First Published: 2013-01-24

 

Clinton unveils US ‘new weapon’ to fight Qaeda: Social media

 

US State Department starts two organizations to deal with countering extremism on Internet, will use tools such as Twitter to combat anti-Americanism.

 

Middle East Online

‘Social media is a great tool’

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised Wednesday that the United States would use the Internet and social media in its fight against Al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamist groups.

The outgoing top diplomat said the US State Department had "started two organizations to deal with countering violent extremism" on the Internet, and would use tools such as Twitter to combat online anti-Americanism.

"Social media is a great tool," Clinton told lawmakers when speaking to Congress about the deadly attack on a US mission in Benghazi, Libya four months ago.

The new operation she has set up is "staffed with inter-agency experts," and "I'm not saying anything that's classified, but it's beginning to try to respond to Al-Qaeda and other jihadist propaganda.

"If they put up a video which talks about how terrible Americans are, we put up a video which talks about, you know, how terrible they are," Clinton said.

"We're trying to meet them in the media channels (in which) they are communicating with people."

Referring back to the Cold War era during "our fight against international communism," Clinton said media tactics had worked well and that in 2013 the United States would confront a similar challenge with an up-to-date strategy.

"We did a lot of things really well. I mean, we kept people's hopes alive, we communicated with freedom lovers and advocates behind the Iron Curtain. We did it through media, we did it through our values."

Clinton's testimony came on the eve of Thursday's Senate hearing to confirm her successor, John Kerry, who is expected to be easily voted in and could take over within days.

The outgoing Secretary insisted there was no cover-up of events in Benghazi, when dozens of heavily-armed Al-Qaeda-linked militants overran the US mission compound and a nearby CIA-run annex.

The incident set off an eight-hour firefight in which four people, including US ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State