Taliban Spokesman Reveals His Location via Twitter, Claims Conspiracy

taliban-fighters-300x225You may be shocked to learn on this Monday morning that one of the world’s most visible terrorist organizations has some trouble managing its social media presence.

Nearly two years ago, we noted that the Taliban had inadvertently revealed its entire mailing list thanks to a spokesperson who mistook “cc” for “bcc” when sending a press release to media contacts (and friendly Afghan politicians/warlords). We had a laugh at his rookie error before getting a little upset over the fact that the group A) has a media spokesman, B) distributes press releases and C) included a disturbing number of the United States’ own “allies” within the Afghan government on its distribution list.

Over the weekend, the group proved once again that it isn’t the greatest on social: its spokesperson accidentally showed the world his secret location via Twitter’s geomapping feature.

Late Friday, Zabihullah Mujahid took to the network to claim responsibility for a recent terror attack and let the world know that he was in Sindh, Pakistan.

This fact is relevant primarily because Pakistan is officially the United States’ ally in the battle against the Taliban and (supposedly) does not offer safe haven to any of its members.

After the fact, Mujahid posted another tweet claiming that the previous message had been manipulated by members of some unnamed conspiracy and that he was, in fact, quite comfortable in the place where he’s supposed to be:

“Now, the enemy’s fake act has been exposed, and with full confidence, I can say that I am in my own country.”

He even made light of that “fact” by sending a screenshot of a tweet that placed him in Bryan, Ohio. No one was convinced.

Our friends at ad agency R/GA took this opportunity to poke the PR discipline…

…before clarifying that it was all in good fun:

Oh ha ha. We get it. There’s a lesson to be learned here, though, as Twitter notes in its own FAQ:

“Just like you might not want to tweet your home address, please be cautious in tweeting coordinates you don’t want others to see.

Please familiarize yourself with our general location settings and the settings of any applications and devices you tweet with so that you are always aware of the information you share.

Remember, once you post something online, it’s out there for others to see.”

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.