The Strategist

Google Removed Taliban's App from Google Play

04/04/2016 - 15:27

Google's representatives reported that an Android mobile app developed by Taliban movement has been removed from Google Play online store. A public organization specializing in monitoring the activities of jihadist organizations on the Internet reported about the application on Friday.

isafmedia - Flickr
isafmedia - Flickr
Late last night, Google’s representatives confirmed to US media the company has removed from Google Play online store an app related to the Islamist movement Taliban.

Last Friday, the non-governmental organization SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites, said the movement Taliban has developed its own online app for Android-based smartphones. The app offers users official statements and videos from Taliban. In contrast to the movement’s website, which can be read in five languages, including Arabic and English, the app publish information in Pashto only. Experts pointed out that Taliban was going to use the app to attract new supporters worldwide. 

However, the app was not available on Google Play already on Saturday. Taliban representative Zabiullah Mujahid in an interview with Bloomberg said that it was "for technical reasons". However, after less than a day, Google representatives said that the application has been withdrawn from the online store.

Militants of the Islamist movement Taliban have risen to a new level of propaganda and attracting supporters. So far, they have spread its information via the official website, as well as through accounts on Twitter and Facebook, which has been regularly deleted by the Afghan authorities for spreading extremist propaganda. Now, as reported by Bloomberg, citing data from the non-governmental organization SITE Intelligence Group, the movement developed the first online application for smartphones with Android, designed to promote and recruit new fighters around the world.

Taliban is an Islamist associations operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The movement unites predominantly Pashtun Islamist associations operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Taliban arose in 1994; in 1996-2001 was in power in Afghanistan. After the overthrow in 2001, they resorted to the guerrilla war against government and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The movement has no official status of a terrorist organization in the United States.

Since 2005, Taliban has gained control of a number of areas in the northwestern part of Pakistan and actually created there a "state within a state", having concluded a peace agreement with the Pakistani government. However, after trying an Islamist uprising in Islamabad in July 2007, the Pakistani Taliban have started a new war with the state. It is believed that Taliban was involved in the murder of a key Pakistani politician - the leader of the Pakistan People's Party and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

In 2009, Pakistani Taliban signed an agreement with the country’s authorities. The movement offered its help in establishing peace in exchange for the official introduction of sharia law on the part of the territory controlled by the Islamists. However, after the Taliban advanced further into the country, the peace was broken, and fighting in the northwest of Pakistan was resumed.


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