IRAQ

One ISIS Recruit’s Journey, as Told Through His Facebook Page

IRAQ
Jul 25, 2014 at 4:46 PM ET

In many ways, Mes Tiri blended right in with the other 3.5 million Tunisians on Facebook. He lists his favorite music, the books he’s read and the cafes he frequents. But one thing about his profile popped out from the pack: Tiri is an active jihadi.

Late last year, Tiri left his hometown to join ISIS, the militant group that has taken over large swathes of Syria and more recently Iraq. He used his Facebook page to document the trip, and Vocativ followed Tiri at each stop of the way. On November 11, 2013, for instance, he shared a photo of himself in Stuttgart, Germany. The caption read: “Uncle Mustafa and I are halfway there.” Fellow jihadi fighters lit up the comments section, cheering him on and praising Allah.

Back in Tiri’s hometown of Sousse, a member of radical Muslim explained to Vocativ just how easy it is to join the fight and travel to the battle zone. “Call the jihadi travel agency and tell them which extremist group you’re with, such as Al Nusra, and they book your trip!” The only hitch is that instead of flying directly to Syria, they have enter through Turkey.

Tiri finally joined up with ISIS in Syria on November 20. When it invaded Iraq in June of this year, he was there, posting at every opportunity. Shortly thereafter, ISIS killed 1,000 Iraqi civilians and President Barack Obama sent 275 troops into the country to fend off the invasion. The death and destruction has continued, however. Just yesterday, ISIS completely destroyed the Tomb of Jonah, a holy shrine that traced back to biblical times.

As for Tiri, the last time he posted a photo was June 18 and his Facebook page has since been deactivated. His current whereabouts are unknown. Here is his story, but it’s not his story alone: More than 3,000 other Tunisians have also joined the battle in Syria to take down the country’s ruler, President Bashar al-Assad.