Hajjaj Fahd al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti national with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda, had unearthed a novel way to secure funds for terror activities.
Very recently, the man designated a terror financier by the U.S. and the United Nations had a robust and active presence on Instagram, broadcasting calls to attract financing to his 1.7 million followers on Instagram.
But his burgeoning social media efforts came tumbling down after the Facebook-owned company shuttered his account, 24 hours after CNBC inquired about it.
Instagram confirmed that certain accounts on its platform appeared to have been maintained by or on behalf of Hajjaj Fahd al-Ajmi, and that it has a legal obligation to disable those accounts.
Al-Ajmi's case is not an outlier: According to analysts, terrorists are turning to social media platforms to secure material support for their operations, in part because of the anonymity and extensive reach they offer.
The revelations come at a particularly fraught moment for tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter, which are already under scrutiny for facilitating Russia-backed propaganda in the run up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
That trend particularly applies to terrorist operations in conflict zones such as Syria, according Nolwenn Bourillon-Bervas, lead terrorism analyst at independent risk consultancy the Risk Advisory Group.