Taliban disguised as Facebook 'friends' pose threat to military: report


Soldiers are being warned that Taliban fighters may be lurking behind their Facebook friend requests.


Ted Aljibe

The kind of "friendship" provided by Facebook is already pretty suspect these days, but the Taliban has brought it to a new low with soldiers reportedly targeted by extremists posing as friends (or hot women) on the popular social-networking site, according a defense review cited by Australia's Telegraph on Sunday. 

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Soldiers are being warned that geo-tagging -- for example, updating your online status along with your current location -- can endanger their lives.

Extremists operating under the guise of Facebook are using it to gain key location information for their operations, concluded the Australian government review of social media and defense, issued in March, according to Mashable's Daily Dot

"For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers," the report said, according to The Telegraph

One soldier told the Telegraph that all social media should be prohibited by the military. 

"I see too many members who post info/pics of themselves which identify ... what unit they belong to and where they are serving," the person said. Australia's defense department will issue new social media guidelines in December. 

There are some 1,500 Australian troops serving in Afghanistan, according to BBC News. Several of their soldiers there were killed in attacks last month. 

The US military acknowledged that location data-sharing on soldiers' photos was responsible for a 2007 Iraq attack on four US Apache helicopters, said Mashable