After Osama Bin Laden was killed by the United States, there were tons of jokes, like the one above, about how he must have accidentally checked-in on Foursquare or enabled his location on Facebook or Twitter.
On Friday, a tweet by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claiming an attack included geolocation information that suggested he sent the message from Sindh, Pakistan.
Mujahid later sent a tweet Saturday describing the location leak as an “enemy plot.” He also offered his Afghan telephone number to confirm his identity and wrote: “With full confidence, I can say that I am in my own country.”
If you believe Mujahid explanation that his location was an enemy plot, then you also probably believe former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s explanation that his Twitter account was hacked. Indeed, the explanation is one of the many funny things about this tweet – in the face of an obvious mistake, Mujahid tried to play it off as something unrelated. It’s pretty clear what happened here: Mujahid somehow enabled his location on Twitter, and then tried to play it off as an “enemy plot.” The only other viable alternative, one which I haven’t seen raised by anyone other than myself, is that someone based in Pakistan (but affiliated with Al Queda) is tweeting in Mujahid’s name. The tweet certainly has some interesting intelligence gathering implications.
Incidentally, as noted by a Washington Post article on the subject, Twitter’s location based services are turned off by default, which means that Mujahid must have, somehow, accidentally turned them on.
This is yet another example of someone hitting a button that they shouldn’t have. It has happened before with retweets and favorites, and now with location enabling.
An interesting personal side note: I’ve written about elected officials screwing up from across the globe – but this is the first time I’ve ever written about a terrorist blooper on Twitter.