Jihadists in Iraq are hijacking Twitter's World Cup hashtags to spread propaganda

Militant Islamists from ISIS, who just weeks ago overthrew several major cities in Iraq, have taken to Twitter in full force: members of the group are seemingly hijacking hashtags for the 2014 World Cup in order to spread their message.

As reported by The Independent, ISIS members have been utilizing World Cup hashtags like #ENG and #Brazil2014 to target Westerners with specific propaganda. Many of the hijacked hashtags contain a video, starring a 20-year-old medical student from Cardiff who travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS, attempting to recruit other Westerners to the cause of Jihad.

The ISIS recruitment video being disseminated via World Cup hashtags

Unlike other militant organizations, ISIS has wholeheartedly embraced social media and propaganda in general; handing out ice cream and donuts to children in the cities they conquer, distributing a periodical English-language news magazine, and running Twitter accounts in multiple languages dedicated to news and information from a Jihadist perspective. ISIS' campaign to win over the hearts and minds of locals and Westerners alike has seen an obvious culmination with their use of social media, and while Twitter continually shuts down the accounts of ISIS members on their service, dozens more pop up in their place. ISIS' presence on social media is so strong that just last week the Iraqi government blocked access to all major social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, in an attempt to halt the militants. 

At current, multiple ISIS accounts are incorporating the World Cup hashtags into their tweets. It is unknown if Twitter is taking any preventive measures to stop the hashtag hijacking, but any attempts by ISIS to spread their message will likely be drowned out by legitimate fans of the sport.

Source: The Independent | Image via Twitter

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Nobody cares about civilians or peace, it's all about oil and money. The "peace" speeches are for fools, just like the religion stories are for the future jihads. The UN can't, and won't, do anything because it doesn't have the power. The western world needs oil, so it'll continue letting these groups do their things. Regardless, nobody wants to start a nuclear war. In short, it sucks to live in one of these countries, but what can you do ? It's not like the world was a better place before... Humans sucks.

Is there a need to embed the full ISIS recruitment video in this post?!

Isn't that just further disseminating their propaganda?!

Propaganda videos are great because it reminds me of NOD. They should make a Command and Conquer game where the GDI must defeat ISIS.

GreatMarkO said,
Is there a need to embed the full ISIS recruitment video in this post?!

Isn't that just further disseminating their propaganda?!

You should watch the peaceful message of Islam...
And hey.. They hand out ice cream and donuts to children in the cities they conquer. Can't be that bad..

Let's hope these extremists go down; Iran is silently sending special forces there for troop advisery and planning, And we've seen military supplies flow increasing toward Iraq. Let's face it, If ISIS take control of Iraq, after Iraq's government itself the one that will it impact on is *not* USA and west, It is Iran. Of course as a average citizen of Tehran, It wouldn't effect my life, and the dam prices keep being tripled in here no matter who the hell takes control of Iraq. but for Iran's government It is extremely important to not lose their ally to their enemy, and yes, ISIS is officially Iran's enemy, both in terms of politics and religion.

This is actually a good opportunity for Iran and the US to finally work together on something, even if it's covertly. Iran getting involved to help al-Maliki and moderate Iraqis is not a problem far as i'm concerned, it's a good thing.

Well to be fair the Iraqi government did not want any foreign troops to remain stationed there. Of course they gladly took quite a lot of hardware and training, all for nought. I don't want to sound like a racist, but what the hell is wrong with the Iraqi military? Those guys would lose a war with themselves, the lame jokes in the Street Fighter movie were right: "Iraqi APC, five speed, two forward, three reverse!"

Seriously, how can these ISIS dudes just show up out of nowhere and "take over"? Doesn't the Iraqi military outnumber them like 20:1? This is just like ARVN all over again.

neoadorable said,
Seriously, how can these ISIS dudes just show up out of nowhere and "take over"? Doesn't the Iraqi military outnumber them like 20:1? This is just like ARVN all over again.

They were outnumbered the rebels about 3:1, regardless of what mainstream media suggests. They also had no support from the people who lived there. Although this appears to be extremist Islamists vs Iraqi government, it is much more so a case of Ba'ath groups vs what they consider to be an Iranian puppet government.

"They also had no support from the people who lived there."

Didn't realize I went back in time to 1975 and in a discussion about South Vietnam.

Actually, Iraq was fine with US troops remaining but the US demanded that they be immune to prosecution for violating Iraqi law. Basically, the US wanted free reign over the country and Iraq refused; the same happened in Afghanistan.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Actually, Iraq was fine with US troops remaining but the US demanded that they be immune to prosecution for violating Iraqi law. Basically, the US wanted free reign over the country and Iraq refused; the same happened in Afghanistan.

