ISIS Posts Threats On Twitter, Works Around California Earthquake Hashtags, Pressures US To Respond To #StevensHeadinObamasHands

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 27, 2014 1:21 PM EST

Terror group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has started to infiltrate legitimate hashtags on Twitter to circumvent and promote their terroristic propaganda such as #napaearthquake and #sfearthquake.

Reuters/Stringer
Robert Cerantonio (R), an Australian national and a Muslim convert, is escorted by police intelligence upon arrival at the domestic airport in Manila July 11, 2014. The Philippines on Friday arrested an Australian national with suspected links to foreign Islamist militants after he urged Philippine Muslims on social media sites to support conflicts in Iraq and Syria, recruiting them to go to the Middle East. The arrest is the first known link between Islamist militants in the southeast Asian nation and foreign jihadists supporting conflicts in the Middle East. Philippine Muslims took part in conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s. REUTERS/Stringer (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION CRIME LAW)

Netizens were busy communicating over social media networks immediately following the 6.0 earthquake that rocked the Napa Valley in California on Sunday, and ISIS jumped on the Twitter news bandwagon for their own agenda.

Even if Twitter had managed to delete many of ISIS's social media accounts, there is no mistaking that its members are savvy enough to work around such intricacies, still using social media not only to promote its cause but, more importantly, to threaten its enemies as well.

Netizens were shocked to see that some messages on hashtags #napaearthquake and #sfearthquake carried threats against the United States as well as attacks on President Obama.

This is not the first time the radical group hijacked popular hashtags. It had previously worked around the World Cup and Ferguson protests to spread their messages.

To amplify their terror streak, the ISIS group had created a hashtag focusing on the fate of the life of captured U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, the #StevensHeadinObamasHands.

The NYDailyNews, citing the website Vocativ, says that followers of the murderous Islamic militant group were given explicit instructions "to flood Twitter with ghastly pictures and warnings that Sotloff will be beheaded if Obama does not bend to their will."

Essentially, their message carries that Sotloff will be killed by Obama.

Sotloff was captured a year ago while reporting in Syria. He was a reporter for Time magazine, World Affairs, National Interest and the Christian Science Monitor.

The campaign, according to Vocativ, included pre-formulated tweets, images and instructions for dissemination, all under the hashtag #StevensHeadInObamasHands. It is then "rolled out in Arabic in an ISIS forum called al-Manbar, where the group tends to post publications and instructions."

The group was said to have concocted 13 different phrases to be published and tweeted, all using the #StevensHeadInObamasHands hashtag, 

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(Photo: Reuters/Stringer / )
Robert Cerantonio (R), an Australian national and a Muslim convert, is escorted by police intelligence upon arrival at the domestic airport in Manila July 11, 2014. The Philippines on Friday arrested an Australian national with suspected links to foreign Islamist militants after he urged Philippine Muslims on social media sites to support conflicts in Iraq and Syria, recruiting them to go to the Middle East. The arrest is the first known link between Islamist militants in the southeast Asian nation and foreign jihadists supporting conflicts in the Middle East. Philippine Muslims took part in conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s. REUTERS/Stringer (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION CRIME LAW)
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