Update: Shabab seems to have skipped over to an alternate Twitter account.
Somalia-based Islamist group Shabab took to Twitter on Saturday, via its press arm, after masked gunman stormed an upscale mall in Kenya and killed an estimated 30 people in an apparent terror attack. The group had threatened malls before, The New York Times reports. And its use of Twitter has been an integral part of its strategy.
Shortly after the attacks, Shabab claimed the attackers as its own via Twitter. Below are images of a few of the tweets posted before Twitter suspended the account:
And although most press accounts have the number of dead confirmed at about 30, Shabab used Twitter to claim there are 100 victims.
Using an Arabic derogatory term for non-Muslims, Shabab also claims attackers escorted Muslims out of the mall and to safety, although the Times reports that shooters were yelling to Muslims to flee as they began shooting.
Shabab attempted to rationalize the attacks, and the group even used a hashtag for the attack, the name of the shopping mall where it happened, #Westgate.