The terror group ISIS has been known to use social media to showcase their heinous crimes and for recruitment but in an interesting twist, this practice was inadvertently used by the US Air Force to gather information about them.
According to Air Force General Hawk Carlisle the head of Air Combat Command, on Monday (1st June 2015), the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group were perusing through social media when they noticed a picture of a militant in a “command” and in an open forum where the person was bragging about the group’s command and control abilities. Although they did not release information about how they were able to obtain the location of the headquarters, in 22 hours they were able to send an airstrike, flattening the target.
However the general warned that in the future, conflicts and wars won’t allow the military much freedom to pass the intelligence they obtained from social media because future wars will target satellite communications.
Locally, Kenyan Defence Forces have used their Twitter account to update the public about airstrikes they have undertaken on the country’s enemies like the Al Shabaab or other conquests.
KDF jets launched an airstrike on 31st January 2013, targeting an Al Shabaab logistic base in the area of Garbaharey.
— Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) February 1, 2013
However, KDF so far has not revealed if they have ever used intelligence gained from social media to launch an operation.