World

Terror victims' families sue Twitter, say it helped ISIS

Agency | January 11, 2017 12:12 PM

New York: Family members of three Americans who were killed in attacks by the Islamic State in the Brussels airport bombing in 2016 and Paris attack in November 2015 have filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing it of aiding the extremist group by ignoring its tweets.

According to a report in RT on Tuesday, the lawsuit titled "Cain v. Twitter, Inc" has been brought forward by Anne Cameron Cain, whose husband Alex Pinczowski and his sister Sascha were killed in the 2016 Brussels Airport bombing, as well as Beatriz Gonzalez, the mother of Nohemi Gonzalez who was killed in the November 2015 Paris attack.

The claimants alleged that Twitter was responsible for their relatives' deaths by providing terrorists a platform to spread their ideology and recruit new members.

"This is the first lawsuit that details how Twitter has played a key role in making Islamic State the most formidable terrorist organization in the world today, and how Islamic State uniquely used Twitter in the context of two of the most serious attacks to take place in Europe recently," Shurat Hadin, Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner was quoted as saying.

The victims' families are seeking compensation.

The lawsuit notes an incident in October 2014 when an IS-linked account shared a message calling for the murder of civilians in France and other countries.

It also mentions how three days before the November 2015 attacks, IS-linked accounts posted images of guns, the Eiffel Tower and prayers for blessings on what they called their "mission."

"During the attacks themselves, IS tweeted using the hashtags #paris_ignites, #parisinflames, and #franceisonfire before publicly taking responsibility for the carnage. They repeated this pattern with the 2016 Brussels attack," the report noted.

The plaintiffs accused Twitter of violating anti-terrorism laws by failing to take action against the accounts of IS and providing material support to the group.

Twitter has been blamed earlier also for not taking any action against jihadist propaganda and stopping US intelligence agencies from monitoring terrorists activities on Twitter.

"Since the summer of 2015, Twitter has been more vigilant towards IS-linked accounts, with a total of 350,000 users being blocked or suspended by August 2016. Nevertheless, the lawsuit alleges that as of January 2017, Twitter 'continued to provide these resources and services to ISIS and its affiliates, refusing to actively identify ISIS Twitter accounts, and only reviewing accounts reported by other Twitter users'," the report cited Business Insider as reporting.

 

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