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The Taliban on Twitter

Small account, now growing, just began to tweet in English

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[ Social Media]

It might surprise you to learn that the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist group most notable for their harboring Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network, is on Twitter.

The account, @alemarahweb, is linked to the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.  The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was the name of the ruling powers of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 when they took control of Kabul and 90% of the country.  This regime was famous for their harsh treatment of women and the Shia minority in Afghanistan.  The Taliban became synonymous with Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda following 9/11.

So yeah, that Taliban is now active in the world of social media.

The account in question has been around for s few months now, but it just tweeted its first English tweet late yesterday.  The Guardian first reported the account and their shift to English:

Their Twitter feed, @alemarahweb, pumps out several messages a day, keeping 993 followers up to date with often highly exaggerated reports of strikes against the “infidel forces” and the “Karzai puppet regime”. Most messages are in Pashtu, with links to news stories on the elaborate and multilingual website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban’s shadow government likes to style itself.

Today, the feed broke into English for the first time, with a tweet about an attack on police in Farah province.

Enemy attacked in Khak-e-Safid, 6 dead: FARAH, May. 12 – Mujahideen from Khak-e-Safid district say that at least… http://bit.ly/lBMSG2 1 day ago via twitterfeed · powered by @socialditto

The above tweet takes the form of most of the English language tweets (about 8 in total) put out by the Taliban.  They are usually death reports and refer to the U.S. as “invaders.”  The reports range from ground troop deaths to helicopters shot down to US tanks being “obliterated.”

US invaders spy plane shot down in Wardag: WARDAG, May 13 – Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate shot down a pilot… http://bit.ly/mflbWQ 3 hours ago via twitterfeed · powered by @socialditto

When the Guardian reported on the account last night it had just under 1,000 followers.  At the writing of this article it has 2,814 followers.  The account is following only 12 other accounts, including an Afghani carpet weaving group and a children’s mini-circus based in Kabul.  Strangley enough the Taliban’s account also follows a USAF logistics readiness officer currently deployed in Afghanistan.  How’s that phrase go?  Keep your friends close but follow your enemies on Twitter?

The Taliban’s embrace of technology seems a little odd, considering that they declared the internet as “wrong” and “against Islam” before banning it back in 2001.  But, let’s remember, we thought Osama bin Laden was still holed up in a cave somewhere before we found him in a million dollar compound.  And as far as technology goes, we collected a treasure trove of information from his computers and drives that we are still in the process of sorting through.

The Taliban on Twitter
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  • Sandra Rodgers

    So, the Taliban has the audacity to go on Twitter..?? LOL-LOL!!!

    The Taliban continues to violate human rights amidst world-wide condemnation of same. Who the %^&$* do you think you are and how the *(^%$ do you sleep at night while carrying on your most “sickest-of-all” campaign against the West?? Is this a “macho” thing? – or is it in the name of a warped interpretation of your sicko beliefs????

    Get a life and let us get a life without your sick paranoia. I am entitled to say that extremests are never welcome in any country!!!

  • Sandra Roders

    HARDEE-HAR-HAR-HAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a joke you extremists are – totally fake with no substance and rebels WITHOUT A CAUSE!!! Get a life – GO HOME AND LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE!! – - You sanctimonious hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.lerentech.com Syracuse Web Design

    Most people aren’t aware but all this social media is the result of years of R&D at DARPA as part of the US war on terror. The only reason we finally got Bin Laden after all these years is that he checked in on Foursquare.

  • http://www.yahire.com Sarah Johnston

    One word: BRAINWASHED!