Tagging a Jihadist’s tweets

January 2, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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Mark John Taylor, the New Zealand jihadist who burned his NZ passport last year, suspended his Twitter account this week when he realised he had been broadcasting his Syrian location to every intelligence agency – and anyone else – who was keeping tabs on him.

Photo: ibrabo/Twitter

Photo: iBRABO/Twitter

Taylor, now calling himself Mohammad Daniel or Abu Abdul Rahman (Twitter aka: Kiwi Jihadi or @M_Taylor_Kiwi) removed 45 tweets but by then he had given away a lot of information as to his location.

Online blog iBRABO, whose motto – “before you slay the giant, you must find him” – is an open source intelligence research group located in Ontario, Canada.

Where coverage allowed, it used geotag tracking from his Twitter account to pinpoint Taylor’s movements in Syria where it appeared he had joined other foreign fighters in the region. In October he was fighting with ISIS in Kafar Roma and his tweets ceased about the same time the Syrian army made a strong push into the area.

“Taylor, eager for the fame of being a violent jihadist, took to Twitter to get attention for his exploits. His statements and twitter missteps have solidified his involvement with ISIS and will provide the evidence should he ever try to return to New Zealand,” writes Jeff R. Weyers of iBRABO.

“His ignorance and the ignorance of others has been an advantage to intelligence agencies around the world looking to protect their nations and track the progress of ISIS.”

According to Israel’s Arutz Sheva News, Taylor posted a video three months ago, in which he said he was in Syria and that his “commitment is for jihad.”

Taylor, who claimed he had only traveled to the Middle East to find a wife, was named in a list of 23 Australian-based suspects in a secret diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks.

In June he reportedly told The Australian that he hasn’t joined any groups “except for Al-Qaeda.” He also posted a photo of his charred New Zealand passport after he burned it, with the caption “one way trip,” and then changed his mind and said he wanted a new passport.


2 Responses to “Tagging a Jihadist’s tweets”
  1. Lizzie Moore says:

    He could have done other stuff, going to Syria seems a solution of the very last resort. He could have got in touch with ancient Celtic ancestry and satisfied warrior instincts, by daubing himself in woad [blue dye] and skipping up and down a NZ glacier or charging up and down in front of Mnt Cook dressed in animal skins and making thrusts into the air with a spear. He could also have hooked up with the Druids of Wales and performed some ancient ceremonies, wearing a daisy chain crown. I love the way he “changed his mind and now wants his NZ passport reissued.” I blame undesirable influences upon this callow and innocent New Zealander and I suppose the internet is somewhere implicated, as it is in the UK?

  2. David Adler says:

    If an Islamic jihadist uses Twitter to brag of his activities, do such Tweets make him a Twit?

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