Although ISIS has been known for their savvy use of social media to recruit people to their cause, it seems like one fellow, who will forever be known to the U.S. Air Force as the moron, took his social media and selfie posting too far and identified the location of his camp.
Less than 24 hours after his first selfie at the ISIS headquarters and boastful posts about having command capabilities, the U.S. came in full force with a guided missile. ISIS had been using social media for everything from recruitment campaigns involving selfies with Nutella to spreading news about their victories.
It is estimated that ISIS social media propaganda has reached upto 20,000 Twitter users through its posts of videos and photos numbering over 1,700.
Which is why its online activities have already been monitored by teams, especially at Hurlburt Field in Florida, with the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. Airmen from this team first spotted the selfie that identified the precise location of the headquarters, and the military men knew they were in.
According to Air Force Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, as he related the story of how the operation went down over a breakfast meeting on Monday, the airstrike was incredible work that levelled the ISIS command building in just 22 hours.
"The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they're combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: 'We got an in.' So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out," he said.
Reportedly, the success of the U.S. airstrike on the ISIS headquarters is a serious blow to the Islamic State everyday command and financing operations.
Carlisle also described during his speech that thus far they have taken down 13,000 enemy fighters, 1,000 vehicles, 50 improvised explosive devices, and perhaps most significantly, the "cash cows" which support ISIS financially.
Their best way to make money was oil collection and refining capacity, and we've taken out about 90 percent of that," he said.
Although Carlisle was pleased about this victory over ISIS, he was also careful not to repeat the same mistake as the so-called "moron" and did not reveal the exact location in Syria of the building where the airstrikes were directed.
Photo: PACAF | Flickr