Who knew selfies could be so dangerous? According to the Air Force Times, Islamic State militants, who have allowed selfies, took some in front of a secret headquarters in Syria or Iraq, which surfaced on their social media. The pictures caught the attention of USAF Intel, who, 22 hours later, took the entire building out with three JDAM-equipped bombs.
General Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, described the Air Force’s successful use of social media intel to take out an ISIS target at a speech Monday in Arlington:
The [airmen are] combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about command and control capabilities for Da’esh, ISIL, And these guys go ‘ah, we got an in.’
So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three JDAMS take that entire building out. Through social media. It was a post on social media. Bombs on target in 22 hours.
It was incredible work, and incredible airmen doing this sort of thing.
ISIS is infamous for exploiting social media for recruitment purposes. Carlisle’s comments came two days before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Islamic State group’s use of social media. The group, experts told Congress, has published 1,700 pictures, videos and other publications, reaching up to 200,000 readers on Twitter and other sites. The media are used by “core propagandists” to recruit and, in the case of the airstrike, attempt to show off their ability. “Their best way to make money was oil collection and refining capacity, and we’ve taken out about 90 percent of that,” Carlisle added.
So, ISIS should take note, its’ own propaganda tools can be used against them, and that too in a deadly manner! Previously, analysts have also used the militants social media pictures in identifying their locations as well and once as ISIS Jihadi from New Zealand accidentally shared his location on Twitter! I wouldn’t be surprised if ISIS bans social media now or severely restricts its use, by doing some beheadings and showing them off on…..?