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Taliban Afghanistan travel video spoof goes viral

U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, patrol Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in support of Operation Allies Refuge in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 17, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Crul)
September 23, 2023

A video posted on X by a parody account claiming to be the public relations department of the Taliban has gone viral, with millions of viewers watching a fake promotional video for tourism in Afghanistan.

“Visit the magnificent nation of #Afghanistan, the real land of the free and the home of the brave, unlike the Americans,” Taliban Public Relations Department, Commentary tweeted on X. “A rugged country inhabited by muscular men and traditional women. You will be 100% safe since the war is over and we no longer capturing tourists for ransom.”

The parody X account’s biography also states, “Bridging the divide between the East and the West, and aiming to create a harmonious society in Afghanistan for all ethnic groups.” According to its account information, Taliban Public Relations Department, Commentary has been operating as a parody account on X since July.

While the Taliban has opened Afghanistan for tourists wishing to travel to the country, The U.S. State Department still lists the country as “Level 4: Do Not Travel” on its online travel advisory system due to the various dangers that could be risked by Americans traveling under the Taliban’s regime.

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“Do not travel to Afghanistan due to armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, terrorism, and kidnapping,” The State Department’s website states. “Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe and the risk of kidnapping or violence against U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is high. Given the serious risks, U.S. citizens should not travel to Afghanistan to accompany eligible family members for relocation.”

The State Department’s website notes that since the U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended its operations in August of 2021, U.S. citizens have been “unjustly detained” by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The State Department warns, “The U.S. government is not able to provide emergency citizen services in Afghanistan and our ability to assist detained U.S. citizens is extremely limited.”