Google Ousts Taliban-Made App From Play Store

Google Ousts Taliban-Made App From Play Store
Photo Credit: Jan Persiel via Compfight cc

Sometimes, not all apps are approved so they are either warned to edit some of its features, or ultimately removed from the Play Store. That is the case with an app that Google has removed from its Play Store. The app in question is called Alemarah and is said to be Taliban-developed, which is aimed at increasing the militant group’s visibility worldwide.


The launch of the said app has been reported on April 1 by the US based SITE Intel Group which monitors jihadist social media. The Pashto language app is said to include content like official statements and videos from the Taliban, which has waged a jihad in Afghanistan for over 14 years since 2001 when it was ousted with the help of the US, reports Bloomberg.

It was reported that the app was part of the Taliban’s digital campaign to attract bigger audience across the world. The group also has an updated website that runs in five languages including Arabic and English.

It also has Twitter and Facebook accounts that provide daily updates on its insurgency which has been taken don a lot of times already as the Afghan government seeks to prevent the group’s communications efforts. Jawid Kohistani, an independent Kabul-based security analyst said that the said app “will help Taliban to further psychologically weaken Afghanistan by their propaganda reports.”

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The Guardian also reports that the app in question is called Alemarah. And according to the European University militant Islamism researcher Tore Hamming, it could likely be a part of the Taliban’s rivalry with the Islamic State.

Isis is known for proficiently using digital platforms and fighters loyal to the group has recently been emerging in pockets of eastern Afghanistan where their propaganda efforts has gone as far as launching a radio station.

Hamming also said that the app, which was launched in Pashto, might indicate that the local Pashtun population is the main target and it could be perceived as an “attempt to bolster its support in eastern Afghanistan where IS – especially in Nangarhar and Paktika – is pushing for control.”

A Google spokeswoman has confirmed this Sunday that the app is indeed no longer available from the tech giant’s Play Store. Meanwhile, the Taliban so far, has not given a comment regarding the said issue. On the other hand, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said by phone that he wasn’t aware of the Taliban app.

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