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From the ‘Afghani robe’ to the suicide bomber’s all-black uniform, how ISIS differentiates between ranks with various outfits

From suicide bombers and executioners to weapons experts and religious police, the Islamic State uses a complex network of militants to wage its terror war in the Middle East.


To differentiate the various roles within its hierarchy, it has, perhaps more than other military organisation, sought to assign corresponding uniforms for each unit.

These, say anti-ISIS activists who live in the shadows in the terror group’s de facto capital Raqqa in Syria, can be broken down into several categories, each as sinister as the next.

The first, and perhaps the most common, is known as the ‘Afghani robe’ – a camouflage green outfit worn by fighters on the frontline or while manning checkpoints.

This is often accompanied by a beige ammunition belt and black balaclava.

One of the most distinctive uniforms – the all-black jacket and trousers with balaclava and black ammunition belt – is assigned to the suicide bombers.

According to activists Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS), it is also worn by the ‘princes of ISIS’ – or senior figures – in battle and for those conducting reconnaissance missions.

A sandy-coloured desert camouflage version, meanwhile, is assigned to the terrifying special units responsible for the group’s barbaric executions.

They were most notably seen in video of the horrific murder of a captured Jordanian pilot who was burned alive earlier this year.


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