@ISAFmedia, the official Twitter account of NATO forces in Afghanistan was, until very recently, mocked as an example of an organization using Twitter very poorly. @ISAFmedia’s tweets were wooden summaries of press releases and the account manager didn’t interact with other Afghanistan war tweeters. All of that changed in the fall of 2011. Here’s a snapshot of what @ISAFmedia is tweeting now.
Clarifying security reports in Kabul.
Flame-warring with the Taliban tweeters.
September 29, 2011 was a typical day in the Afghan war Twitterverse, with journalists providing the bulk of incident reports, belligerent parties submitting their own rapid fire (and highly dubious) reports and experts adding context and clarity to reported stories.
Unconfirmed incident report by a journalist, with self as source.
Incident report with source, emerging details.
Incident report with context.
Adding context, clarity to a report.
ISAF’s Twitter account manager tweeted a warning about unexploded ordinances during the waning hours of the September 13/14 attack in Kabul. The tweet was sent to specific journalists who were on the scene and known to be followed by many of their peers.
ISAF and the Taliban had a Twitter fight.
An Afghan journalist tweets about an encounter with a US military convoy.
Ahmed Wali Karzai 1961-2011. Isaf Media, some rights reserved under creative commons.
It looks like President Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been the latest victim in a series of assassinations in Kandahar that claimed Chief of Police Khan Mohammad and Deputy Provincial Governor Abdul Latif Ashna this year.
The New York Times amongst others claimed that AWK, (as he’s known in ex-pat circles), had numerous links to the Afghan heroin trade and was accused by many of corruption. But President Karzai famously said, when confronted, bring me the evidence and I will convict my brother. Or words to that effect. He was the leader of the Provincial Council and is described by Al-Jazaeera’s James Bays as the second most powerful person in Afghanistan.
Now he’s been killed, seemingly by his own bodyguard while at home. The Taliban will very likely take credit for it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it wos them wot dun it. AWK had enough enemies, rivals, power and influence to make the space he’s now left very inviting. Also, his very presence in a position of authority has always been an embarrassment to the international community. This is in no way pointing any fingers - the likelihood is that the Taliban have been planning this for a long time - but just underlines the complexities of the case.
The bodyguard in question seems to be a very close aide, according to @mattaikins, which suggests infiltration from the highest levels.