Our special coverage of the closest race for years
Explore the personal stories of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Hamza Mohamed | 16 Dec 2013 14:18 GMT | Politics, Africa, Kenya, Somalia
Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, has returned to the social media networking site Twitter more than two months after their last account was suspended, an official for the group told Al Jazeera.
On Monday, a message was posted on the social media site under the handle of @HSM_INFO carrying the standard signature of the group. An al-Shabab official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Al Jazeera that the account was genuine.
"The aim is to vigorously challenge defamatory reports in the media by presenting an accurate portrayal of the current state of Jihad in Somalia and countering Western, state-sponsored propaganda machines that are paid to demonise the Mujahideen," the al-Shabab official told Al Jazeera.
The Somali government, which has borne the brunt of most of al-Shabab attacks, has called on Twitter to ban the group.
Abdirahman Omar Osman, a Somali government spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the government was opposed to al-Shabab being back on the social media site.
“People like this should not be given the platform to mislead the youth. They should be banned," he said.
In September, Twitter suspended at least six accounts belonging to al-Shabab after the group, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall, mocked the Kenyan government’s response to the four-day siege that left more than 60 people dead.
According to Twitter’s policy on abusive behaviour, “Users may not make direct, specific threats of violence against others.”
A spokesman for the networking site told Al Jazeera, "We do not comment on individual accounts, for security and privacy reasons."
Al-Shabab first joined Twitter in late 2011 after Kenyan forces moved into southern Somalia. Early tweets by al-Shabab mocked a Twitter posting by Kenya's army spokesman, Maj Emmanuel Chirchir, that threatened to bomb concentrations of donkeys that might be moving weapons for the rebels.
Al-Shabab who still carry out attacks in Somalia have been losing territory to the UN-backed Somali government and AMISOM - the African Union peacekeepers - in the past two years.
Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa
Source: Al Jazeera
Security Council told 4,400 extra soldiers required to aid African Union in battle against al-Shabab force in Somalia.
Politics, Africa, Burundi, Congo, Kenya
US defence official quoted as saying Ibrahim Ali died in reported military strike in Somalia's Middle Juba region.
Africa, US & Canada, Kenya, Somalia, United States
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Activists in the Czech Republic demand that a pig farm built over a former WWII era concentration camp be shut down.
Politics, War & Conflict, Human Rights
In religiously conservative Brazil, women risk jail time and their lives to undergo the procedure that is illegal but commonplace.
Health, Human Rights, Latin America
Trash is a fast-growing import in the Scandinavian country, which turns it into heat for people's homes.
Environment, Europe, Sweden
Critics say the UK's home secretary is using Muslims as a 'political punchbag' in a bid to shore up right-wing support.
Human Rights, Politics, Racism
President elect Muhammadu Buhari extends "hand of fellowship" to Goodluck Jonathan after winning historic elections.
US says enough progress made to warrant extension as negotiators from Iran and west renew efforts to hammer out deal.
Politics, Middle East, Iran, US
It is a source of sustenance but also of tension and new political realities are now increasing uncertainty.
Egypt, Sudan, Middle East
A media post-mortem into the UK's surveillance report. Plus, why five years on in Argentina the media looks so familiar.
Media, Edward Snowden, Security
The untold story of how the Lebanese community overcame the odds and found their place in multicultural Australia.
Asia Pacific, Australia, Lebanon
How to keep a telenovela profitable and demanding sponsors happy while inspiring the production team to stay passionate.
Arts & Culture, Mexico, Latin America