Al-Qaida Twitter Account Suspended After Posting Hostage Photos, Death Threats

A Twitter account set up by militants linked to Al Qaida was suspended on Friday after the group posted pictures of several Kenyan hostages, with a tweet threatening to kill them.

On Friday a message on the @HSMPress account read: "The profile you are trying to view has been suspended."

In addition to the pictures sent by the Shabab militants, they also produced a short video featuring one of the hostages pleading for the Kenyan government to aid in helping free them, according to the SITE monitoring service, which tracks extremists' statements online.

The hostages were held as collateral by Shabab militants who were trying to get the unconditional release of Muslim prisoners held on terrorism charges in Kenya.

One of the tweets stated that the Kenyan government had three weeks to respond "if the prisoners are to remain alive."

Twitter has since explained that it does not discuss individual accounts for security purposes, but did detail that in the social media giant's terms of service it states specifically that a person "may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others."

"I'm in favor of allowing them to continue (using Twitter), but I don't think it should be unfettered," J.M. Berger, a terrorism analyst who runs the website, told Fox News. "They clearly crossed the line threatening to kill someone and that person ended up dead. It's in Twitter's interest not to allow that kind of thing."

Shabab militants had previously used its Twitter account to publish images of a French soldier, who was killed after being captured during a failed rescue attempt for French secret service agent Denis Allex.

In one of the reported tweets the militants specifically addressed French President Francois Hollande with the posting reading: "Francois Hollande, was it worth it?"