ISIS propaganda hijacks Justin Bieber hashtag: Report

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a graphic execution video using the #JustinBieber hashtag on Twitter.
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a graphic execution video using the #JustinBieber hashtag on Twitter.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY - Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a graphic execution video using the #JustinBieber hashtag on Twitter, in an apparent bid to reach out to the 74 million mostly young people who follow the Canadian star, the Australian Associated Press reported on Friday (Jan 22).

Released via ISIS's Twitter account, the video, titled "Message to Islamic West", hijacked the Justin Bieber hashtag in the early hours of Friday, AAP reported. The link also carried the hashtags #ISIS and #ISIL, two of the terrorist group's acronyms.

The release of the video comes after a warning from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week that the online campaign against ISIS must be considerably improved, AAP added.

"... The Iraqi government and other anti-ISIL forces are not reacting quickly enough to contradict ISIL's online messages which have been used both to recruit new fighters and demoralise those who oppose them, and we should help them with this," Mr Turnbull said in Washington.

The 15-minute slickly produced video includes footage of the execution of four men. Footage of various attacks are also shown, as are appeals for new recruits.

It also features a martyrdom video of an Islamic State fighter as he prepares to carry out a suicide bombing using a vehicle laden with explosives. The video shows the man driving the vehicle towards an enemy base, followed by a massive explosion.