Terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week threatened to murder Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and his staff.
The social media site shut down terrorists’ accounts for violating the site’s terms of service. Promoting terrorism, and discussions of related criminal activity is a violation of Twitter’s terms of services. When the site shut down accounts that didn’t observe the rules, terrorists threatened to “assassinate” the Twitter staff, Costolo told Vanity Fair.
“It’s against the law in many of the countries in which we operate for them to use it to promote their organization,” Costolo said. “And when we do find those accounts we shut them down. We shut them down quite actively.”
ISIS has used Twitter before. Fighters have posted selfies on the site for various purposes — including matrimonial! — but the group also tweeted a murderous threat against the U.S. in August, taunting, “We are in your cities.”
Meanwhile, Iraqi journalist Ra’ad al-Azzawi was murdered by ISIS on Saturday, according to colleagues who circulated the news on Twitter, including Arab affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh.
“This is tragic. Thoughts are with Mr. Al-Azzawi, his family and friends,” tweeted one person. “Being a ‘journalist’ can be seen as being a spy in shariah (sic), so you can’t blame ISIS without understanding #Islam” tweeted another.
Azzawi, a father of three, worked as an Iraqi news cameraman for the local news channel Sama Salaheddin. He was threatened by ISIS after he refused to work for the jihadist organization, and was detained by the group on September 7.
The Iraqi journalist and his brother, as well as two other people were publicly executed in the village of Samra, east of Tikrit, Aljazeera reported. A total of at least 16 victims were executed in northern Iraq on Saturday.
U.S. humanitarian worker Peter Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity and became Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is now being held by ISIS and is being threatened with execution next.