Taliban Spokesman Accidentally Copies Mailing List On Press Release Email

from the oops dept

You know that mistake you make, where you want to send an email to a bunch of people, typically annoying chain letters about finding love next week if they forward it to twenty people immediately (luck doesn't just wait around, you know), but you don't want to expose all of your friends' and family's emails so you blind copy everyone...except you didn't. Now you're the jackass sending emails with forty addresses listed and your grandmother hates you for spamming her?

"Why is my grandson trying to help me find love? I'm 200 years old."
Image source: CC BY 2.0

Well, funny story: it turns out that one of the few things we freedom-loving folks in the States have in common with our Taliban enemies is an amusing incapacity to check to whom we're sending our emails. Take a look at the oops Taliban spokesperson, Qari Yousef Ahmedi, made when he accidentally CC'd, rather than BCC'd, the Taliban's mailing list on a press release email this past Saturday.

In a Dilbert-esque faux pas, a Taliban spokesperson sent out a routine email last week with one notable difference. He publicly CC'd the names of everyone on his mailing list. The names were disclosed in an email by Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official Taliban spokesperson, on Saturday. The email was a press release he received from the account of Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesperson. Ahmedi then forwarded Mujahid's email to the full Taliban mailing list, but rather than using the BCC function, or blind carbon copy which keeps email addresses private, Ahmedi made the addresses public.
I'm sure years from now, when the CIA has once again employed the Taliban to fight on our behalf against the Chinese-Australian-Alien Alliance, we'll all look back on this and have a nice laugh, but there's no understating that this is a massive screw up. Sure, most of the folks on the distribution list were journalists, but exposing their names that way, particularly for those that are working within Afghanistan, isn't a good thing. Besides that, not all the people who were exposed were journalists.
[The list] also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an l Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.
Somehow I don't see this making the Taliban brass very happy. And Senator Joe Lieberman wants internet services to block Taliban messages? Why? Let them keep making these kind of mistakes.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Atkray (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Attn. Senator Lieberman

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    sehlat (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Senator Lieberman Is A Terrorist Sympathizer

    After all, he IS trying to help them. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    I don't believe a word of this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Beta (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Allah Karre

    Thank goodness they aren't nearly smart enough to make a mistake like this on purpose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Pixelation, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    In other news...

    Taliban spokesperson found hanging by genitals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Paul Renault (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Well-troden territory - The Terrorist as Gumby. (No, not the plasticine figurine.)

    Bruce Schneier, Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot

    Byman & Fair, The Case for Calling Them Nitwits
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-case-for-calling-them-nitwits/30813 0/

    Max Fisher, The Incompetent Terrorist

    Tim Harford, Dumb Bomb

    ..as well as many other essays.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Not to mention being in trouble for forwarding a copyrighted press release...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    CD (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    This will go unnoticed. The Government, including the CIA, are too busy having wet daydreams about affairs than caring about terrorist attacks and platter served intel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    ECA (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 4:32pm


    Lets think abit, as we dont have SOME info on this..

    HOW to Pass the problems to PEOPLE we need to get rid of..
    Fake an email from a known group, to those we DONT want around or need to embarrass..

    Nothing new, its been done before, lets do it again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Mike, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 5:10pm


    I look forward to joining the Chinese - Australian - Alien alliance. MRE to include good Yum Cha.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    justok (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Gonna go watch Four Lions

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    stop the bloodshed !!! outlaw religion

    stop the bloodshed !!! outlaw religion

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:48pm


    copyrighted press release...

    moron !!!

    so the press are not allowed to you know,, print this release (RELEASE) and make many copies of it to publish in their own forum ??

    you know what 'release' means ??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    rosspruden (profile), Nov 17th, 2012 @ 12:58am

    Dear Qari,

    I've constantly asked you to remove my name from your mailing list, and now every Afghan Warlord, jihadi nutjob and newbie activist knows my name and email. In the world of Google search, that's all most people need to drop a smart bomb through my doggy door (poor little puppy). With friends like you...

    Even though it's too late for me, remember: http://bccplease.com/

    Hugs and kisses from my afterlife compound of 72 Virgins,

    Ohjes al-Dyesoon

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 17th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    Same thing it does when a band releases a new album?

    Or when there is a new movie released?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Jordan, Nov 19th, 2012 @ 7:33pm


    That photo is actually of my grandma, who never used a computer in her life, and would never be able to comprehend this article, or how to comment on it. But if she figured out how to comment on it she would likely have said "to heck with you"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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