Self-described militants in Iraq and Syria are using Instagram to document the more "ordinary" moments of their lives in between bouts of ferocious fighting and civil war. BuzzFeed has assembled a long list of examples showing "life on the ground as a jihadi." One of the three fighters included below appears to be affiliated with ISIS, the ruthless militant group that's thrown Iraq into disarray with relentless attacks on government targets and mass killings of Iraqi soldiers and citizens. The group has overtaken several cities and will likely prompt the United States to step in once more with military support. Another fighter (with username "chechclearisback") describes himself as "a freelancer" on "the battlefields of Syria," though he denies any involvement with al Qaeda and refuses to discuss anything related to ISIS on his Ask.fm page.
As Policy Mic notes, it's somewhat surreal to see the Mujahideen chronicling attacks with Instagram filters and hashtags. And then there's the "downtime" content. Kittens are photographed next to guns and grenades. Fighters (with rifles in tow) capture video of a group of abandoned puppies. There are arm wrestling competitions and photos celebrating rare luxuries like a Snickers bar, M&Ms, or a can of Coke. And yes, selfies too. But sadly, things always turn back to violence with video of hillside gunfights, snipers spelling out their names with bullets as they plot attacks, and plenty of other chilling examples.
I would officially announce that this brother with the plain red shirt and huge beard, is our arm wrestling champion! pic.twitter.com/lyj2jrwK1k— Life of a Mujahid (@LifeofMujahid) June 12, 2014
Currently training with an #M24, possibly a big fight coming soon. #ISIS #SNIPER pic.twitter.com/kivxca4Unw— Abu Jibril Muhajir (@Mujahid_0446) January 21, 2014
I got a download speed of around 1850kb per second now in Syria, Does that count as a karamah/miracle?— Life of a Mujahid (@LifeofMujahid) June 14, 2014