Peshawar, May 27: In its latest bid to go info-tech-savvy, the Taliban are learnt to be preparing for a media war to counter the Pakistan Army's 'offensives' aimed at them, by putting videos on live websites such as YouTube. The Taliban wants greater outreach by arming some of its members with requisite skills to upload videos on websites such as YouTube, said an unidentified member of the Taliban's media cell.
"The Taliban have not been very advanced as far as the media war is concerned. But we are making efforts to catch up with the latest methods, and we will soon be available on YouTube," the Daily Times quoted the non-Pashtun Taliban, with his face covered, as saying. The paper also quoted Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud as saying: "The real war is the media war. It is our desire to learn also how one should fight the media war."
Coming close on the heels of Pakistan Army airlifting around 20 journalists to Speenkay Raghzai (on May 18) to show then the areas from which militants were ousted during 'Operation Zalzala' in January, Mehsud reportedly invited more than 30 journalists from national and international media organisations to North and South Waziristan.
Mehsud sought to win over reporters by terming the murder of Express TV's Bajaur correspondent 'unforgivable', and assuring journalists that his organisation would "hang the killers" of Ibrahim if they were identified.
Access to the latest technology does not appear to be a big problem for the Taliban, as their media cell employed the latest digital video cameras and laptops to record every moment of the 'biggest Taliban media show'.
Its media cell has already been releasing video CDs showing horrific images, apparently with different aims. One such video, screened during an army media briefing on May 18, shows a boy as young as 10 firing shots at the head of a blindfolded man and beheading another.