The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, launched an official website. Within 24 hours of the website’s launch, the URL is no longer valid.
The website, called Umar Media, is designed to serve as the official media outlet of the Pakistani group, just as Voice of Jihad does for the Afghan Taliban. The Umar Media website has the same the look and feel as the Pakistani Taliban’s sister organization in Afghanistan.
“All the latest videos, magazines, statements, announcements, statements of the chief spokesman, and poems” will be posted on Umar Media, according to an email sent to The Long War Journal on April 5 that announced the launch of the website.
“Any news and video attributed to [the Pakistani Taliban] should not be considered valid” unless it is published on the website, the email stated.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan frequently complains about unofficial statements attributed to its leaders. The al Qaeda-linked group has even issued fatwas, or religious rulings, that attack the media for publishing such statements.
The Taliban also provided emails for its official spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, as well as for Umar Media.
The Umar Media website was taken down almost immediately; it is unclear who is responsible for shutting it down. An email sent by The Long War Journal to Shahidullah and Umar Media on the status of the website has not yet been answered.
According to the WhoIs information associated with the URL, Umar Media was registered by Malik Faraz, who is based in Karachi, Pakistan.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.