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Jihadi selfie leads US airmen to Islamic State headquarters

Everyone is chortling over this, but there is one aspect of it about which no one has remarked: why is the U.S. military relying on this kind of luck? Why didn’t it know where the Islamic State headquarters building was already? Are “terrorist selfies” going to come in sufficient quantity to destroy the Islamic State? If not, what plan is being developed for genuinely effective action?

“‘Moron’ terrorist leads U.S. troops to ISIS headquarters after posting selfie on social media,” by Meg Wagner, New York Daily News, June 5, 2015:

A “moron” terrorist took a selfie in front of ISIS headquarters — leading the U.S. Air Force straight to its doorstep.

U.S. airstrike destroyed the building less than a day after airmen based in Florida spotted the incriminating post on social media, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, said Monday.

“The (airmen are) combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,” he said, according to the Air Force Times.

The post included details about the command center’s location, and the selfie-taker was “bragging about command and control capabilities” with the Islamic State, Carlisle said.

The single selfie started an investigation. Within a day, the airmen pinpointed the building’s location, which was not disclosed, on a map and launched JDAMs — a type of guided bomb.

“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,” Carlisle said.

He continued: “It was incredible work, and incredible airmen doing this sort of thing.”

Last year, ISIS members tweeted photos of themselves with jars of Nutella in a strange campaign to seem friendlier to the West.

While the selfie might be the first to blow ISIS cover, it is not the first time the tech-savvy terror crew has used social media. The Islamic State is known for its hefty recruitment and public image campaigns launched on the Web.

In August, the group tweeted threats against the U.S., warning, “We are in your cities.”

Other fighters have tweeted photos of themselves holding jars of Nutella in a bid to seem softer and friendlier to the West.


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