When I Got a Friend Request from “Islamic State”


When I Got a Friend Request from “Islamic State”

Illustration: Namaah/Arré


ast month, I received a Facebook friend request from a “Mohammad Azmi”. The name was unfamiliar to me, so I went to his page. In his profile picture, he was standing in what looked like a desert, his head and face covered with a scarf. In his hand was a scary, long rifle. On his wall, a few nondescript English phrases, photographs of other rifle-toting men, and some Arabic posts.

A quick Google translate partially confirmed my suspicion – Azmi was claiming to be a soldier of the “caliphate”. I ignored the requests, but got at least five more from other rifle-carrying men over the next few days. Bearded men with Shah in their name for some reason seemed to be hot on the caliphate recruitment list.