Jihadi Eulogies Show Stark Reality of Online Forums

Nov 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM ET

A eulogy posted to an online forum used by ISIS jihadis points to just how active the forum members are in the theater of war. The forums are often derided as talk shops for sympathizers—but the eulogy, which names two prominent forum members, suggests that their posts were the result of active participation in the current conflict in Iraq, rather than mere speculation.

The eulogy appeared earlier on Tuesday in a forum that ISIS used heavily to post missives and updates on the conflict, stating that two of its administrators had died in an American airstrike in Kirkuk, a city in northern Iraq. The eulogy describes the militants as “lions” fighting on all fronts: both real and virtual.

“We [are] pleased to announce the martyrdom of two lions of jihad,” reads the eulogy. “The worshippers of the cross and the tyrants, apostates and hypocrites standing behind them should know that we in the forum raised lions who are not afraid of death. They are the forum’s administrators, supervisors and members who are fighting in all of the fronts day and night. We will continue to grow the next generation of fighters, who will be more lethal from those who [are] already gone.”

The strike, which took place on Sunday and was listed by the American Department of Defense, killed the two administrators, along with 18 other ISIS militants. Their names, provided in the eulogy, surface in multiple reports in the same forum, detailing what the fighters had been seeing in Iraq.

In March 2014, for example, Ausud bin Laden reported the news that “several mortar shells [fell] in an area close to [the] neighborhood of Adhamiya, since early morning as I saw myself.” Later that same day, he reported the movement of forces on the ground in northern Baghdad, claiming that rebels took over water pipelines that the Iraqi military had previously controlled.