ISIS Militant fighter, New Zealander Mark Taylor (aka Abu Abdul-Rahman) goes by the Twitter handle of “Kiwi Jihadi.”
Or rather he used to. His account was suspended after he forgot to switch off geo-tagging on his mobile. In so doing he gave away the locations of a string of Syrian Islamic State safe houses where he’d been sheltering. Not a great look for anyone trying to curry favour with any underground movement trying to avoid drone strikes.
He was placed on a watch list after visiting another New Zealand radical, Muslim bin John, in Yemen in 2009. John was killed by a drone strike in Yemen in November 2013.
The blog site iBrabo has been keeping track of Tayor’s movements, posting screen shots of map locations linked to Taylor’s geo-tags.The story has gone global since they ran it, picked up by Time Magazine: New Zealander ISIS Fighter Accidentally Tweets Secret Location and by The Guardian: New Zealander thought to be fighting in Syria accidentally tweets locations
Jeff Wyers writes for iBrabo. He said at one stage Taylor went off the grid …
for several months fighting in the desert before finally retreating to the ISIS strong hold of Al Tabqah, Syria in early December. ISIS’s grip on this part of central Syria is supported by numerous ISIS fighters and supporters that regularly tweet from Al Tabqah and Ar Raqqah. From our own analysis most twitter activity is centered around larger population areas indicating that cellular service is sporadic at best outside of these areas. Examining the numerous tweets that Taylor put out during his time in Al Tabqah we were able to identify one specific house that Taylor predominantly used from the 3rd to the 10th of December 2014 in the south west part of the city…
Taylor, posing in ‘Che Guevara’ couture (while cleverly staying with the flattering green and black theme, so good for his skin tones), also managed to capture some of his compatriots in the background of the selfie he used for his Twitter profile.
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. 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. Even examining his most recent twitter photo update, Taylor shows again his lack of understanding of technology and intelligence as he broadcast out the facial image of another fighter captured in the background of his photo (below).
The “Kiwi Jihadi” burned his New Zealand passport but has been trying to apply for a replacement, presumably so he can return home to practice his new found skills. He has been refused, fortunately, and a Facebook group has made it their sole intention to keep it that way.
Facebook: Stop Mark Taylor gaining a New Zealand Passport has published more images of him, along with the information that he “said he became a jihad because he was ‘refused by the NZ Army for re-enlistment‘.
Taylor once used a Radio NZ story to justify killing in New Zealand. He tweeted
If he ever returned he could conceivably use that as a defence. He wouldn’t be alone either.
Aaron Tahuhu of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association is one of a group of people in Christchurch who openly support ISIS, and the NZ government is currently keeping tabs on around 80 people. source
Ultimately, perhaps Taylor is just a product of a ‘well rounded’ Kiwi education. He once tweeted.
One wonders if it was halal.