Where do you get your all this misinformation? Cause the US didnt want to stay there any longer than they wanted to. They didnt leave because they wanted to be immune from laws and since they werent they are now gone. They left cause they dont want to rule and occupy a country.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's readily available from various reputable news sources. The US wanted to leave troops behind but Iraq would not grant them immunity from prosecution.

Here is one such source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...for-u-s-troops-in-iraq.html

Please, political pressure from home far outweighed this. But you act like it was the only reason. And do you blame the US?

A quote from your article. "But for now, those units will be vulnerable to potential prosecution in an Iraqi justice system not exactly known for its evenhandedness." Yeah. "Justice" and the middle east dont tend to go hand to hand. Granted, its not always justice in the west either. But that doesnt disqualify the point of "justice" in that region.

Scabrat said,
Please, political pressure from home far outweighed this. But you act like it was the only reason.

I never claimed it was the only reason, nor would I. The American public was sick of wars at that stage and wanted US troops brought home. However, public opinion matters little - the American public didn't want military action in Libya but that didn't stop the US government; public opinion is against intervention in Syria yet the CIA is openly supplying arms and money to the rebels. The point is, US wanted to leave troops in Iraq but wouldn't because it was unable to secure immunity for them; the same in Afghanistan.

Scabrat said,
A quote from your article. "But for now, those units will be vulnerable to potential prosecution in an Iraqi justice system not exactly known for its evenhandedness." Yeah. "Justice" and the middle east dont tend to go hand to hand.
So the US shouldn't have to abide by the laws of other countries? As for justice, we're talking about the US, a country which openly tortures political prisoners (see: Guantanamo Bay; Chelsea Manning); a country which illegal invaded Iraq, a war that resulted in the deaths of 100,000 civilians; a country that shoots suspects dead without trial at an alarming rate and still has the death penalty; a country that is seeking to jail a man for 100 years for selling pot brownies.

theyarecomingforyou said,

So the US shouldn't have to abide by the laws of other countries? As for justice, we're talking about the US, a country which openly tortures political prisoners (see: Guantanamo Bay; Chelsea Manning); a country which illegal invaded Iraq, a war that resulted in the deaths of 100,000 civilians; a country that shoots suspects dead without trial at an alarming rate and still has the death penalty; a country that is seeking to jail a man for 100 years for selling pot brownies.

I think you missed the part where I said the west isnt perfect but that doesnt discredit the lack of justice in that whole region. Why dont you just bing some of the miscarriages of justice Saddam had. Oh, and the US would still bring to trial anything that violates their laws, which the US troops are in jurisdiction of. They are in the jurisdiction of a country we are helping out with a war.

Also, Guantanamo Bay isnt a torture place. They keep terrorists there. And they cater to their religious beliefs as well as all their physical needs. Unlike other "dungeons" you would call it, the prisoners their go on hunger strikes rather than being starved to death. That is torture.

Its also funny how you show your bias by saying that Bradley Manning (not Chelsea Manning) was a political prisoner and not telling the truth; Bradley is a traitor.

I dont know what country you are from but you sure get worked up about the US and Iraq. But as you said, laws of other countries and whatnot, right? So why not just let the US handle their business and Iraq theirs and any political or security agreements between the US and Iraq maybe should be left for the said parties to work out. People always want to get into other peoples business. Its a plague, especially when people can dribble on about stuff they know little about on the internet... (Myself included ;)).

It's true duoi is right in that ISIS didn't just "occupy" Mosul and other places, much of the population there seems to be sympathetic to them and even joining their ranks. The Ba'ath vs. al-Maliki government logic rings true to me, but nonetheless, this does not excuse the miserable performance of Iraqi military forces. On paper these guys have more battlefield experience than pretty much any other military in the world, they've been in so many conflicts, from Iran, to basically two world wars if you think about it. Yet they can't stem the "tide" of several thousand militias.

As for Scabrat and TRC4U, i think you're both right, the cause for US withdrawal was a combination of major pressure from home and from allies, plus the antipathy from the Iraqi government. The US didn't want immunity so troops could have free reign to commit crimes, it was deemed necessary in light of the situation, where they'd end up policing and fighting what are seemingly non-combatants/civilians.

It's not like the US is evil or ISIS is evil, each just follows what's in their interest and what they believe in. Just that what ISIS believes in isn't really helping Iraq recover from decades of turmoil and suffering, and personally i think they need to be stopped - seems to me they're just a bunch of young dudes looking for trouble and action.

neoadorable said,
It's true duoi is right in that ISIS didn't just "occupy" Mosul and other places, much of the population there seems to be sympathetic to them and even joining their ranks. The Ba'ath vs. al-Maliki government logic rings true to me, but nonetheless, this does not excuse the miserable performance of Iraqi military forces. On paper these guys have more battlefield experience than pretty much any other military in the world, they've been in so many conflicts, from Iran, to basically two world wars if you think about it. Yet they can't stem the "tide" of several thousand militias.

