Kenya Tweet Force
I get a lot of strange stuff in my inbox that’s just not appropriate here, but today was an exception. Someone asked a question and part of the answer was “Kenya Tweet Force”, an irregular cybermilitia supporting the Kenyan government against al Shabaab in Somalia. Their Twitter account, @KTF_press, was only following five others, so this was a good starting clue.
Kenya Tweet Force & Associates
@kdfinfo is actually the Kenya Defense Force and @MajorEChirchir is their spokesman, Major Emmanuel Chirchir. @IntelligencNews belongs to Nairobi based Intelligence Briefs. yahyarmy2010 (brother army in Arabic) is a Sufi – a practitioner of a contemplative practice of Islam similar in temperament to some Buddhist practices or Kaballah. @JustOneBullet relentlessly trolls whatever account the oft banned High Spirit Mission is using at the moment – today it’s @HSMPRESS1.
Kenya Defense Force Official Account
The @kdfinfo account was the least talkative of the bunch – as one would expect for a formal role account for a military organization. The others each had an average of about forty nodes each which they addressed via @ references. As I examined things I became curious about Kenyan Anthony Ngige @ngigeh, with only 172 followers, but whom everyone addressed. Colonel Cyrus Oguna @ColonelCOguna came out against the now suspended fake @KDFspokesman. KDF head General Julius Karangi was also spoofed with @GeneralJKarangi, and this was suspended, too.
As an official account, @MajorEChirchir‘s demeanor is quite different from that of an official account for a western military officer. He is seen actively seeking information on someone of interest in Somalia and he validates @KTF_press, addressing them in a friendly, personal fashion. The rest of his feed is a fascinating read – everything from handling bomb threats to good natured ribbing of @KenyaPower regarding an embarrassing outage.
MajorEChirchir Seeks Info
@MajorEChirchir & @KTF_press
The KKL, short for Küberkaitseliit, is an all volunteer Estonian organization created in response to Russian cyber attacks in 2007. This is the first instance where a state sponsored cybermilitia was created. @KTF_press has this to say about its status:
KTF is a #KOT initiative to help KDF to wage a successful cyber war against Al-Shabaab
DISCLAIMER:KTF is not owned/controlled by KDF or any of its members.
So KTF denies a direct connection, but as we can see with the major’s account, things are rather informal and he acknowledges them as a friendly actor. If I can get a bit of assistance from those who know the region one of my next posts will provide a similar view into this High Spirit Mission group and any al Shabaab accounts I can locate.
Those just arriving may wish to examine The Horn Of Africa and U.S. Military In Africa which contain the only mentions of Kenya I have made thus far. Clearing Somalia Of al-Shabaab is something I wrote six months ago, and maybe now I will get some answers to outstanding questions from those who are in the region.