October 15th, 2014
04:39 PM ET

The Taliban's Twitter misstep?

For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Terrorists and jihadis have embraced social media using the Wild West of the Internet to exhibit bravado and spread their messages of hate. The bad guys have learned how to turn Twitter into a tool of terror. And Twitter is fighting back.

One analyst who monitors such accounts, J.M. Berger, tweeted last month that Twitter suspended 400 accounts linked to ISIS in just seven hours. But social media can also sometimes be a counterterrorism weapon.

Just recently, Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, might have made the CIA's job a little easier. Mujahid's Twitter profile says he is in Kabul, but he posted tweets that showed his location, and as many media outlets reported, those tweets showed him to be in neighboring Pakistan, where many believe leaders of his group are in hiding.

He quickly claimed to be the victim of an "enemy forgery," turned off the location feature and showed that it is possible to spoof your location by sending a tweet that made it look like he was in Brian, Ohio, population 8,000.

While it is possible he was hacked, we think the book "Twitter for Dummies" might better explain what happened.

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Topics: GPS Show • Last Look

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Estimablestephanie


    October 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Bien dit, Estimablestephanie. Merci beaucoup. A bas avec Twitter, les saligauds!!!

      October 16, 2014 at 8:38 am | Reply
  2. Blue Saffron

    So the CIA has this tweet rat in Pakistan. It figures. Pakistan is full of terrorists. That's where Pakistan hid the coward OBL.
    The only good Islamist is a dead Islamist.

    October 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      I wouldn't say that, Blue Saffron. The only good Pakistani is one who doesn't collaborate with the West.

      October 16, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Dooifus

      Sorry, OBL died in Afghanistan in 2001. You must be thinking of someone else

      October 16, 2014 at 9:43 am | Reply
  3. Hannah

    So true Blue. Thank you.

    October 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  4. Ferhat Balkan

    Well, there's one major problem: Someone with the intent of sending hate messages can easily spoof his IP, create a new email account and new Twitter account. So you can't really "prevent" someone from sending the messages, you can only stop them temporarily. I think what the CIA needs to do is send out infiltration agents instead of sitting at their computer screens all day waiting for the next hate message. This is the problem we face with ISIS, this is the problem we face with al-Qaeda. It is the only way (in my opinion) to take out a terrorist leader which severely weakens such an organization. I know, it takes time and is a risk to the agents involved, but it is a proven method. You need the human element. Sitting at a desk in Langley a thousand miles away monitoring twitter and directing a "targeted" drone strike is not the way to do it. You only end up killing innocent people which is a recruitment strategy for the terrorists.

    October 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Lester

      I have found that the FBI and the CIA are largely ineffectual at stopping terrorists via computer, either domestic or abroad. They knowingly foster terroristic hackers that prey on innocents to further whatever agenda they're currently favoring. In other words, are they really there to help, or hinder?

      October 15, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        The CIA has been literally shooting itself on the foot over the past several decades. Largely due to a "arm the opposition" strategy employed ever since the 60s. I'll give several examples: 1961 Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba, CIA armed and trained guerrillas to fight Fidel Castro ended in disaster with many dead and no positive results whatsoever. During the 80s the Reagan administration armed and supported the contra rebels in Nicaragua who were ultimately defeated. The Mujaheddin in Afghanistan against the Soviets; result: Soviets were forced out, but many of the fighters later formed what is now knows as al-Qaeda. 2006 when CIA decided to help and arm a group of Somali warlords named "The Alliance for the restoration of peace and counterterrorism". That attempt ultimately backfired, strenghtening the opposition fighters that the CIA had intervened to defeat. Now, let's look at today... The US is "arming the opposition" where? The Syrian moderate rebels and... The moderate Kurds. How well will that end? Judge for yourself. No one in Washington seems to care though. As long as the weapons keep flowing.

        October 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
      • Green Saffron

        Lester la mo-lester

        October 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
      • Lester

        Ferhat, is the CIA and the FBI knowingly giving hackers a free pass at causing chaos part of the "arm the enemy" strategy? I do agree with the US's propensity of having the weapons we sell today falling into the wrong hands tomorrow, and having them used against us. In this case, hindsight is blind.

        October 16, 2014 at 10:50 am |
  5. Eric

    Quick! Bomb Brian, Ohio!

