Pictures of kittens and designer footwear are tweeted out alongside extremist rhetoric, descriptions of the “good life” in Syria, and pictures of battlefield gore.
Welcome to the so-called “Umm network” of well over 100 people who claim to be foreign female jihadists on Twitter.
“Umm” is an honorific name in Arabic, used to address women as a mother figure.
As with the Islamic State (IS) militant group, Twitter is apparently a favorite social media tool of the Umm network, according to analysts who monitor jihadist social media activity.
It is used in a variety of ways, including recruitment of women and men, dissemination of pictures and videos for would-be jihadists, and promoting IS messaging.
One of the best known members of the Umm network is @UmmLayth – a.k.a. Aqsa Mahmood, who identifies herself as a Scottish teen of Muslim descent who left home for Syria where she is believed…
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