This is what is considered, but its actually the opposite. The people they're fighting are the former Iraqi army. When the US came in, they fully disbanded the entire Iraqi military and put together a completely new one with new commanders and such. The former military, including all of the advisers and commanders, was more or less put out of work. This is part of what has fueled the conflict.

The other complication is that the people they're opposing now are not a conventional military force-- they're a guerrilla military force, so it makes things significantly more difficult and the military is just untrained to deal with such forces. These groups have leadership coming from Chechnya, they have commanders that fought with the US for several years, and fighters that fought in Syria for a few years now. They are about as well-trained and disciplined as a guerrilla force could be.

All makes sense and thanks for the input. It's sad that so much of the Saddam era military was disbanded - sure way to create digruntled people that are also trained to fight. But this is part of geopolitics, you have to gamble - sometimes friends become opponents, and those who worked with you due to shared interests in one era end up in a conflicting position. It's all in the past, the present is what matters and personally i wish ISIS be stopped as i don't think they and the agenda they propose are good for Iraq or for anyone else for that matter.

They are taking over the Iraq.. Slowly, with planned moves and Western Security Forces are just standing by and letting things happen..

Soon after take over, ISIS will direct their attention towards Western Nations, which it would certainly term as enemy of Islam and then Western Security forces will try get in to dislodge the regime, but not now, when it would have been a easier way..

US promised IRAQ with security help in agreement but when time came, even with repeated request from IRAQ, its still toying around with words..

Western nations have no business interfering. Imagine how different the UK would have been had a foreign superpower intervened against Oliver Cromwell; same goes for the US, which would be unrecognisable had a foreign superpower opposed Lincoln. The only obligation western nations have is to protect the civilian population, which should be done through the deployment of UN peacekeepers in an apolitical manner.

Propping up failed governments in the Middle East simply isn't a viable option and is counterproductive to western interests.

Choto Cheeta said,

US promised IRAQ with security help in agreement but when time came, even with repeated request from IRAQ, its still toying around with words..

It stinks that ISIS seems to be making its rounds in Iraq, but I agree with the above comment: the UN (a relatively independent, global organization) should be the ones to come in and try to do a peace-keeping mission or something.

We (the US and its allies) have been in the Middle East for too long. And now that we've finally pulled troops from Iraq, I don't like the idea of putting troops back there. (In addition, what would that say about us? When the US troops were taken out of Iraq, we basically said we're done there... if we went back on that, how would that reflect on us?)

I don't think the US (and its allies) should sit back and do nothing, mind you, but sending back troops isn't a solution I'd like...

Yeah, wait till ISIS over turns the present IRAQI regime... The same old wine would be served again, like Afganisthan in 1980's..

All these ISIS fighters will be jobless and aimless.. They will be directed towards enemy of Islam.. Guess who :p..

Now a job would then become a struggle for the bystanders !!!

Choto Cheeta said,
They will be directed towards enemy of Islam.. Guess who :p..

I'm not sure why you keep saying "enemy of Islam," ISIS is opposed to anybody that doesn't agree with them, including other muslims. They actually spend more time opposing Muslims they ideologically agree with (Islamic Front groups, Jabhat Al Nusra) than they do opposing anybody else.

Its worth pointing out that their only goal is to take over (greater) Syria and Iraq, as their name reflects, and their goals do not extend beyond that.

Educated people understand, they fight over profit and where as common men fight for their livelihood... but for those who are brain washed, they need a stronger reason to bear those hard conditions to fight on..

So look around, one common reason which binds them all is the inspiring word, Enemy of Islam..

To the top bodies, who are educated and do raise this conflict for those hidden agenda (all leads to the profit of financier), nothing is more helpful to gather more force and keep them, is the magic word.. Enemy of Islam..

See they invented the reason to kill Muslims also.. why ?? by helping enemy of Islam, through education, development, or democracy, they too become Enemy of Islam..

ahh..

duoi said,

Its worth pointing out that their only goal is to take over (greater) Syria and Iraq, as their name reflects, and their goals do not extend beyond that.

In Afghanistan, the need and goal was to flush Russians out.. And ?? When the objective was archived, what happened to that friendly Taliban ??

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but as someone who closely followed the conflict and is very familiar with the group, I can only emphasize that that term is almost never officially used by the group.

