EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Use Of Facebook, Google, And Twitter By Taliban And Other Jihadi Groups MEMRI By: Tufail Ahmad
Aljihad Media, now deleted by Facebook, promoted Urdu-language jihadi websites
In recent years, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other jihadi organizations across the Middle East, have been relying on U.S.-based websites to spread their message of jihad and to recruit new members and sympathizers. The primary reason for using U.S.-based websites appears to be the jihadi organizations' understanding that the strong free-speech laws in that country make it difficult for anyone to prevent and stop their publications. The U.S.-based websites frequently used by the jihadi groups include Google's various products: the video-sharing website YouTube, the photo-sharing service Picasa, Google Groups, and the like; and the social networking site Facebook, which has emerged as a major free site for the Pakistan-based groups to spread the Taliban's messages in Urdu. The Taliban also use Twitter on a day-to-day basis to retweet weblinks to their statements and videos on various websites of their own.
Recently, Archive.org, a U.S.-based website for archiving and sharing documents online, has also emerged as a repository of the Taliban's and other groups' jihadi videos and statements. The jihadi groups first publish their videos and statements on their own websites, and then post a link to them on Archive.org. Most jihadi organizations also host their websites in the U.S., making it difficult for Western intelligence agencies to hack them. Of all the U.S.-based companies, Facebook appears to be the only American company that promptly blocks jihadi accounts.