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Islamic State supporters launch their own social media site

By Danielle Haynes

MOSUL, Iraq, March 9 (UPI) -- A group expressing loyalty to the Islamic State launched its own version of Facebook last week, though by Monday the site had been shut down to protect the privacy of its members.

The social media site's name, 5elafabook.com, is taken from the Arabic word for caliphate, "khilafa." The letters "kh" also represent the number 5 in Arabic.

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A representative of the site told Al-Arabiya it isn't affiliated with IS -- also identified by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL -- but its loyalty lies with an Islamic state or caliphate.

The social media site is translated into seven languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Indonesian and Javanese. Strangely, the site is not available in Arabic.

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Technology news website Vocativ reported the 5elafabook.com domain is registered on GoDaddy.com and is tied to the name Abu Musab in Mosul, Iraq.

The site strongly resembles Facebook and could possibly have been created in reaction to Twitter's recent purge of IS accounts. Twitter shut down some 2,000 accounts associated with the terror group last week, prompting death threats against the company's co-founder and other employees.

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A report from the Brookings Institution estimated there are at least 46,000 Twitter accounts held and used by IS supporters.

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Meanwhile, it doesn't look as though 5elafabook.com is registering any new users at this point. As of Monday afternoon, the website featured a message announcing the site is temporarily shut down.

Islamic State supporters started a social media website called 5elafabook.com, though they had temporarily shut it down Monday. Screengrab of 5elafabook.com

"May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you," the message begins.

"5elafa book announces a temporary shut down in order to protect the info and details of its members and their safety. 5elafa book is an independent site and is not sponsored by the Islamic State. We reiterate that the purpose of launching the site was to clarify to the whole world that we do not only carry guns and live in caves as they image.

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"We do not live to kill and spill blood as the media portrays us. We are fighting the enemies of Allah's religious, for Islam is a lifestyle which Allah deemed for his worshipers.

"We advance with our world and we want advancement to become Islamic. We rule the caliphate land with the Quran and we will rule the whole world by Allah's permission. We have a universal vision where Muslims live in peace under the banner of Islam and the rule of Sharia.

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"We love to die as much as you love to live and we promise to fight until the last one of us. If we are to die then martyrdom is our path and the generations behind us will fight until victory or martyrdom."

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