Besides seizing large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has also invaded online communities, with Twitter being especially crucial. ISIS is actually quite savvy when it comes to the social media platform, which it uses to spread and control its extremist message and recruit more members. The group even knows how to get their tweets to trend through the use of strategic hashtag campaigns. The more traction their tweets get, the more people their message reaches, and the more their online presence strengthens.
So after Twitter started shuttering ISIS-affiliated accounts for posting extremist propaganda, thereby curbing the spread of their message, the group is retaliating. The jihadist group issued death threats to Twitter employees through the online platform itself, calling on "lone wolf" jihadists to attack them. That account has also been deactivated.
The tweets read (as translated by Vocativ from Arabic):
#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them!! Those who will carry this out are the sleepers cells of death.
#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks Twitter management should know that if they do not stop their campaign in the virtual world, we will the bring the war to them in the real world on the ground.
#The_Concept_of_Lone_Wolf_Attacks 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.
#Attacking_Twitter_Employees is on the agenda of mujahedeen and lone wolves who are across Europe.
Though Twitter has not commented on whether or not they're beefing up security at their facilities, the company issued a statement saying that the "security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials."