I doubt very much that I will hear too much contradiction by suggesting that the Taliban is less than a progressive group. They make the Amish look like a beacon of hope and change, however, only one of those groups uses Twitter. I can’t imagine the good folks at Twitter designed the platform for groups to boast of murder, assassination, and acid attacks on school girls, but that is what it has become in some regions.

Taliban twitter

Assassination of Mohammad Amanullah

While the acid attacks have yet to make it to Twitter, the group did use the allotted 140 characters for the first time today to announce the successful assassination of Mohammad Amanullah. Two gunman on a motorcycle riddled Amanullah with bullets yesterday. Amanullah was the head of the Kunduz office of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), a position he held since 2003.

“At 9 AM this morning, Engineer Mohammad Aman head of Kunduz Independent Election Commission was killed by our Mujahedeen in Takharistan area of Kunduz city,” reads the tweet, as translated by the Times. Commission officials also confirmed Amanullah’s death, but told the Times that it’s still too soon to determine whether the Taliban should be held responsible.

“We will wait until the investigation is completed by the security organs and then say who was behind this attack,” said Noor Ahmad Noor, spokesman for the IEC. “He was a noble person and a good colleague.”

Taliban bragging about killings on Twitter

While I understand not wanting to credit or condemn the Taliban with something unconfirmed, the group’s willingness to brag about the killing on Twitter is quite telling at the end of the day.

Afghan presidential elections will not come until April of next year, however, Monday marked the date where candidates were first able to announce their candidacy by registration.  The Taliban has publicly scorned the elections, with leader Mullah Mohammad Omar describing them as a “waste of time,” but the Islamic fundamentalist group has so far refrained from threatening violence against IEC workers.

That has clearly changed with yesterday’s attack, the first on election officials in over two years. Whether this signifies that the Taliban has now declared “open season” on those charged with regulating elections remains to be seen. The Taliban aren’t known for their forgiving nature.