Sunday, January 01, 2012

Twitter Violates US Terror Laws By Allowing Hezbollah Terrorists To Have Accounts

It appears that Twitter isn't just for protesters any more.
That is, unless Twitter gets rid of accounts belong to those involved affiliated with terrorists:
Shurat HaDin warns Twitter over terrorist accounts

The Law Center has sent a letter to Twitter CEO Richard Costolo, warning that the company could fall foul of strict US anti-terror legislation by providing social media services to organizations designated as terrorist groups under US law.

Over 7,700 people follow Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV's Twitter account. Al-Manar tweets links back to its Arabic language news site, which features articles condemning the 'Zionist Enemy Entity' alongside a photo gallery of Hezbollah 'martyrs' and a video library of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speeches.

Somali-based Al-Shabaab, which tweets in English under the username HSM Press Office, has over 7,200 Twitter followers. Its user profile explains that al-Shabaab is 'part of the global struggle towards the revival of the Islamic Khilaafa [Caliphate.]'

Both Hezbollah and al-Shabaab have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US government, and al-Manar TV is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity.

According to Law Center Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, if Twitter continues to allow al-Shabaab and Hezbollah to own accounts, it will be in violation of US anti-terror laws, according to which providing any assistance or support to terrorists is illegal--making the company both criminally and civilly liable for future terrorist attacks against US citizens carried out by the groups.

According to Leitner, in 2009, a US businessman, Javed Iqbal, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to providing satellite services to al-Manar TV."

Back in 2006, The New York Times carried the story of Javed Iqbal, when he was first charged with enabling Hezbollah television broadcasts:
...Court papers filed by the government to obtain a warrant to search Mr. Iqbal’s business and home suggested that the authorities learned that certain high-definition global transmission systems were providing access to Al Manar broadcasts in the United States. They got their information from Mark Dubowitz, who heads a Washington-based policy group that has monitored Al Manar — through a project called the Coalition Against Terrorist Media — and campaigned for its removal from worldwide broadcasting.

Mr. Dubowitz said in a telephone interview that Al Manar’s programming includes “very explicit calls for violence,” including ones that promote suicide bombing against American troops in Iraq and “death to America.”

He said that some broadcasts, which he characterized as racist and anti-Semitic, glorify suicide bombings and suicide bombers themselves as martyrs and that children’s programming encourages youngsters to “join the jihad and give their lives for the cause.”

The programming, he said, is sophisticated and diverse, ranging from soap operas and dramas, produced in Syria and Iran, to what he called “MTV-like” music videos. A 28-part series that was broadcast over Ramadan and based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion included a dramatization that depicted what he said looked like an Orthodox Jew slitting the throat of a Christian child and draining the child’s blood to make food for Passover.
I suppose Twitter was considered a little less conspicuous.

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