ISIS supporters renewed a call for online operatives to become cyber jihadists ASAP if they’re unable to fight for the Islamic State in the traditional sense.
A posting distributed in English, Arabic and French by the Ashhad Media Foundation shows a hooded figure in front of a laptop computer branded with the ISIS insignia and icons of social media sites in the background, including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and YouTube. They also included the employment networking site LinkedIn.
“Oh supporter, If you didn’t do anything or obligated not to fulfill the call of ‘Jihad’ against the coalition of the infidels in the battlefield, why not fulfilling the call of ‘Jihad’ in the Media field?!” states the message, which was also distributed over the summer in addition to this week.
Ashhad has been calling on supporters on Telegram to go open Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread ISIS propaganda as needed. Last month, Ashhad put out a call for hackers to go after anti-ISIS Facebook accounts.
After the Las Vegas mass shooting, Ashhad released an infographic on the attack. ISIS has not recently renewed its claims of having been behind the attack, including no more mentions of Stephen Paddock in their weekly al-Naba newsletter published last week.
A year ago, Ashhad published a social media guide, “O Knights of Media, Descend for Combat with Allah’s Enemies and Fight with Them,” with a cover image of a jihadist shooting computer screens with Twitter and Facebook logos on them.
Though anti-ISIS hackers report a never-ending operation of finding and shutting down extremist accounts via #OpISIS, propaganda from the Islamic State has been on the light side lately. On Tuesday, when the Syrian Democratic Forces announced that they had full control of Raqqa — once the capital of the Islamic State — the Khilafah News, a roundup of caliphate news released most days, only included photos from an operation in the Sinai.
PJM reported last year on ISIS recruiters — some on U.S. soil, some located overseas — using Twitter accounts cloaked in innocent avatars of babies or kitten photos to prey on lonely young teen American, non-Muslim girls to convince them to be ISIS sex slaves or to conduct attacks at home. They take time to reel in their prey, and if a girl tries to back out of the new relationship, it can mean trouble. “The ISIS members start making threats, even death threats,” one hacker said. “I’ve had a girl who told me they asked her to blow up a major place in her town, which I won’t specify for her safety. And they even forwarded her bomb instructions.”