The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has launched its Urdu website umarmedia.com hosting videos, a magazine, and interviews and statements of its top leaders.
Interestingly, the website has also given links to certain YouTube videos but those don’t work as the popular video sharing website is banned by the government.
In videos, terrorists of Tehreek-e-Taliban and its associate terrorist banned organizations’s videos have also threatened Shiite Muslims in Pakistan by declaring a war against Shiites.
It was not clear when the website was launched but a background check on the domain name shows it was registered on November 24, 2013 and was first updated on January 24, 2014.
The website has been registered on the internet with an address in Queensland, Australia.
Such wesbites are hosted by giving wrong information. A strip on the homepage said, ‘Official site of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’.
The website contains the TTP flag, verses from the Holy Quran, statements and videos containing sectarian, hate and propaganda material, especially against security forces.
It also contains a message of TTP deputy Shaikh Khalid Haqqani for the people of Balochistan, and pictures of slain TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud and his successor and current leader Maulvi Fazlullah.
Also posted on the website are numerous pictures of houses allegedly bombed by the army. The website invites articles for posting on it for public information.
Extremists organizations in Pakistan like the Taliban and others are increasingly using social media networks, Twitter and Facebook, besides their own media production teams to air their views and updates instantly.
A number of Twitter accounts allegedly managed by Taliban members have come up in which they post messages and even engage in a dialogue with their social media followers.
Facebook pages are also used to upload statements and videos.
Last year, the TTP came out with an ad on Facebook seeking writers for their magazine.
“Dear brothers and sisters, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. Now you have a chance to use this mighty weapon,” said the ad, which was posted a Facebook page of TTP that was eventually shut down by the social media network.
The potent propaganda arm of the TTP is ‘Umar media’, the media production wing of the banned group which regularly releases videos, including on attacks they have carried out, on various websites linked with jihadi organizations.
“The TTP is dominating the media. I feel they are savvier at spreading their message in a subtle way. Tackling them is not just about dialogue or military operations. We need comprehensive and broad policy to neutralize them,” Gen (retd.) Talat Masood had recently said.