Taliban Assassination Claims Have Hit Twitter

Afghan election card AP Photo/Rahmat GulAn Afghan resident shows his voter identification card at a voter registration for the planned elections in 2014.

A spokesman for the Taliban tweeted Wednesday that members of the group had killed an Afghan election official,
The New York Timesreported.

The tweet read: “At 9 a.m. this morning, Engineer Mohammad Aman[ullah] head of Kunduz Independent Election Commission was killed by our Mujahedeen in Takharistan area of Kunduz city,” according to the Times. Two gunmen riding on a motorcycle shot and killed Amanullah.

Amanullah had run an IEC office in Kunduz province since 2003. Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, mocked the planned April 2014 elections late last year as a “waste of time” but made no specific threats — though just this year the Taliban eschewed participation, vowing to fight until U.S. troops leave, Reuters reports.

Prior to the social media admission, officials had no idea who was behind the attack.

This may have been the first attack on an IEC official in recent years — and the first time the Taliban tweeted an assassination. But it’s certainly not the first time radical Islamic groups have used social media to rile their opponents.

Even though Twitter suspended al Shabaab’s (an al Qaeda affiliate) access to the social media site in late January this year, the group hopped back on the keyboard only two weeks later, tweeting propaganda in plain English. Al Shabaab got itself into trouble when it tweeted a plan to kill a French official as well as death threat against Kenyan hostages. Both directly violate Twitter’s rules.

The Taliban has also encroached on Facebook territory, participating in everything from mundane job posting to wooing Coalition troops into info-traps with “hot chicks.”

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