Why does ISIL still have tanks

Islamic State: the sacred army of cats

A slice of bread always falls on the butter side - without exception. A cat always falls on its paws and nobody has been able to say the opposite here either. Up to this point everything is plausible, we are talking about physical laws. Now tentatively strap that slice of bread onto a cat's back, drop it from an appropriate height, and see what happens. Neither butter nor paws can land on the floor because both should land first: That is the secret of the butter-smeared cat. Thanks to the geek oracle, this mystery can be traced back to 1992. And now, finally, it finds an empirical application. Thanks to the cat, the Islamic State - formerly the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” - cannot lie on the ground. Do you think that was something by the hair? All the better, then read on. Because that's exactly what this article is about: about jihadists who act like geeks, about cats who never wanted to have anything to do with them and about a dirty and unjust war - like all wars.


In the beginning there was the cat
Cats and geeks have a beautiful love affair, the beginning of which is unknown and the climax of which is partly the topic here. The crush has reached an unprecedented extent, so much does the cat seem to have outdone all of its fellow animals. Just because you look at a goat


Cuteness Defined - A Lamb hugging the mujahid Abu Muhammad Amriki pic.twitter.com/EXTixj4N6W

- Islamic State of Cat (@ISILCats) 25 June 2014


a bird


"@ISILCats: Iftekhar Jaman shouldering a bird, now a green bird himself pic.twitter.com/9M8NEAEPmF" - in sha Allah

- Abu Suleiman (@MrJaman_) 26 Juin 2014


or bump a dog,


Puppies are actually so cute, 3 of them were following me. - Iftekhar Jaman # AllEyesOnISISpic.twitter.com / xUWU5Wzohm

- Islamic State of Cat (@ISILCats) June 28, 2014


one should not conclude that the fauna of the internet has a balanced hierarchy. The cat is the king and yet this claim should be treated with caution. The cat owes its coronation to number one to the fantastic world of the web. It all started in the 4chan picture forum. From there, the LOLcat went viral. Some offshoots can be found on the "I Can Has Cheezburger" site or on "Know Your Meme". The recipe is simple: a cat picture and a bold slogan make a big impact. Here is a personal attempt:



Source: @ISILCats (left) // AFP - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (right)



It's always fun (there is a cat) and everyone loves it (because of the cat).


Then the ISIL discovers the LOLcat

The same thing geeks do for geeks. Funny or not, some become hype and some don't. And with ISIS - or at least the Internet community that supports ISIS - you have to clearly state that all LOLcat strategies apply. Here are some examples from the Twitter accounts “Islamic State of Cat”, “Abu Fulan al-Muhajir” and “Chechclearr”, a very active mujahideen fighter in Syria on Instagram:


I can haz Steyr Aug? - Mujahid pic.twitter.com/5fIN2Xcbaw

- Islamic State of Cat (@ISILCats) 25 June 2014


"How does this one work?" Huraira needs muaskar pic.twitter.com/8uZfaJ34b1

- Abu Fulan al-Muhajir (@ Fulan2weet) 12 June 2014


Our lil friend at home here. Little mujahid pic.twitter.com/pZ23ZoNNN3

- Abu Fulan al-Muhajir (@ Fulan2weet) September 1, 2013



Grenades, Kalashnikovs and… cats: Mujahideen have a heart that melts in the face of these delicate fluffy fur. Otherwise there is no reason for the Islamic State to envy peaceful countries for their everyday life. The Twitter hashtag #mujatweet gives you a foretaste of this: laughing children, everyday scenes at the market and happy fighters, such as the German mujahideen, who reads us a poem in honor of jihad. Life is beautiful, life is depressingly normal in the caliphate of Islamic State.


No need to get upset about anything. The Islamic State is just a kind of soccer team courting fans. Just buy your own ISIS t-shirt and your ISIS mascot:




Unfortunately, Facebook blocked the accounts that could be used to buy such goodies. Except for this one.


The AK 47, the tool of salvation

One could almost think that the Kalashnikov, which is featured in all #Mujatweets clips, is a toy for cats and an indispensable clothing accessory for the mujahideen. In particular, it is a symbol of clout and an instrument of war that the Islamic State clearly claims for itself.


The flood of propaganda videos produced and distributed by the PR agencies “Al-Fuqsan Media Production” and “Itisa” testifies to this. One of the most symbolic is “Clanging of Swords IV” - a documentary film about ISIS operations in Iraq: attacks on Iraqi soldiers, apparently spared civilians and military technology that is more or less up-to-date. Those are the main arguments of the film. The film is completely subtitled in English (Warning, it contains some shocking scenes, the video is regularly deleted.):




More IS propaganda videos from “Al fuqsan Media Production” can be found on jihadology.net. Here is a best-of of the attacks by the Islamic State against Iraqi tanks and here ... a vigorous and bloody compilation of the battle for Iraqi Buhriz.


"This is our ball ... It is made of skin / fur" #WorldCup # WorldCup2014


The merciless tenderness of the jihadists
After all this, it becomes clear: the mujahideen from the Islamic State like cats, are above all human, but also like to flex their muscles and execute unbelievers without further ado. But none of that explains why. So all over again: the cat. She is captivating. Most of all, it's viral. And that's the only thing that counts. Because it's not just about addressing young geeks, nor about highlighting the human face of an organization that prides itself on the reintroduction of stoning and crucifixion or about recruiting en masse soldiers abroad. All of this is of course true. But it's only the aftermath of a very efficient PR strategy. The amount of images of Islamic State is impressive and equally disturbing. And even more so, the ease with which they can be accessed online. And that, despite repeated deletions of Twitter and Facebook accounts.


"Twitter Akbar!"

Yes, Twitter is big, but certainly not all-powerful. After the Arab Spring, many media used smartphones to describe the youth's online war as “Revolution 2.0” - forgetting that an AK-47 bullet can easily hit an i-phone. You can't wage war with Twitter. Twitter only gives you one voice, nothing more. And the IS can do both: communicate with 140 characters, but also execute with 140 bullets.


It is ironic that spring in Iraq and Syria has given way to a jihadist winter. And the latter use social networks in their own way and have different communication strategies than the original revolutionaries. The IS hydra is running at full speed. No sooner has an account been deleted than a new one is set up. This article explains the principle of "Wilaya Twitter" (Twitter governorate), according to which a large number of supporters maintain Twitter accounts. As administrators of these accounts, you do not have to be personally present on the battlefield. The main thing is that they ensure that the propaganda is spread in different languages.


And what does all of this have to do with butter?

Everything is going like clockwork for IS, at least financially - there is no doubt about that. So much so that it is becoming the richest jihadist organization in the world. The butter, thanks to which everything runs so smoothly, is this image war with images that IS seems to be waging beyond the borders of its caliphate. And just as the cat falls on its paws again and again at some point, jihadists and war will continue to surf on their wave of success into eternity.