US Lawmakers Take Up Call to Ban Hamas from Twitter

November 24, 2012  

The past week’s terrorist attacks against the State of Israel have rekindled calls for Twitter to ban Hamas from utilizing the social networking site to incite hate.

A letter sent to FBI Director Robert Mueller called on the U.S. to vindicate a similar request made by seven House Republicans in September, calling for Twitter to ban the accounts of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hizbullah and Somalia’s al Shabaab.

“Allowing foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling the enemy,” wrote Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) in an e-mailed statement to The Hill. “Failure to block access arms them with the ability to freely spread their violent propaganda and mobilize in their War on Israel.”

“Anti-American foreign terrorist groups around the world are doing the same thing every day,” added Poe, who is a member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary panel’s subcommittee on terrorism. “The FBI and Twitter must recognize sooner rather than later that social media is a tool for the terrorists.”

An FBI spokesperson told The Hill Wednesday that the agency “will respond to members of Congress directly. Our response is being considered internally.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States, launched a similar campaign earlier this week.

Titled “No Twitter for Terrorists”, the campaign urged supporters to send letters to the U.S. Attorney’s office and other lawmakers demanding that the terrorist group no longer be able to exploit the social networking platform.

CUFI maintained that it is prohibited for Twitter to provide services to Hamas because, as on officially designated terrorist group, it is illegal for any U.S. company to provide it with material support.

“By allowing Hamas to have a Twitter account, you are providing it with an important ‘service’ and extremely effective ‘communications equipment’ which are central to its primary mission of terrorizing the Israeli people and using civilian deaths to score political points,” CUFI asserted.

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