Taliban commander used LinkedIn to recruit?

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 05, 2015 13:34 IST

A senior Taliban commander, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has been caught using professional networking site LinkedIn in an apparent bid to recruit terrorists.

Ehsan, who made 69 connections, claimed he was a spokesperson for the ruthless Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and listed 'jihad and journalism' as his skills on his LinkedIn account, British newspapers reported on Sunday.

The account was taken down by the company on Friday after it was approached by reporters from The Sunday Telegraph, who saw Ehsan's claims.

A spokesperson for LinkedIn said the company's security team had decided to 'restrict' the account and it would no longer be in operation. She also said there was suspicion that it was a fake account, pointing to the 'lack of Taliban recruiting messages'.

Ehasan's Taliban splinter group in Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, had threatened to attack Britain in October to retaliate against the arrest of Anjem Choudary, a radical Islamist cleric and eight other extremists in London.

Ehsan formed Jamaat-ul-Ahrar along with former commanders of the the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan wing of the Taliban. The group declared their separation in August 2014.

The newly-formed terror group was blamed for the devastating suicide bombing on the Attari-Wagah border in Pakistan last November that left at least 61 dead.

Days after the attack, Ehsan issued a series of tweets, including one that identified the bomber and another that threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He had his Twitter account suspended after the incident, but now operates using a different name.

When he was with the TTP, Islamabad had declared a $650,000 bounty on his head after he boasted of the Taliban's hand in the attack on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in October 2012 for wanting to go to school.

After the attack, Ehsan said: “She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol. She was young, but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.”

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