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UAE warns of online face mask sales to fund terror

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on September 7, 2020 | Last updated on September 7, 2020 at 06.50 am
Extremists, selling, face masks, online, fund terror, Sawab Centre


Sawab officials have urged residents not to click on links and open websites that promote terror literature.

Extremist groups are creating fake social media accounts to promote and sell face masks so they can fund terror activities, Sawab Centre has warned.

The centre, which is the UAE's online engagement initiative in support of the global coalition against extremism, tweeted: "While the world is trying to recover from Covid-19, Daesh members create fake accounts on social media pretending to sell face masks to fund terror activities. They prey on the vulnerability of the world and have no moral or religious values."

Sawab officials have urged residents not to click on links and open websites that promote terror literature. "In their bloody propaganda, extremists try to brainwash recruits into killing innocent people. Extremist ideology contradicts the common sense we share as human beings."

The Sawab Centre has warned that social media networks have become an open field and the information published on these sites is not subject to scrutiny or investigation. Many stories can be fabricated and spread on social media, said officials.

The centre called on parents to protect their children from criminals lurking online. "They (children) deserve a safe life that preserves their innocence, far from the fear and extremism that Daesh and its kind are trying to spread."

In their recent awareness messages, the centre noted that since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, extremists have been actively focusing on attracting and recruiting new followers and youngsters were among the major targets. "The youth remain particularly vulnerable as they are likely to spend more time online."

The centre recently launched a campaign on its social media accounts under the #Humanity, highlighting the importance of hope, common human solidarity, and the struggle to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said humanitarian workers risk their lives to save others and alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable, including people affected by pandemics and those in war-ravaged areas. "The fight against Daesh would have been more difficult without the tireless work of aid workers. They are truly the backbone of our societies." 



Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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