theodp writes: As Twitter heads to a big IPO payday, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen notes that the assault on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi by armed gunmen 'was the first major terrorist attack in history in which the group that mounted the operation used Twitter to announce to the world it was responsible. The group then quickly tweeted what its rationale was for the attack and also gave operational details of the assault — all in real time.' During the massacre, a Twitter account purportedly used by the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab tweeted, "Like it or loathe it! our mujahideen confirmed all executions were point blank range!" The group also wrote, "#Westgate: a 14-hour standoff relayed in 1400 rounds of bullets and 140 characters of vengeance and still ongoing. Good morning Kenya!" So, what's in store for our brave new world of Social Media? 'The next logical step," fears Bergen," will be for terrorists to cover their deadly operations using their own real-time live video feeds linked to sites such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event.'
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