Al Qaeda used terms like that, however that is where ISIS and Al Qaeda differ completely: Al Qaeda felt that it was fighting a war on behalf of the faith, whereas ISIS intends to establish a caliphate. Anybody opposed to the caliphate is their enemy, whether they are muslim or otherwise. This is much more of a political conflict than it is a religious one.

Even money is a far-out concept to them. Unlike groups like Al Qaeda who sought to profit, ISIS is actually spending all of the money it makes on things like building infrastructure and repairing electricity and water mains. They are attempting to act as a functional government, which is why they are receiving the amount of support they're receiving. They even have complaints offices for people who feel that they've been mistreated by ISIS fighters, and the complaints are actually acted upon.

"Enemy of Islam" rhetoric might be used by other extremist groups, but ISIS tends to avoid it.

The US has already tried to topple the current regime, like the recent demand that Maliki resign in order to receive air support. Billions upon billions has been spent propping up the current regime yet it collapses at the slightest hint of resistance. The only thing that will prop it up is stationing 100,000 troops there for the next 30 years.

If the US and its allies stopped meddling in the affairs of the Middle East they wouldn't be such a target. When was the last time you saw a Middle Eastern 'terrorist group' declaring jihad against Brazil or China? That's because they don't go around engaging in imperialist wars. The US and UK are despised because they have wreaked havoc on the Middle East.

duoi said,
I'm not sure what you're referring to,

I am referring to the simplest thing here.. History..

Just look at it.. Iran, once a friend, now a foe..
Taliban.. Once a friend, now a foe..
Al-Queda, once a friend, now a foe.. (here the group may have been broken but all those men in the group, found new shelters and..... ahh, wait to see, how, slowly they start to influence those and bring that old agenda back again..)

The problem is, in the ground, to control and keep on the struggle going, they always turn towards the issue of Enemy of Islam..

Here, what happens once ISIS takes control fully ?? You think they will stop and start living like us, doing business and promoting education ??

So ?? They need money, where would that come from ??

Dont worry, many nations or wealthy individuals are willing to pay money, weapons for profitable cause..

Case in note, Pakistan will pay good if you come and say, we hate India and will fight in Kasmir..

Today those ISIS men who are fighting their a** out, tomorrow, they will be jobless and aimless.. Would they return home and go to office ?? Like our security forces do after they complete a service time ??

They would need something, and History shows, every time they have went after the west, specifically US..

ISIS isn't going to launch an invasion against the US. If the US doesn't have any troops in the region then it can't be a target.

As for Iran, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, they were all supported by the US until the US decided they were undesirable and took action against them. In Iran it was the US attempting a coup; with the Taliban the US was funding them via Pakistan until it decided to launch a war to find Bin Laden; with Al Qaeda, the US supported Bin Laden but made him an enemy when they deployed military forces on holy land against his express warnings.

All of that is evidence of why the US should stop interfering.

Choto Cheeta said,
They are taking over the Iraq.. Slowly, with planned moves and Western Security Forces are just standing by and letting things happen..

Soon after take over, ISIS will direct their attention towards Western Nations, which it would certainly term as enemy of Islam and then Western Security forces will try get in to dislodge the regime, but not now, when it would have been a easier way..

US promised IRAQ with security help in agreement but when time came, even with repeated request from IRAQ, its still toying around with words..


The fact that we interfered in the first place is the reason for this mess. You're insane if you think ISIL will ever be able to touch the US.

It depends you know, time will tell how things shape up.. Intelligence, willingness, commitment and parasitism and such driving force is not just limited to the western countries.. do they ??

These elements always look for the brighter brains to stray them into their arms for their cause and indeed, no one ever thought in their wildest dreams about 9/11 but it did happen.

One has to look into the history and take preventive steps before a job becomes a struggle..

Having said that, US took control of IRAQ with promise of Democracy and left IRAQ with promise security related help.. Today both promises are getting shattered.. Does it harm US citizens in anyway ??

Sure ISIS is almost a half away around the world.. but Let them threaten the Democracy and denying the security towards Iraqi citizens will surely show its evil face down the line..

Enron said,
The west should just let them kill each other and later come in and take all the oil. I want cheaper gas.

Nice plan but oil companies are the main reasons to keep the prices high and make huge profits..

So war no war, prices will always be high and will get higher :'(

Choto Cheeta said,

Nice plan but oil companies are the main reasons to keep the prices high and make huge profits..

So war no war, prices will always be high and will get higher :'(

Not if the oil goes to a non oil company. Imagine if it's Google Gas. They'll just show you ads at the pump.

Or before you start the car... HUD will show some ads like Youtube :p

or may be like taxi cabs, Displays in doors and such will display ads.. Nice Idea though..