KARACHI (AFP) - Hardline groups are plugging into Western online favourites Facebook and Twitter in a bid to win friends and influence people. Tweeting their view of a civilisation clash between the West and Islam, and posting comments that advocate violence against non-Muslims, groups that are officially banned in the country have found a welter of freedom online. There they have been allowed to operate without censorship from authorities. Amir Rana, an author and expert on the Taliban and militancy in Pakistan, said that extremists had found an easy outlet in social media. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook give banned groups and other extremist groups a good forum for carrying forward their agenda. They are effective tools. Groups with Facebook pages include Sipah Sahaba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Abdul Ghaffar, who runs a page for outfit Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, says Facebook is useful for reaching media-savvy followers. It gives us space to counter the malicious anti-Islam propaganda. Facebook and Twitter are effective tools to inform people and involve them in the collective tasks. Several fan pages have also been set up in praise of jihadi organisations and militant leaders, including Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the cleric killed in the 2007 military crackdown on Lal Masjid in Islamabad. One recent Twitter post by banned global Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, urges Muslims in Pakistan to stop supply trucks travelling to Afghanistan to deliver provisions to NATO coalition troops fighting Taliban insurgents. These means give us space to approach the people and inform them about our programme, said Hizb-ut-Tahrir spokesman Naveed Butt. We target the elite and educated through bulk SMS and our pages on social networking sites are gaining popularity, he added, accusing Facebook of twice deleting a Hizb-ut-Tahir fan page. Last month, Singapore said it had detained a 20-year-old army trainee who planned to fight with militants in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq after being influenced by online posts. Muhammad Fadil bin Abdul Hamid, who was serving his mandatory two-year military service, was deeply radicalised by the lectures of radical ideologues such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Sheikh Feiz Muhammad, the government said. Anwar al-Awlaki, who holds dual US-Yemen citizenship, is known as the Bin Laden of the Internet, as he has a blog and Facebook page and posts his lectures on popular video-sharing website YouTube.