Gaza violence leads lawmakers to call for shuttering terror groups on Twitter

The past week's violence in Gaza has rekindled calls for Twitter to shutter the accounts of U.S.-labeled terror groups such as Hamas.

Seven House Republicans asked the FBI in September to demand that Twitter take down the accounts of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Somalia's al Shabaab. The letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who said Wednesday that the recent events vindicated the request.

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“Allowing foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling the enemy,” Poe said in an e-mailed statement to The Hill. “Failure to block access arms them with the ability to freely spread their violent propaganda and mobilize in their War on Israel.

“Anti-American foreign terrorist groups around the world are doing the same thing every day. The FBI and Twitter must recognize sooner rather than later that social media is a tool for the terrorists.”

Poe is a member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary panel's subcommittee on terrorism. Separately, the pro-Israel group Christians United for Israel launched a petition on Monday calling for Twitter to “ban” Hamas.

An FBI spokesperson told The Hill Wednesday that the agency “will respond to members of Congress directly. Our response is being considered internally.”