Taliban recruit Chinese cyber spies to monitor Afghan civilians and stop revolts

Beijing has sent its top communications experts to Kabul to show the Taliban how to intercept phone calls, monitor internet usage and social media accounts, the Spiegel can reveal

A Taliban fighter stands guard as a Pakistan International Airlines plane takes off, the first commercial international flight to land since the Taliban came to power last month (

Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The Taliban have recruited Chinese cyber spies to help them spy on Afghan civilians to prevent revolts against their iron rule.

Beijing has sent its best communications experts to Kabul to show the Taliban how to tap phone calls over landline and cellular networks and monitor internet and social media usage.

Western intelligence sources say the goal will be to prevent rebellions from being organized on social media, as happened across the Middle East during the Arab Spring.

A US intelligence source said: “China is wooing the Taliban and has been preparing for this day for years.

“It has long controlled citizen communications and is able to monitor phones, the Internet, and all forms of communication.

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Members of the Taliban patrol near a Pakistan International Airways (PIA) flight, the first commercial international flight since the Taliban came to power last month
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

“This will likely give the Taliban immense power and control over the entire country, as social media could pave the way for those who want to revolt. There are also people who hunt them down, like former officials and security guards, with few opportunities to communicate with other networks. “

Taliban leaders fear that groups like the National Resistance Front and women’s rights activists will find massive support and have already banned protests. Last week, two journalists were beaten by the Taliban for reporting on demos.

The source told the Mirror: “The Taliban could wield great power over their people if China put surveillance systems in place like they did in its own country.

“This has dire effects on human rights in Afghanistan and creates an atmosphere in which one is constantly watched and monitored.

“In contrast to Western democracies, it is unlikely that the Taliban’s Beijing contacts will have human rights concerns.”

A Pakistan International Airways plane from Islamabad was the first international flight to land at Kabul Airport since the Taliban took power on Monday last month.

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