It’s not just the ISIS that has an advanced cyber cell to propagate its messages of hate, even Taliban has joined the high-tech bandwagon – it has a smartphone app for its supporters now, according to this Fortune link. The app offers access to videos and statements in Pashto (a language spoken in large Afghan areas). The app named Alemarah is available on Android, although it was promptly removed from the Google Play Store.
Although various technology companies have been trying to put barriers for terrorist organisations so that they cannot spread their tentacles on the Internet, they somehow know how to have their way around. Immediately after the Paris attacks, the Anonymous hacking organization launched a war against the ISIS. Taliban has been running multiple channels on the encrypted messaging service Telegram. It also has a website in 5 languages where it publishes routine statements, features, interviews, videos and weekly analysis. The spokesperson of the Taliban also operates a Twitter handle.
It’s quite interesting that since the app was in the Pashto language, it was mostly targeting the Pashtun population. 2 things come to my mind: the Pashtun people are extensively using smartphones and especially android apps, and, somehow, the Taliban is losing hold over the local population and hence it needs to target local people to win them back by regularly interacting via a specially-designed app. According to reports appearing in various newspapers, the ISIS is taking over control from the Taliban in many Afghan areas.
The Taliban Android app was reported by a US-based terrorist monitoring group (the app was launched on 1st April, 2016) and then Google remove the app from Play Store.