    October 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  6. Philip

    Check that. America is full of terrorists. Namely, the USA and Mexico. Domestic violence, riots and looting, street gangs and drug cartels running smock. Real threats that are really here. Not some make-believe boogy men coming to poison your water or shoot your school kids.
    Taliban schmaligam. Your enemies are already here.

    October 15, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  7. banasy@

    Be quiet Philip.

    October 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Oh do behave @banasy slash Chrissy. And pick on someone your own, ahem, sizes. Lmao.
      What I said is true. Americans are America's worst enemies.

      October 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        You're really 50 Shades Of Stupid, aren't you.

        October 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
      • Webzone1124


        October 29, 2014 at 1:12 am |
  8. chri§§y

    Yea Philip. You have nothing to contribute to this thread so you be quiet.
    I do mean zip it up!

    October 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Not banasy nor me. No matter how much we may or may not like philips post we would never tell him to "be quiet or zip it"! We have better imaginations than that and would find a better way to get our point accross!

    October 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  10. Green Saffron

    I have known chrissy 37 years and never would she talk that way to anyone

    October 15, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      Considering you're 12, I find that to be bs

      October 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  11. Orange Saffron


    October 15, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  12. tahir aziz

    america is so frightened from these jahadis that they are posting such posts......it has been proved that the only way to stop america's aggression against muslims is jihad........

    October 16, 2014 at 3:07 am | Reply
  13. tahir aziz

    I like to eat at McDonalds for $1.00.

    October 16, 2014 at 4:30 am | Reply
  14. Blue Saffron

    I love to go into India and suk long Indian dikk and balls. This is what I do.
    Goooo Modi.

    October 16, 2014 at 4:36 am | Reply
  15. Blue Saffron

    Mmmmm. I swallow.

    October 16, 2014 at 4:49 am | Reply
  16. My Picture Of Mohammad


    Twitter THAT stupid Towel Heads.

    October 16, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
  17. chri§§y

    No ONE blogging here has known me for 37 years!

    October 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  18. Philip

    I have known the Chrissy for about 2 or 3 years. Or known of it, rather. I know the brakes on her truck better than I do the image of her portrayed here. You really don't know someone until you've lived with them for awhile.

    October 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  19. Philip

    Wondering how many Twitter accounts are linked to gang bangers and lazy fat men in outlaw motorcycle gangs.

    October 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  20. Philip

    Pop Quiz. Since G dubya Bush announced war on Taliban, what has killed more US troops?
    A.) The dreaded Taliban
    B.) Friendly fire
    If you answered A, you are either stupid or brainwashed.

    October 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  21. Philip

    "The Chrissy". Lmao

    October 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  22. chri§§y

    Ok how pathetic is that? The one thing you can remember vividly is our conversation 3 years ago when i was getting my brakes replaced on my truck? Big fat furry deal @ Philip! People get their brakes replaced all the time....so what made THAT conversation so important in your little mind? Lol

    October 19, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  23. chri§§y

    And i seriously doubt you could get a stray cat in the dead of winter to live with you, much less a human being....particularly a female human!

    October 19, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  24. Melissa

    Arent you the same guy that was my moms friend when i texted on here about her heart attack 2 and a half years ago Philip? After reading this trash talkin i dont get WHY she ever thought you were a friend. And you dont no nothing about my mother. She is a kind person and cares about people, even butt cheeses like you! And she helps people always! She worked very hard to make sure my brother, sister, 2 cousins and myself could have a good life. A better life than she had for sure! And she still helps us always no matter what the situation is. And even though she knows i dont have much time left on this earth she puts on a brave face and does her best to make each day count more than the day before! So please stop trash talking my mom! You should feel blessed that she is your friend even though i dont get WHY she would because you are a horrible person. And mom if you read this im sorry. You shouldnt even come here these people are just mean.

    October 20, 2014 at 11:19 am | Reply
  25. Buck Woody


    Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal: Long-term slide in oil would be a catastrophe. What a **** Head, both the reporter for believing it, and the prince for sticking it up our rear end.

    QUOTE: “The same minister just a few months ago said, that just a $100 price of oil, Everyone is Happy, both producer and consumer.” B.S. B.S B.S.

    We U.S. Citizens are the consumer not the refineries, and you suck princess.

    October 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
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