SAN FRANCISCO–Several news outlets are reporting this morning that a Twitter account claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, has issued death threats against the San Francisco-based social media company’s employees. The account @dawlamoon, which Twitter has since suspended, issued the series of threats in Arabic on Sunday calling for “lone wolf attacks.”
The account is said to have been associated with Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem), a Jerusalem-based group that pledged loyalty to ISIS in February. Before the account was suspended it had more than 3,000 followers, according to reports. It is not clear if the group has formal ties to ISIS.
“The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them!!” read one of the tweets. “Those who will carry this out are the sleepers cells of death.”
Another tweet specifically singled out employees in San Francisco: “Every Twitter employee in San Francisco in the United States should bear in mind and watch over himself because on his doorstep there might be a lone wolf assassin waiting.”
According to Vocativ, which first broke the story yesterday, Twitter has been battling ISIS by repeatedly closing accounts related to it. ISIS and its supporters have been using the social media network to spread propaganda and calls to violence. Now, it seems, at least one group has brought the fight directly to Twitter: “Twitter management should know that if they do not stop their campaign in the virtual world, we will bring the war to them in the real world on the ground.”
ISIS is a Sunni jihadist group which has proclaimed itself a caliphate and controls territories in Iraq and Syria. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and other countries.
Twitter says its security team is working with law enforcement officials to investigate the veracity of the threats.