The State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan says extremist groups use the Zello application for recruitment of new followers.

In a report shown by Tajik national TV channel Tojikiston, the SCNS press center noted on May 21 that the majority of people who joined the extremist groups had been recruited through Internet, including the Zello application.

“Internet-imams staying abroad recruit our young people into extremist groups and spread Salafism ideas,” said the report.  

The SCNS press center noted that more than 1,300 crimes of the terrorism character and extremist orientation were reported in the country last year.  More than 400 people were detained in the country in 2017 on suspicion of being involved in terrorism and extremism activities.  

It is to be noted that Voice of America (VOA) reported on March 17, 2015 that the authors of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, a book on the Islamic State (IS) terror group, say IS group has been making use of a high-technology application that’s been around for several years, but is relatively unknown in the United States - even though the company is based in Austin, Texas.

“On the ground in ISIS-controlled areas, one of the things they use is an application called Zello,” Hassan Hassan, who is one of the authors of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, told VOA.

The application allows users to hold single conversations in real time -- or broadcast voice messages to large groups. Its range stretches as far as a phone or computer’s data connection.

“You can actually listen to sermons delivered by ISIS clerics,” Hassan said in an interview with VOA, using an acronym for the Islamist group.  “Children usually use the application because it’s fancy.  They can actually listen to sermons, without their parents watching, and they get driven toward ISIS because of these sermons,” Hassan said.

In their book, Hassan and Michael D. Weiss relate the story of a 14-year-old boy working in southern Turkey, who in October 2014 crossed into Syria to fight with Islamic State militants.  His father later told reporters his son had been seduced to jihad after listening to sermons on Zello channels set up by Islamic State members.

VOA reportedly found dozens of Zello channels belonging to supporters of the Islamic State group, including one calling itself “The State of the Islamic Caliphate,” which has more than 10,000 members and nearly 50 moderators.


Zello application simulates traditional two-way radios, offering additional features such as history, replay last message, notifications and Bluetooth device support. It works over 2G, 4G, 3G and GPRS/EDGE networks.  It allows people to use cell phones and computers all around the world like walkie-talkies.

Similar to other so-called "push-to-talk" cellphone applications like Voxer or iMessage, Zello operates across multiple platforms in 22 languages, including Arabic. It allows users to share messages or save them for later playback.  And it accommodates multiple channels.