ISIS has taken advantage of technology in many ways, from spreading its message on Twitter to using encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.
And one place the internet has been of particular help to ISIS is in recruitment, allowing the organisation to scour for new supporters in all corners of the globe. This recruitment has even reached one place you might not expect: dating sites.
A Jordanian intelligence official told BuzzFeed News that if a technology platform exists, ISIS has found a way to exploit it, and dating sites are no exception.
“At the end of last year, we were approached by a family living near Zarqa [Jordan’s second-largest city] who believed their daughter was speaking to dangerous people online,” the officer told BuzzFeed News. “I told them, ‘Close her Twitter and Telegram,’ but they said, ‘No, it’s the dating site she is on.'”
This site wasn’t Tinder or OkCupid, but rather, a dating site for devout Muslims.
A man reached out to the daughter, and tried to convince her to come to Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold. “He told her about the big house she would have and the servants,” the officer continued. “Her husband would be a handsome fighter … he even sent her photos of the beautiful jewellery he would buy her for her wedding night.” The daughter was stopped, but her story shows just how broad ISIS’ use of technology is.
“Her case just shows you that even on dating sites ISIS is recruiting,” the official said.