Anonymous Twitter Charlie Hebdo
Twitter appears to be attempting to silence an Anonymous campaign against jihadist websites and social media accountsCC/ IBTimes UK

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comment and figures from an Anonymous member claiming to be the creator of the original @OpCharlieHebdo account. It is also claimed that the new @_OpCharlieHebdo Twitter account is fake.

Twitter has suspended an account associated with an online campaign set up by the hacktivist collective Anonymous in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this month.

The @OpCharlieHebdo Twitter account was created shortly after the Paris terror attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine and gained thousands of followers within hours of forming.

At the time of the account being shut down yesterday it boasted more than 50,000 followers. Its primary use appeared to be that of gathering information on jihadist websites in order to carry out cyberattacks, as well as sharing lists of suspected jihadist Twitter accounts.

A new account has been set up under the handle @_OpCharlieHebdo, though people claiming to be the creators of the original account are claiming it is fake.

"The account @_opcharliehebdo is fake," an Anonymous member by the name of Cicada told IBTimes UK by email. "We are still waiting for replies to two emails that we sent Twitter. They seemed to have turned a deaf ear, thus amounting to censorship.

"They keep jihadist accounts and KKK accounts online while they idiotically suspend ours. I infer that writing to them is an effort in futility. We are in the process of creating a new account."

A separate source from within Anonymous criticised Twitter last week for providing a Hydra-like platform for terrorists to thrive.

Anonymous's prickly relationship with Twitter

The reason for attempting to silence the campaign is not yet clear - Twitter is yet to respond to a request for comment from IBTimes UK - however it is not the first time Twitter has suspended an account associated with Anonymous.

In 2012 Twitter suspended the most popular Anonymous Twitter account, @youranonnews, which at the time had around 750,000 followers. The account was subsequently restored and now has a 1.5 million-strong following.

Another popular Anonymous Twitter account, @TheAnonMessage, has been suspended on more than one occasion, however @YourAnonNews has denied any connection to this account.

The amorphous nature of the collective means different factions often operate independently and with different motives to others. The Op Charlie Hebdo (#OpCharlieHebdo) campaign on Twitter is not directly controlled by those responsible for @YourAnonNews, however the main account has previously pledged its support.

It is unlikely that Anonymous will carry out a retaliation attack on Twitter as an attack on the social network would be seen as an attack on free speech - one of the core values the collective stand for.