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Al-shabaab joins Twitter in response to the Kenya Military

In an exciting twist of events, Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahedeen (HSM) which means the movement of the youth and commonly referred to as Al-Shabaab have joined Twitter, the popular micro-blogging social network.

Al-shabaab's entry into Twitter comes more than a month after Kenya's military moved into the country in an effort to contain militia incursions into Kenya. Al-shabaab is widely considered as a terrorist group with alleged ties to Alqaeda, the group behind the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Al-shabaab is being fought by an African Union led force, comprising of forces from several East African countries including Uganda, Burundi and Kenya, in an effort to restore rule of the country to an Internationally recognise Transitional Federal Government. Ethiopian forces are also present in the country.

Kenya's entry into the war saw new communication strategies with the army surprising many people in the world by releasing updates on social media through the Twitter account of the military spokesman, Major Emannuel Chirchir . Major Chirchir has been known to issue warnings of impeding attacks exclusively on his Twitter account and updates of combat between the army and the militia.

Al-shabaab's account shows that it was created at approximately 19.00 hours East African Time (+3 GMT) on Wednesday December 7th 2011. By Thursday midday, the account had sent out 14 updates including combat updates and movement of Kenyan and Somali Transitional Federal Government Troops.

Major Chirchir currently has 9545 people following his updates while Al-shabaab have 378 followers. Major Chirhcir's account can be seen at https://twitter.com/#!/MajorEChirchir while that of HSM at https://twitter.com/#!/HSMpress

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