Updated | 12:36 p.m. A spokesman for the Taliban told Britain’s Channel 4 News on Thursday that the insurgent group is scouring classified American military documents posted online by the group WikiLeaks for information to help them find and “punish” Afghan informers.
Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Zabihullah Mujahid, who frequently contacts news organizations, including The Times on behalf of the Taliban, said, “We are studying the report.” He added:
We knew about the spies and people who collaborate with U.S. forces. We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the U.S. If they are U.S. spies, then we know how to punish them.
Steve Coll, an expert on the region and a former senior editor of The Washington Post, said in a New Yorker podcast on Thursday, “my reading of the disclosure of these informants in the context of Taliban-menaced southern Afghanistan is that people named in those documents have a reasonable belief that they are going to get killed, or — actually the way it works with the Taliban is, if they can’t find you, they’ll take your brother instead.”
Taliban Study WikiLeaks to Hunt Informants - NYTimes.com