A terrorist leader, who has been wanted over the attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai, has an account on LinkedIn in his name.
A senior Taliban commander, who is behind multiple threats of attacks against Britain, is active on LinkedIn, the professionals’ business networking site, apparently to attempt recruiting terrorists online.
One of the globe’s most wanted terrorist leaders called Ehsanullah Ehsan has over 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating the magnitude of a terrorist network. The man does not conceal his links and is known to promote himself openly on the site as a spokesman for TTP Jammat-ul-Ahrar, which is a splinter group of the Taliban.
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Describing himself as “self-employed”, he says he has been a spokesman since the year 2010. His skills have been listed as journalism and jihad along with the details of his schooling, employment history and language-linguistic skills. Surprisingly, he also included a picture.
The Pakistani authorities have placed a $1 million or £650,000 reward on his head after his boasts about the Taliban’s role in the attempted assassination in October 2012 of Malala Yousafzai, a girl shot in the face for wanting to go to school, surfaced on the internet. The now 17-year-old Malala was applauded for her courage and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Post the attack, Ehsan said: “She was inclined towards the West, speaking against Taliban and openly calling President Obama her idol. She may have been young, but she should not have promoted Western culture in the Pashtun areas.”
During that time, this man was the spokesman for Tehreek-I-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistani part of the Taliban, which carried out many acts of terrorism apart from the attack on Malala. In 2014, Ehsan and other former commanders of the TTP formed the TTP Jammat-ul-Ahrar. TTP Jammat-ul-Ahrar is described as his current employer on Ehsan’s current LinkedIn profile. Omar Khalid Khorasani, the group’s leader, is widely considered to be one of the most barbaric terrorists of the region and his barbarity has been compared to that of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is the leader of Isil, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
An open profile on LinkedIn of a terrorist like Ehsan is a matter of considerable potential embarrassment for the site. Other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have also been reprimanded for their inefficacy to prevent similar people from using their sites to promote extreme practices.
With his Taliban splinter group trying to establish itself with more vengeance in the region, Ehsan has been more and more active on the social site. The group has very close links with Britain and also threatened attacks against the United Kingdom in October to avenge the arrest of Anjem Choudary in London, who is a radical Islamist cleric, along with 8 other British extremists.
Misra Tariq Ali, an NHS surgeon, one of Choudary’s closest confidantes, has joined Ehsan in hiding in Pakistan. First reported by The Sunday Telegraph to be 39 years old, Ali, fled the UK where he had faced assault charges to join the TTP Jammat-ul-Ahrar. He also probably has a LinkedIn account profile, with details kept in the private mode.
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A recruitment video that appeared later showed Ali and Ehsan goading the Pakistan Army and urging the soldiers to rise up against the army officers.
Further in a message, Ehsan warned that his terrorist group was planning attacks against the UK and its citizens abroad because Scotland Yard continued its investigation into Choudary.
LinkedIn took down Ehsan’s account after being approached by The Telegraph news.
A spokesman said that the company’s security team had restricted the account to make it un-operational but that it was not very clear if the account was a fake scam or really belonged to Ehsan, established by a third party. The IP address of the account that indicates the location of the account suggested that it was fake. She also added that the “lack of messages for recruit by Taliban” was another hint.