The Taliban app which was developed to further its propaganda agenda boost its internet visibility has been removed from the Play Store by Google.
The Taliban app which was reported by the U.S based SITE Intel Group, which dedicates its time to monitoring jihadist movements online, was launched on April 1st. The app called Pashto, contained content such as official videos and statements from the Taliban. The Taliban has been ever-present in the Afghanistan for more than 14 years waging a war there since the U.S ousted it in 2001.
Confirmations from a Google spokeswoman that the app was no longer available for download from the Google Play Store were made on Sunday.
The Taliban and some of the jihadist movements have been trying to get a foothold on the Internet because of the modern world we live in. The Taliban was trying to get a bigger audience worldwide through the use of the app. In addition to the Pashto app, the Taliban also has an up to date website which runs in five languages including their language of origin, Arabic. English is also part of the languages available. The group also has active Twitter and Facebook accounts from which they provide daily updates for all the insurgency it does. Several attempts have been made to take down the Taliban’s website and Twitter accounts to limit the appeal of the group to the outside world as well as prevent the group communications efforts.
Of late, social media websites have been criticized for not doing much in taking down jihadist and extremists accounts which feature on their website. The Taliban and ISIS have used social media accounts to recruit some members for their groups and raise some funds for their vile actions.
An independent Kabul-based security analyst said of the app, “The app will help Taliban to further psychologically weaken Afghanistan by their propaganda reports.”
The Taliban spokespersons were not available and didn’t return calls to their phones. An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson, Sediq Sediqqi, however, said he was not aware of any Taliban app.