Taliban using Twitter to spread message

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- Taliban jihadists are using Twitter to spread their propaganda after being banned from Facebook and censored on YouTube, a U.S. intelligence analyst says.

The Internet has long been a tool for terrorists to distribute video and audio messages, but this is the first time they have tried to establish a foothold on Twitter, said William McCants, an analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses and founder of the blog, which reports on extremist messaging.


"Up until now, we haven't seen the [extremist] groups themselves active in this space," McCants said. "The question is: Is this the start of a trend, or is it an anomaly?" he added.

The Twitter feed linking to the official Web site of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban calls itself, is in Pashto, the language spoken in the tribal sections of Pakistan and the Taliban's heartland in southern Afghanistan, The Washington Times reported Friday.

It has posted more than 670 tweets, the newspaper said.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., a leading advocate for censoring extremists' use of social media, said the onus is on Twitter, the Times said.


"I would think [terrorist sympathizers using Twitter] would be violating the company's terms of use, just as they violated the terms of use of Facebook and YouTube," Lieberman said.

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