Some months ago, I wrote how a tweet by an Al Queda spokesman was actually location enabled, allowing intelligence authorities to pinpoint the location of the man who sent the tweet. That just happened again, this time with ISIS, and with even graver consequences: A U.S. Airstrike successfully destroyed the building in which the photo was taken.
U.S. Air Force General Hawk Carlisle (what a great name for a General) told reporters that a selfie, taken by a member of ISIS, had enough information on it to allow the military to pinpoint the exact location of the ISIS fighter and his unit:
“The [airmen are] combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command…Long story short, about 22 hours later… three JDAMS take that entire building out. Through social media. It was a post on social media. Bombs on target in 22 hours.”
According to CNN, a JDAM is “a kit attached to a conventional bomb that converts it into a “smart” weapon.”
ISIS is very active on social media; according to recent Congressional testimony, the group has “published approximately 1,700 pictures, videos and other publications all across social media and have gained at least 200,000 readers on Twitter.” It also uses social media for recruitment purposes…however, clearly, sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor.
This is funny, but there’s a lesson to be learned for all you non-terrorists out there: Careful with what you post! While using social media, never put yourself in a position in which you are giving away confidential information or saying something which could come back to haunt you at a later date.