As We See It

The Taliban tweets—and gets hacked, too

The Taliban announced last week that its one-eyed leader had been got. But according to Taliban spokesmen (yes, they have spokesmen), Mullah Mohammed Omar is alive and plotting. Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that he believed mobile phones, emails and a website were hacked by U.S. intelligence, adding that revenge would be taken on the appropriate network providers (they’ll have to get in line behind all of the angry subscribers who are sick of dropped calls and hidden fees).

“The enemies are spreading rumors because they are facing a decisive defeat and their morale is weakened,” he reportedly said.

But what could be more morale weakening than a heinous tweet? Twitter is, in fact, the 21st century battlefield of choice. There’s even a top 10 list of celebrity Twitter wars, with volleys coming hot and bitchy in 140 characters or less. If the U.S. is responsible for the Taliban hack and did broadcast the bogus goods via Twitter (news reports are unclear), we congratulate them on going for the #jugular.

In its own bid for hipness, al Qaeda launched an English-language magazine last summer. Called Inspire, it was described by Wired as “a lifestyle rag for the conspiracy-minded takfiri, filling the inexplicably vacant media space between O: The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics and the al Qaeda book Knights Under The Prophet’s Banner.”

The Taliban, for its part, has been tweeting in English since May, ensuring that its enemies (at least those with smart phones) won’t miss a martyrdom. Our feelings about this whole thing are summed up in the following tweet:

@karibowieHertel If I’m reading my twitter feed right, someone hacked Taliban cell phones+tweeted a death? Wait, the Taliban tweets????

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