When the Taliban emails


I have a cover story in in this week’s edition of The Weekly Standard. Titled “The Taliban in My Inbox,” the story details the surreal encounter with the Taliban on May 2. I’ve had quite a few questions on how the release of the Taliban tapes went down, and this article will hopefully answer those questions. Here is an excerpt:

Normally I have a couple of dozen messages in my inbox: notes from readers, an occasional tip or link to a news story, and some spam. But something I found sitting in my inbox that morning made me catch my breath: an email from someone claiming to be a representative of the Pakistani Taliban, who was notifying me that one of their top leaders had released a tape claiming responsibility for the attempt to murder U.S. citizens in Times Square.

The email had been sent at 2:37 a.m., just eight hours after the bomb was discovered. The emailer’s handle was Taliban News and the subject line read: “Qari Hussain Mehsud from Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan accepts the responsibility of recent Attack on Times Square Newyork USA.”

“You’re the first one to know” the cryptic email stated.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Lorenz Gude says:

    Ah, so the Taliban didn’t send the email until AFTER the incident in Times Square. I evidently have misread previous posts with an April 30 date that I think now refers to the posting of the Youtube video. I’ve been reading it that they emailed you or at least posted the video prior to the actual attack – which seemed a bit risky from their point of view given that the NSA must be pretty quick at finding web content with intelligence value!

  • britsarmymom says:

    I was SO excited to see you featured in the Weekly Standard! It was if reality reporting was finally going viral. Heck, even my boss finally heard of Bill Roggio! I have no hope for the MSM (Including Fox), and I worry that you may soon be “bunking” in journalism exile with Michael Yon. Hopefully, there are more than you and Yon speaking the truth. (Geez, maybe we should all be getting CB radios to prepare for expanded internet censorship ala Thailand.

  • rational enquirer says:

    Just to clarify: the Qari Mehsud tape claiming the Times Square attack was uploaded to a brand new YouTube site on April 30, the day before the attack. See Weekly Standard article excerpt:
    “First, as mentioned, the website on which the Qari Hussain tape appeared and referred to the Times Square attack was created the day prior to the attack. And the tape was itself uploaded on April 30. This is either a staggering coincidence, or, as my sources believe, the Taliban set up the website and uploaded the video as part of the preparations for the attack. ”
    So yes, perhaps it was a bit risky on the Taliban’s part, but they didn’t announce the YouTube posting until after the attack.


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