Clearly, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria does not subscribe to the World War Two saying that “loose lips sink battleships.”
In the short time they’ve plagued the earth, the ISIS terrorists are well known for their grasp of social media for propaganda, but the U.S. Air Force recently turned what has been a strength into a weakness.
Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle explained Monday at a Washington, D.C., breakfast meeting hosted by the Air Force Association how one terrorist’s ill-advised selfie resulted in an airstrike that destroyed an ISIS headquarters building.
“It was a post on social media to bombs-on-target in less than 24 hours,” Carlisle said, according to Defense Tech. “Incredible work when you think about.”
Careful not to divulge sensitive information that might compromise their advantage, he explained how airmen at Hurlburt Field, Fla., seized on an opportunity.
“They’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,” Carlisle said. “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 [bombs] take that entire building out.”
Amid a Forbes report this week that “three out of every four times” U.S. warplanes dispatched over Iraq return to base without dropping any bombs because they cannot acquire or properly identify the target, it’s encouraging to see that the U.S. military can be effective when allowed to do its job.
And that intelligence can be had, especially when creativity is employed.
“Air Force intelligence officials have said their collection efforts must utilize a wide network of tools to include social media in order to keep up with the enemy. It appears these re-organization efforts are producing targets,” Defense Tech reported.
Meanwhile, tweet on, ISIS — if you dare.
The U.S. Air Force will continue to “aim high.”
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