Jihadistene i Syria bruker sosiale medier på en måte som skaper et virtuelt miljø rundt krigen. Det lokker interesserte fra andre land.
Jihadistene får vist at de er menn av vår tid, de snakker om hårgele, red bull og ipads. De legger konstant ut bilder av og tweets om falne kamerater.
Fordi dette er en virkelig krig og ikke så veldig langt unna for folk i Europa, tiltrekker den unge fra Storbritannia, Frankrike og Tyskland. Og Danmark, Norge og Sverige.
Nett-trafikken skaper den følelse av «instantness», som pirrer og binder sammen.
This is holy war of the 21st century. Unlike the much more ascetic jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where fighters followed the puritanical Wahhabi practices of Osama bin Laden and were cut off from the outside world for months, nights in Syria can be spent online gaming, chatting to family in the UK or watching al-Qaeda videos on the internet connection that is provided at their sleeping quarters.
“The three top travel items that jihadists are saying are needed for Syria are toilet paper, a first aid kit and an iPad,” said Shiraz Maher an analyst from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), who has been closely following the jihadists’ online activity.
“Many of these guys have come from western societies and are used to using Twitter and other media. Twitter is a useful instant platform through which they share information. They put a lot of stock on media and public engagement. Maybe social media has permeated all our lives.”
The Telegraph has been following the Tumblr account of ’Abu Qa’qaa’, a jihadist in Syria who is believed to be British, where he runs question and answer sessions for would-be volunteers, mostly from the UK. Analysts have said they believe the account to be genuine. An iPad or “something with wi-fi”, he wrote in a recent post, is essential, along with soap and hair products (“My Afro is melting,” he wrote).
Nettet og sosiale medier gjør jihad til et slags pop-fenomen. Slik amerikanerne trakk rock, pot og fastfood med i Vietnam-krigen, gjør islamistene noe av det samme i Syria.
Det skaper en slags surrealistisk stemning. Man snakker om jihad som cool, selv om det er mye jihadistene gjør som ikke er coolt.
Social media was helping facilitate the transfer of Britons to Syria, Mr Maher said. “When the English speakers tweet, the number of hits they get, from people in the UK, is huge, with many asking ‘how can I get there?’… If someone has no contacts in the area, they can make contact with a jihadist in Syria via social media, and get the transfer process started”.
Abu Qa’qaa’s Tumblr account, which is titled The Remedy of the Heart, reads like an “Agony Uncle” column for radical extremists. In one anguished message, the contributor explains he wants to be with a girl (’I know it’s haram [irreligious] but i’m so weak!’ he writes), and is torn between marrying her or travelling for jihad to Syria, “the land of honour”.
Abu Qa’qaa’ replies: “Leave and either Allah will bring her to you or give you better :)”. Another man explains he wants to travel to fight in Syria, but only if he will be guaranteed he will be able to get married there. Abu Qa’qaa’ replies: “Lol there’s plenty of sisters her. Marriage is always on the go. We all want to get married here :).”
Sosiale kontoer kan brukes som dagbøker, der kjente og ukjente kan følge med på det som skjer. Hvis du er dansk vil du følge med på hva som skjer med en danske.
Social media is also being used by fighters to keep in contact with loved ones, or to keep a diary of their adventures. Abu Qa’qaa posts pictures of a loving note he says was written by his little sister. Another man, a fighter of Danish origin, used his Twitter account to document his journey to Syria and the battles he is participating in there, working as a “body guard” for the “emir” or group’s commander.
Et annet fenomen er martyr-tweets.
The platforms are also increasingly being used to announce the deaths of comrades in a development that Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has termed the “martyrdom tweet”. “Martyrdom tweets, where jihadists post pictures of comrades and messages who have been killed, is a phenomenon that started just over a year ago from Syria. At first there were a handful. Now it’s impossible to keep track because everyone is doing them.”