ISIS ‘Goes Public’: Islamic State News Agency Opens Chat Channel for Journalists

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Amaq News, the Islamic State media arm, has opened a public channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram for journalists interested in following ISIS. The announcement came on ISIS terrorist channels on December 15 along with a link to the newly created channel designated for journalists.

Prior to this, ISIS channels were strictly meant for jihadi sympathizers.

The news comes after ISIS announced it had reclaimed the Tamim neighborhood in east Mosul from Iraqi forces, once the site of a suicide car bomb factory, reports Reuters.

However, ISIS control of Tamim is not yet officially confirmed by the Iraqi government.

Earlier this week, ISIS also recaptured Palmyra from Syrian forces. Palmyra is the 4,000-year-old city and UNESCO world heritage site that ISIS previously nearly completely destroyed in line with their hatred of pre-Islamic religion.

Telegram is one of ISIS’ main vehicles for communicating with the world, along with Twitter. A lawsuit filed by the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the Paris attacks, alleges that social media companies like Twitter have been complicit in growing organizations like ISIS. Bloomberg reports that a lawsuit initially filed by the Gonzalez family in June complains “that the companies created ‘original content’ by tying advertisements to ISIS-supported posts and generating revenue from them.”

Keith Altman, a lawyer for the family, alleges that Twitter and other social media platforms are acting outside the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which was initially intended to regulate pornographic material on the Internet.

Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.

Find more ISIS news, photos and videos here.


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