ISIS Is Using Social Media, Asking Backers to Tweet Support for the Brussels Attacks


The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, has called on its supporters to use Twitter to support the terrorist network's coordinated attacks in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. 

ISIS claimed responsibility not long after multiple suicide bombings, which left at least 34 dead and 230 injured. 

The New York Times' ISIS correspondent, Rukmini Callimachi, tweeted a screenshot of a private Telegram channel entitled "Khilafah News," allegedly affiliated with ISIS. The reporter, who has garnered a reputation for sharing credible insider sources on social media and in her reporting, is apparently a member of the channel. 

In the chatroom, the owner of the account encourages ISIS supporters to use Twitter and the hashtags associated with the attacks to promote the bombings. Anyone who does, reads the post, so will earn their "ajr" — or reward from Allah in exchange for a good deed.

A public show of support for the attacks will undoubtedly fuel Islamophobia, which surged on social media just hours after the attacks. #StopIslam became the most trending hashtag in France by Tuesday evening, local time. 

A similar pattern emerged after ISIS' coordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. Social media has functioned as a breeding ground for ideological warfare — a trend not lost on the Islamic State.

March 23, 2016, 11:13 a.m.: This story has been updated.