Global terror groups in Pakistan operate openly on Facebook: Report

Forty-one out of Pakistans 64 banned outfits are present on Facebook in the form of groups and individual user profiles and were operating openly via the social media giant, this is according to an investigation carried out by Dawn news last month.

By: IANS | Islamabad | Updated: May 30, 2017 12:55 pm
Facebook ,Dawn News investigation, global terror organizations, local consumption, niche target audience The names of all banned outfits – including acronyms and small variations in spelling – were searched on Facebook to find pages, groups, and user profiles that publicly “liked” a banned outfit. (Image for representation, source: AP)

Forty-one out of Pakistans 64 banned outfits are present on Facebook in the form of groups and individual user profiles and were operating openly via the social media giant, a media report said on Monday.

According to an investigation carried out by Dawn news last month, the outfits’ network, both interconnected and public, is a mix of Sunni and Shia sectarian groups, global terror organisations operating in Pakistan, and separatists in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

Also Read: UK to question Google after advertisements appear alongside extremist videos

The names of all banned outfits – including acronyms and small variations in spelling – were searched on Facebook to find pages, groups, and user profiles that publicly “liked” a banned outfit.

The biggest outfits on the social network, in order of size, are Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) with 200 pages and groups, Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) with 160, Sipah-i-Sahaba (SSP) with 148, Balochistan Students Organisation Azad (BSO-A) with 54 and Sipah-e-Muhammad with 45, according to the Dawn news investigation.

Other banned outfits which exist on Facebook at a smaller scale include Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Tehreek-e-Taliban Swat, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, 313 Brigade, multiple Shia outfits and a host of Baloch separatist organisations.

Also Read: Facebook removed blasphemous content on government’s request: Pakistan

“An examination of some user profiles linked to these banned outfits indicates open support of sectarian and extremist ideology,” Dawn news said in its probe report. A few of these profiles have also publicly “liked” pages and groups related to weapons use and training.

While some of the Facebook pages and groups claim to be “official” representatives of the outfits, others appear to be managed by members and supporters in ideological agreement. “In general, the Facebook updates were in Urdu or Roman Urdu rather than English, suggesting the content was primarily for local consumption. A very small number were in Sindhi or Balochi, also indicating a niche target audience,” the report added.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. No Comments.