ISIS Recruiting Process Begins with Twitter Before Moving Elsewhere

August 18, 2015

ISIS Recruiting Process Begins with Twitter Before Moving Elsewhere

ISIS recruiters, usually operating out of Syria, primarily use Twitter to establish initial connections with prospective group members. The most prominent recruiters are actual fighters; sometimes their wives will aid females seeking to emigrate to the Islamic State. There have also been Western recruiters in the U.S., England, and in other jihadi arenas such as Libya and Somalia.  The first point of contact is often made on Twitter, and then users continue conversations on encrypted chat messaging platforms such as Surespot and  kik. Some of the accounts included in this report have also been listed as contacts in ISIS e-books.

Recruiters Outside the Islamic State

It appears that the majority of recruiters are physically located in Islamic State territory, however, sometimes ISIS enthusiasts in the West are active participants in this process. In June 2015 it was revealed that an American woman in Seattle named Rawdan Abdisalaam was recruiting females to join ISIS. She called herself Umm Waqqas on Twitter.

Invite to Islam, a Birmingham-based Islamist group radicalizes and recruits prospects online. It footnotes that it tweets for “informational, educational and research purposes” only and that “does not support any banned group or organization,” and that it does not support terrorism. It was revealed that a groomer in the UK put a young American female in touch with the group’s administrator.

Islamic State e-books are circulated on Twitter by both members and supporters.  One of the book’s final pages provides instructions regarding whom to contact when emigrating to Syria: “These people live in the Islamic State. They have Surespot and other private messaging apps. If their Twitter is banned, they will always make a new one.”

Islamic State e-book “Hijrah to the Islamic State”

It is worth noting that not all contacts listed are in the Islamic State, despite the claim made in the e-book. For example, Abdisalaam was listed as one of the female contacts. Another account called Magnet Gas which is listed in the e-book claims to be located in Turkey.