. While Facebook focuses more on local news in your area, Twitter is best known for providing a place to discover the most important and latest news anywhere in the world as it is happening. Most of the time, the site is used to provide honest and good information that for everyone. Unfortunately, it can also be used for not so great things. The terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is currently using the social media site for gathering information on Saudi intelligence officers.
The ISIS terrorist group is using Twitter to launch this campaign of gathering information and data on these officers so they can assassinate them as part of their plans to expand their violent activities even more throughout the oil-rich kingdom they are currently in. As you would expect, the United States intelligence agencies are closely tracking the activities of the terrorist group on Twitter. According to their reports so far, the intelligence agencies have seen ISIS’s activities as an effort that is crowd-sourced to gather as much personal information as they can on these Saudi intelligence officers as part of their ongoing assassination campaign.
While social media sites are great to have for news, staying connected with friends, sharing photos and more, it really does make you question the security and safety of them when stories such as this emerges on the Internet. Social media sites are great tools for people to collaborate and collect information on a virtually endless manner of topics/people, so it is quite scary to hear that a group as violent as ISIS is currently utilizing Twitter’s services for acts such as this. It also brings up the question as to why Twitter hasn’t tried to stop these acts yet. While it really isn’t in Twitter’s control to make such a move, it does bring a very unsettling feeling when a terrorist group can use a site, like Twitter, to gather information on individuals they plan on assassinating.
What’s even more unsettling is the additional data that was collected from United States’ social media monitoring. According to the information that was collected, ISIS currently has support from thousands of Saudis, as suggested by their use of numerous social media channels. On top of that, users of Twitter in the kingdom that ISIS is currently in accounts for over 40% of the total number of Twitter users in Arab.
As the acts of ISIS continue to spiral out of control, it becomes harder and harder to see an end in the near future. The acts of the terrorist group, while not necessarily new, are some of the biggest we’ve seen in quite a number of years. Whether or not ISIS will continue to make use of Twitter during their other campaigns is yet to be seen, but if this one is successful for them, it won’t be surprising if they do so.