The Taliban has made some strange demands before, but the latest has everyone scratching their heads. They now want cell-phone networks to go dark at night, and if they refuse, the Taliban will begin blowing up cell phone offices and masts:
The Taleban have threatened to blow up telephone masts across Afghanistan unless mobile phone companies agree to switch off their signals at night.
They say that US and other foreign troops are using the signals to track down insurgents.
The Taleban have warned the masts and offices of the mobile companies will be destroyed unless their demands are met.
The Taliban want the signals shut down between 5 pm and 3 am local time. Apparently, the Taliban does not like the lower rates during evening hours, or they just can’t find enough people to fill in their Friends & Neighbors plan. Maybe if they didn’t keep killing them, the jihadists could take full advantage of their options.
Their main objection is that the coalition forces in Afghanistan track the terrorists through the cell phone networks. However, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. If the Taliban worried about that, they could simply stop using the cell phones altogether. If the network goes down at night, they won’t be able to use it anyway. The US responded that the coalition has better tracking methods anyway.
The Taliban doesn’t really care about the security issue. They see the technology as the main offense. They want Afghanistan back in the dark, almost literally, and they will do whatever they can to return the country to the 7th-century living that they imposed on Afghanistan during their brief but bloody rule.