Taliban spokesman’s social media account closed down | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Taliban spokesman’s social media account closed down

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The US-based LinkedIn management has taken down the account of the TTP Jamaatul Ahraar (TTP-JA) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan after he was found using the international social networking website to propagate his extremist jehadi agenda.

Headquartered in California, the LinkedIn allows registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.Ehsanullah Ehsan, who used to be the central spokesman for the Fazlullah-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, had listed his skills [while registering himself with LinkedIn] as “jehad and journalism”. A LinkedIn spokesman has already confirmed that the company’s security team had taken down the account and it was no longer in operation.

LinkedIn network members are called “connections.” And before his account was taken down, Ehsanullah Ehsan had 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating a sizable network.

Interestingly, Ehsanullah, who is wanted for the October 2012 failed assassination bid on Malala Yousafzai, did not hide his jehadi links and clearly introduced himself on LinkedIn as spokesman for the Jamaatul Ahraar, which is a splinter group of the TTP led by Commander Omar Khalid Khurasani who had claimed responsibility last year for beheading 23 jawans of the Frontier Corps. The Pakistan government had placed a million dollar bounty on Ehsanullah Ehsan’s head after he had claimed responsibility for the murder attempt on Malala.

Ehsanullah said that after the failed attempt on the young girl from Swat: “Malala was pro-West. She was speaking against Taliban and promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.”

As per his employment history, Ehsan has been a spokesman for the Taliban since 2010. A LinkedIn member’s profile page, which emphasizes employment history as well as education, has professional network news feeds and a limited number of customizable modules. Listing his skills as jehad and journalism, Ehsanullah had provided details of his school, employment history and language skills.

He had described Jamaatul Ahrar as his current employer. While setting up his LinkedIn account, Ehsanullah did not hesitate to incorporate his picture.

Ehsanullah is currently affiliated with the most lethal splinter group of the Taliban led by an equally ruthless commander, Omar Khalid Khurasani who maintains close ties to al-Qaeda and is believed to have given sanctuary to Dr Ayman Zawahiri in the past.

Abdul Wali Khan alias Khurasani, a former journalist from the Mohmand Agency, had slaughtered 23 FC personnel in February 2014 while the government was holding peace talks with the TTP. His group was formed in August 2014 which instantly announced its support to the Islamic State (IS) led by Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi on September 4, 2014. “The Islamic State is working for the implementation of Islamic system and creation of the caliphate and we respect them. They are our Mujahideen brothers. If they ask us for help, we will look into it”, so said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a resident of Mohmand Agency whose actual name is Sajjad Mohmand.

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