Selfie by ISIS "moron" leads bombers to his HQ

Heavy smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria in 2014. Photo: Getty Images

Islamic State terrorists have frightened parents and pundits around the world with their highly effective use of social media to spread propaganda.

But it seems not all ISIS fighters are social media experts. reports that US Air Force General Hawk Carlisle, who is the head of Air Combat Command, described in a speech on Monday an event where social media spelled disaster for ISIS.

An ISIS “moron” probably just wanted to help intimidate the world with his group’s capabilities.

Instead he caught the attention of airmen and intelligence officers stationed in Florida, and soon they were raining bombs onto him and his colleagues.

“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,” General Carlisle said.

ISIS’ use of social media has proven a headache for its opponents around the world and has been credited with helping the terrorist group recruit foreign fighters, especially impressionable young men.

Blocking the group’s access to the communications technology has proven all but impossible as centralised ISIS Twitter and Facebook accounts have given way to a broad network of users posting widely and often.

Their regular social media use ranges from rants to graphic video and images of ISIS atrocities in the Middle East.

However, General Carlisle’s report suggests there may be an up-side to the group’s social media obsession for intelligence officers and pilots, who have successfully used propaganda to identify targets without requiring as many frontline troops on the ground.