What Happens When You Unwittingly Tweet About The Death Of An International Terrorist
In an age where technology is beginning to move quicker than we can think, the events surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden and the subsequent announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday evening, begged one very interesting question: given the time between these two events, how was this kept a secret for the maximum impact of halting the Nation, and the World in the early hours of Monday morning?
[pullquote quote="Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it." credit="Sohaib Athar, via his @Really Virtual Twitter feed"]The answer? It wasn’t.
We’d spent a good chunk of time searching for that Twitter Trailblazer or Facebook Phenom, but alas, we found nothing, until late this morning… when one man’s identity was revealed publicly by CNN; a Pakistani IT consultant in Abbottabad, Sohaib Athar, who tweets under the handle @ReallyVirtual.
So how come this wasn’t picked-up on earlier? Well, the significance of the information he was tweeting didn’t really make sense without knowing that bin Laden had been killed.
His first tweet came at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday:
“Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).”
In hindsight, some of his tweets over the next twelve hours as the operation continued were quite funny:
“Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/”
“The abbottabad helicopter/UFO was shot down near the Bilal Town area, and there’s report of a flash. People saying it could be a drone.”
“And now I feel I must apologize to the pilot about the swatter tweets :-/”
Then, once his identity became known, things got even funnier:
“I guess Abbottabad is going to get as crowded as the Lahore that I left behind for some peace and quiet. *sigh*”
“Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.”
“And here come the mails from the mainstream media… *sigh*”
“Interesting, I didn’t think my name would trend on twtter before releasing a couple of rock albums and a few award-winning software…”
His final tweet before retiring to rest a little after Noon in Abbottabad read:
“Bin Laden is dead. I didn’t kill him. Please let me sleep now.”
Before his Twitter odyssey, Sohaib Athar had 751 Twitter followers. By Monday morning he had over 35,000 and at the time of this writing he had over 71,000.