English-Language Taliban Telegram Channels Publish News Updates

January 19, 2016

Two English-language Taliban channels, Alemarah News and #Breaking Islamic Emirate, were created on Telegram in late 2015. The first went live on October 26, and currently has 1,273 members; the second was created on November 2, 2015 and currently has 71 members. The two channels cover similar news stories, focusing on Taliban battles in Afghanistan and on American activity in the region. They also disseminate photos, audio broadcasts by leaders, and videos of battles. Both the accounts are loyal to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban shadow government headed by Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. 

It should be noted that the Taliban were social media pioneers; they were among the first to utilize Twitter to broadcast their views. The Taliban have likely launched these Telegram channels, at least in part, to counter increased Islamic State (ISIS) Khurasan (i.e. Afghanistan) propaganda efforts.

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