Proof that the Taliban are an internet- and social media-savvy bunch: They’re now tweeting in English. Here’s a screen grab of what appears to be their first tweet in English (also, see Update 2 below):
They’ve already been tweeting in Arabic (@alsomood) and Pashto (@alemarah), but apparently just decided to reach out to a larger audience. This comes after they’ve been running websites in Pashto, Farsi, Urdu, Arabic and English — websites equipped with propaganda videos, up-to-date reports of Taliban operations, press releases, editorials and even twice-daily Pashto radio podcasts.
They even publish an e-magazine in Arabic and have their code of conduct booklet online (Dari), just in case internet-savvy Taliban recruits need a quick reference on winning Afghan hearts and minds. The Afghan Taliban seem to have a leg up on their Pakistani counterparts in using the internet and social media.
Update 1: Journalist Erin Cunningham tells me that her fixer recently interviewed a Taliban commander via Google Chat. Impressive.
Update 2, 11:56 EST: An unverified account purportedly belonging to the Afghan Taliban has been tweeting in English for the past three hours. The account @ABalkhi appears to be the Taliban’s dedicated English-language twitter account. Hat tip to Twitter user @Kimbo_Ramplin.