It has always been claimed that ISIS is the terrorist organization of the 21st century. Unlike Al-Qaeda, who were thought of plotting from a cave and via handwritten messages or mobile phones with SIM cards that could be eaten, ISIS did embrace the age of internet with usage of encrypted messaging via Telegram, an own press agency, accounts in Facebook and Instagram, a glossy magazine propagating their own attacks and so forth.
Therefore some surprising news is hitting our desks this morning. It was made known this week that hundreds of their supporters had forgotten to turn off their geo-location data whilst using Instagram’s ‘stories’ feature, which allows them to share videos and pictures montages (probably some nice pics of girls in burqa and execution with a sword or whatever those guys like).
The Interpol researches who got their hands on the Instagram data revealed that of the thousands of accounts with ISIS-related content, 290 of them contained information, primarily in Europe. Their report stated:
“One [account screenshot showed a pro-Islamic State user on the outskirts of a city in northern Italy. In a photo the apparent user is posing with several friends, making the iconic single-finger gesture linked to the Islamic State to the camera. The second account—which has a user who makes sure to hide their face in posts—was leaking location data pointing to Russia, Stroppa said. A third pro-Islamic user, posting from France judging by the location data, shared a photo of a mock “United States of Islam” passport with Islamic State branding.”
They could have gotten the hang of this if those guys would at least read the popular press. Just last week, police in Dallas tracked down a wanted criminal by getting his GPS location from Instagram. Even more famous was the Kim Kardashian in Paris robbery where the criminals afterwards admitted that they got to the exact location because of GPS tracking via social networks.
News of this location leak is hot on the heels of the news that ISIS is almost wiped out in Syria now that coalition forces have taken back 90% of their self-declared capital Raqqa. So not the best of weeks for death cult ISIS apparently.