Tweeting Taliban switches to English

Posted by Emma Woollacott

It seems the Taliban isn't quite as opposed to the use of modern technology as it once was. Not only does it now have its own Twitter feed, it's even started tweeting in English.

The @alemarahweb feed first started up at the end of last year. It nowhas over two thousand followers, whom it updates regularly about Taliban victories over the infidels. It's run by PR man Mostafa Ahmedi.

While most tweets are in Pashtu, it yesterday switched to English to tell its supporters: "Enemy attacked in Khak-e-Safid, 6 dead". It links to the Voice of Jihad website, which describes in more detail the killing of the six 'puppet police'.

Several more English-language posts have followed.

Back in 2001, the Taliban banned the use of the internet in Afghanistan, saying it facilitated content which was immoral and against Islam. Since then, though, it seems to have softened its stance - for Taliban officials at least - by launching its website and even a YouTube account.

The @alemarahweb Twitter feed is following 12 others itself - including Afghan Tim, a USAF Logistics Readiness Officer currently working as a combat advisor to the Afghan Army.

It's also following Afghan Heroes UK, a charity formed to support British Joint Forces serving in Afghanistan. No doubt it finds the details of the charity's Mother's Day Ride of Respect absolutely fascinating.