Beware of the ‘cc’

November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Oops! Blundering Taliban chief accidentally reveals names of 400 recipients on secret mailing list including provincial governor, activists and an Afghan warlord

Saying ‘sorry’ might not be enough when a Taliban spokesman tries to explain this hugely embarrassing blunder to his boss.

The unfortunate insurgent pressed send on a routine email last week with one big mistake in it: he had publicly CC’d the names of everyone on his mailing list.

Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official Taliban spokesman, sent them out on Saturday in a press release he received from the account of Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesperson.

ABC News said 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.

‘Taliban have included all 4 of my email addresses on the leaked distribution list,’ tweeted journalist Mustafa Kazemi, a prolific Kabul-based tweeter .

‘Quite reassuring to my safety.’

The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but 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.

The Taliban routinely send out press releases to their mailing list, often claiming responsibility for attacks against Afghan and coalition targets. They are known for exaggerating casualty figures.

In recent weeks, the Taliban have increased the number of emails they send out, growing from just a handful every week, to several per day. Most of the emails are sent from Ahmedi’s account.

The increase coincides with the end of the annual Taliban fighting season, prompting one local journalist to joke, ‘I guess when fighting season ends, emailing season begins.’

Qari Yousuf Ahmedi did not return emails requesting a comment.

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