On April 16th, the Iraqi Counter-terrorism agency said that there’s been a concerning tendency of increasing ISIS activity online.
— جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب (@iraqicts) April 16, 2020
“Iraq DMC reveals the growing and increasing numbers of accounts of ISIS members and their supporters on social media platforms, especially Facebook.”
— جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب (@iraqicts) April 16, 2020
“Social media users are warned not to interact with these posts even if they criticize them through comments or posts, which leads to unintentionally free promotion.”
“It calls on users to unite all efforts to confront the terrorist tide through extensive reporting on these accounts to facilitate Facebook’s tasks in closing these accounts.”
The Iraqi Digital Media Center (DMC) said in a statement that “the preparation of accounts of ISIS members and their supporters on social media platforms, especially Facebook, has grown and increased”, noting that “this return came during the past months that accompanied the Corona pandemic crisis and led to a delay in the response of Facebook’s support to requests Delete accounts.”
The Center alerted Facebook to the need to immediately suspend and close these accounts, and it also called on users to unite all efforts to confront the terrorist tide through extensive reporting on this account to facilitate Facebook’s tasks in closing these accounts.
And indeed, ISIS media wings are hard at work during the pandemic to promote their supposed success in carrying out various attacks against their enemies.
On April 9th, ISIS’ al-Naba’ newspaper released a report summarizing the results of the terrorist group’s recent attacks around the world. In the report, the terrorist group claimed that its fighters had carried out 60 operations in eight different regions during the week prior to that.
It also claimed responsibility of an attack on Bagram airfield in Afghanistan, which houses US troops.
5 Rockets shot from a vehicle in Qalaichi area of #Parwan province that targeted #Bagram airbase early today.
no report of casualties and no one claimed the responsibility yet. pic.twitter.com/Hrn4UKqhMZ
— Hilal Balkhi (@hilalbalkhi) April 9, 2020
The DMC also warned parents to always monitor what they’re children are looking at in TikTok, as many videos violate the terms of the application. The app has gained popularity in Iraq in recent weeks, and it is unclear if it’s tied to ISIS, but if it uses other social media, it could potentially be moving with the times.
#مركز_الاعلام_الرقمي DMC يؤكد ضرورة قيام الاهل بمراقبة منشورات وحسابات الابناء على @tiktok_us التي بدأت تشهد رواجا كبيرا في العراق، حيث ان الكثير من الفيديوهات تنتهك خصوصيات العوائل من غير علم الوالدين . pic.twitter.com/cswq5jHEvO
— مركز الإعلام الرقمي (@iraqDMC) April 11, 2020
“DMC affirms the necessity for parents to monitor publications and accounts of their children In TikTok, which began to be very popular in Iraq, as many of the videos violate the privacy of families without parents ’knowledge.”
The situation in Iraq currently allows this sort of resurgence by ISIS due to the political instability it has been subject to over the last several months.
So far, attempts to solve the political crisis have failed, Iraq’s prime minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi, said that his Cabinet line-up is ready for Parliament’s approval.
Al Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief, was selected by President Barham Salih to lead the next government after two previous nominees failed to win MPs’ backing.
He has less than a month to submit his administration to legislators.
“I’m negotiating with political blocs to get their approval as soon as possible so that I can start working on addressing pressing priorities,” Mr Al Kadhimi said in Baghdad. “The most important standard I have set is integrity and efficiency; I will negotiate with all political blocs on these terms,” he said.
“This crisis requires us to take firm and strong measures in order to confront it. We must also contain the repercussions of Covid-19 and hold elections as soon as possible,” he said.
National dialogue will be at the top of his priorities, he said.
“We’ve missed the chance to conduct serious dialogue that could establish a national vision and build state institutions,” he said.
The Iraqi official said he does not have a “magic wand” to solve problems inherited from the previous government but stressed the need for unity.
“Everyone knows that I was not elected to this position but I have a responsibility, given by the political blocs, to solve the threats and challenges,” he said.
“I can say that I am a prime minister of crisis,” he said
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