Taliban Spokesman Discusses The Taliban's Media Strategy: 'I Use Computers And Have Accounts On Facebook, Twitter, And YouTube; Winning over the Minds and Hearts of the Masses Who Visit The Websites' Is More Important

April 17, 2012

In a recent interview, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, the key spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government) explained the Taliban's media strategy to win hearts and minds of visitors to the Taliban websites, seeking to lure them into the jihadist battlefield through such internet tools as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

"Visiting websites is not more difficult than joining jihad and the battlefield. More important than visiting websites is winning over the minds and hearts of the masses who visit websites. This can only be won by truthful reporting, and faith in the justice of our people's cause and in their jihad against aggressors in defense of our religion and homeland," the Taliban spokesman said.

In the exclusive interview with London-based newspaper Al Sharq Al-Awsat, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi was also asked if the civilians killed by the Taliban or the NATO forces can be considered "martyrs" in Islamic law. However, Ahmadi avoided an answer.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

"I am 37 Years Old; I Studied Modern Sciences at a High School; I have Memorized and [Can] Chant the Koran; I am Married and Have Sons. My Son, Muhammad, is the Oldest, and is 12 Years Old"

Question: "Tell us about your background?"

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi: "I am 37 years old. I studied modern sciences at a high school. I have memorized and [can] chant the Koran, God willing. I finished Sharia education in various religious schools. I recite poetry and am good at writing all forms of Arabic and Persian calligraphy. I speak Pashtu (mother tongue), Persian, and have some knowledge of Arabic, English, and Urdu."

Question: "How long have you been involved in the Afghan jihad?"

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi: "Since the final days of the jihad against the Communist rule in Afghanistan."

Question: "Are you married? Do you have children?"

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi: "Yes, I am married and have sons. My son, Muhammad, is the oldest, and is 12 years old."

Question: "In view of your engagement in jihad, how do you communicate with your family?"

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi: "Most often I am away from my family and kinsfolk, but I am in constant touch with them."

Question: "As an authentic Pashtu, which holy Koran's verse do you recite the most?"

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi: "As a Muslim mujahid, I often recite verse 23 of Sura Al-Ahzab [Chapter of Koran]: 'Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God: of them some have completed their vow to the extreme, and some still wait, but they have not changed their determination in the least [Al-Ahzab, verse 33:23]'"

"The Media is a Basic and Important Part of the Ongoing War between Us and the Occupying Enemy; [Winning] the Media War Means, Perhaps, Winning More Than Half the War:

Question: "Are you good at using social communication media, like the internet, Facebook, and Twitter?"

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