Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 05/13/2011

Taliban tweets in English, joining other militant groups that use Facebook and Twitter


Taliban fighters pose with weapons as they sit in a room in southern Afghanistan in this May 5 photo. (Stringer/Afghanistan - Reuters)
Hardline militant groups have found the Internet and its social tools increasingly more useful over the past few years, creating Facebook pages or tweeting to spread their message.

The Taliban, which has been tweeting since 2010 under the name @alemarahweb, posted its first message in English Thursday.

The Taliban previously tweeted only in Pashtu, a regional dialect of Afghanistan, posting highly exaggerated information on deadly attacks against what they call “infidel forces.” It’s now doing the same in English.

The tweets often link to the Taliban’s Web site, which is translated into at least five languages, including English.

The Taliban is following only 12 accounts on Twitter, including @Afghantim, who is a “USAF Logistics Readiness Officer currently deployed as a combat adviser to the Afghan Army,” according to his bio.

Other militant groups have plugged into social networking sites, including Pakistani hardline militant groups Jamat-ud-Dawa and the pro al-Qaeda Sipah-e-Sahaba, which have Facebook pages.

Jamat-ud-Dawa’s Facebook page was shut down after the attacks on Mumbai in 2008, but resurfaced in 2010 emblazoned with images of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, and maps that show a future India taken over by Pakistan.

The Facebook page of Sipah-e-Sahaba, a banned militant Sunni Islamic organization, preaches its anti-Shiite bias.

The Washington Post is unable to verify the location of the Facebook pages of Jamat-ud-Dawa and Sipah-e-Sahaba.

By  |  12:59 PM ET, 05/13/2011

 
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