Taliban Leader Listed His Skills As 'Jihad And Journalism' On LinkedIn

05/01/2015 8:45 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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In this Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 photo, an internally displaced Afghan youth wraps himself against the cold in a camp in Kabul, Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans are pouring into makeshift camps in the capital where they face a harsh winter as the Taliban return to areas once cleared by foreign forces, who this week are marking the end of their combat mission. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

A senior Taliban commander, wanted in connection with an assassination bid on Malala Yousufzai's life, has been found using networking site LinkedIn, listing his skills as "jihad and journalism".

Ehsanullah Ehsan, one of the world's most notorious terrorist leaders, has 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating a sizable network. He does not hide his associations and openly promotes himself on LinkedIn as spokesman for the Jammat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Taliban, The Telegraph reported.

He describes himself as "self-employed" and says he has been a spokesman since January 2010. Ehsan even lists his skills as "jihad and journalism" and provides details of his school, employment history and language skills. He also includes his photograph.

After being approached by the British daily, LinkedIn took down Ehsan's account on Friday night.

A spokesman said the company's security team had decided to "restrict it", meaning it was no longer in operation. But she said it was not clear if the account belonged to Ehsan or was a fake account, established by another party.

She said the IP address of the account, indicating where in the world it was set up, suggested it was fake. She said the "lack of Taliban recruiting messages" was another clue.

The spokesman said, "(I) Can't say for certain that it is someone else...But I can say that our security team has a high degree of confidence that it is a fake account, which is reason enough to restrict it. (I) Also can't say for certain who might have set it up if it is fake."

Pakistan has placed a US$1 million bounty on Ehsan's head after he boasted of the Taliban's responsibility for the attempted assassination of Malala, who was shot in the head in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education. He was then the spokesperson of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the organization blamed for the recent killing of 132 children at Peshawar.

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