ISIS appears to be stepping up its campaign to attract an international support base after clothing and memorabilia promoting the group appeared online.
The sale of Western clothing – including T-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps – bearing the Islamist group’s name and slogans is a worrying development in ISIS’ growth as a global ‘terror brand’.
The jihadist group – which has taken control of large areas of Syria and Iraq in a shockingly brutal campaign that has been condemned as too extreme even by Al Qaeda – has previously been described as ‘social media savvy’ thanks to its widespread use of Twitter to spread propaganda.
Controversial: Indonesia-based retailer Zirah Moslem describes itself as a seller of clothing of ‘Islamic style’, including this pro-ISIS T-shirt. It also sells items promoting other groups, such as Hamas and the Taliban
Brazen: Another image shared online shows ISIS promotional clothing sold openly on hangers in a shop. The photograph was apparently taken in the popular Bagcular area of Turkey’s capital Istanbul
ISIS is in almost constant contact with its supporters in the West thanks to dozens of social media accounts maintained by militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.
Now those following the updates are being encouraged to show their loyalty to the group by purchasing clothing adorned with slogans and images promoting ISIS’ militant Islamist message.
Much of the jihadist clothing is sold on Indonesia-based websites, and appears to have been available to purchase for several months, according to Vocativ.
One online retailer, Zirah Moslem, has over 9,000 likes on Facebook and is in regular contact with the users of its page, who place orders by posting messages beneath photographs of the clothing while making no effort to conceal their identities.
Support: The sale of Western clothing – including T-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps – bearing the Islamist group’s name and slogans is a worrying development in ISIS’ growth as a global ‘terror brand’
Cynical: One of the Indonesia-based websites selling Islamist clothing also offers cuddly toys of Isis fighters. The products are promoted as coming with a free sticker, in the clear hope of attracting young children
Zirah Moslem describes itself as an ‘Islamic style’ retailer, and also sells clothing that promotes other Islamist groups such as Hamas, the Taliban and the Al-Nusra Front.
Designs show men carrying weapons and dressed in traditional Middle Eastern clothing, alongside slogans such as ‘Mujahideen For Life’ and ‘United We Stand’.
Another image shared online shows ISIS promotional clothing sold openly on hangers in a shop.
The photograph, apparently taken in Turkey, was posted on Twitter with the caption: ‘In case your [sic] wondering what the in thing for a jihadist to wear this summer is… visit the new ISIS shop in Istanbul.’
Other Indonesia-based websites selling ISIS related clothing include Kavkaz Struggl – which sells T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan ‘I Love Jihad’, and Rezji Islamic Clothing and Shop, which sells jumpers and baseball caps alongside cuddly toys of Isis fighters.
Promoted as coming with a free sticker, the soft toys are a clear attempt to appeal to young children.