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US cyber-warriors battling Islamic State on Twitter

An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 13, 2014 allegedly shows Islamic State militants clashing with Iraqi soldiers at an undisclosed location close to the Iraqi-Syrian borderThe United States has launched a social media offensive against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, setting out to win the war of ideas by ridiculing the militants with a mixture of blunt language and sarcasm. Diplomats and experts are the first to admit that the digital blitz being waged on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will never be a panacea to combat the jihadists. For the past 18 months, US officials have targeted dozens of social network accounts linked to Islamic radicals, posting comments, photos and videos and often engaging in tit-for-tat exchanges with those which challenge America. At the US State Department, employees at the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), created in 2011, manage an Arabic-language Twitter account set up in 2012 (https://twitter.com/DSDOTAR), an English-language equivalent (https://twitter.com/ThinkAgain_DOS) and a Facebook page, launched this week, (https://www.facebook.com/ThinkAgainTurnAway).

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