This Anti-ISIS Joke Is So Funny, the State Department Retweeted It

Sep 24, 2014 at 7:14 AM ET

Is ISIS a joke? The U.S., its five Arab allies and the thousands of people they’ve displaced, terrorized and killed don’t seem to think so. Monday marked the most intense and widespread air campaign against the extremist group since the U.S. began bombing parts of Iraq months ago. But in times like these, there’s still a way to find a good laugh.

To that point, here’s the best ISIS joke on Twitter right now. It’s a too-real guide to the extremist group drawn by Lebanese satirist Karl Sharro that mocks what he sees as the actual ridiculousness of the group’s structures, a series of “pretend” and “nonexistent” entities, by his reckoning:

As Sharro tells Vocativ, his inspiration was a CNN report on the “anatomy of ISIS”:

CNN gave a prelude to that report in early September that was mocked extensively on Twitter.

The U.S. State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications retweeted Sharro’s drawing on Monday. It’s all part of the State Department’s social media campaign specifically created to counter ISIS’ own online efforts called “Think Again Turn Away.”

It’s a small, odd honor that Sharro himself finds more bizarre than anything else. “Maybe it’s a good thing that they have a sense of humor,” he says. Ultimately, though, he feels the State Department should focus less on the social media wars than the serious stuff—like, you know, policy? “Leave it to amateurs like me,” he says, “to do all the mocking.”