While ISIS has been using social media to gain new recruits to their cause, the U.S. Air Force has been using it to track their whereabouts. This last week they used a “selfie” to take out an ISIS command center.
According to Gen. Hawk Carlisle soldiers at Hurlburt Airbase were looking through thousands of social media posts when they noticed a “moron” taking a picture outside of a command and control center for ISIS. That was when the intelligence soldiers knew they had found a high-value target.
“Twenty-two hours after seeing the post, U.S. warplanes went in for the kill. ‘Long story short…three JDAMs take the entire building out,’” Carlisle said in the speech to the Air Force Association.”
The JDAM’s the General references are attachments for regular bombs that turn them into “smart” weapons. Boeing made the attachment that is put on the tail of bombs and uses GPS to guide the bombs onto precision targets.
“Using GPS coordinates, JDAM bombs have an error rate of less than 40 feet, the Navy says. JDAM units can placed on 2,000-, 1,000- and 500-pound bombs, which can be carried by a variety of Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. An Air Force B-2 bomber can deploy 80 JDAMs in a single pass,” Carlisle continued.
Carlisle did not elaborate on what type of plane delivered the payload, or what size of bomb, but he was complimentary about the airmen at Hurlburt. He stressed how incredible the efforts of the airmen were, and just how critical that they were to the success of the operation.
On the other hand, social media has also been critical to the success of ISIS recruiting. According to Congressional reports they have around 200,000 followers on Twitter with about 1,700 posts all over different social media platforms.
These tactics have helped them add about 3,400 westerners and 200 Americans to their forces. However, as we just saw, these efforts by ISIS are now a double-edged sword with the U.S. Air Force Intelligence forces on their tails.