ISLAMABAD – It’s a world of likes, apps and status updates, so it was bound to happen: The Pakistani Taliban now have their own Facebook page.
The Pakistani insurgent group’s spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed that it had put a page called Umar Media TTP on the social media website. TTP is the acronym for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the group’s name in Urdu.
Formed in 2007, the Pakistani Taliban are an amalgam of factions united by the goal of toppling the government and imposing Shariah, or Islamic law. The Pakistani Taliban maintains links with al-Qaida, the Afghan Taliban and other Pakistani militant groups entrenched in their country’s tribal belt.
The use of websites and social media sites by Islamic militant groups has become increasingly common in recent years. Al-Qaida is particularly active on the Internet.
Agence France-Presse news service quoted the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence group, which monitors militant activities on the Internet, as saying the Pakistani Taliban are using their Facebook presence as a recruiting tool.
As of Friday evening, the Pakistani Taliban’s Facebook page had 281 “likes.”