American ISIS Member From Chicago Active On Twitter And Facebook: 'Internet, Restaurants, Cars, iPhones... Allah Has Made... Jihad In Sham [Syria] So Easy'

Special Dispatch Series No. 5586,  January 3, 2014

A.T., who traveled to Syria to join a jihad organization, states on his Twitter account that he is 25, from Chicago, and has joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He is yet another of the growing number of foreign fighters in Syria using social media – in his case, in addition to Twitter, he is active on Facebook and Ask.fm – to chronicle experiences, to communicate with fellow jihadis in Syria and in the West, and to answer questions about joining the jihad in Syria. His first tweet, on December 21, 2013, was: "Internet, Restaurants, Cars, iPhones... Allah has made Hijra and Jihad in Sham [Syria] so easy... why are we still clinging to the Earth and hesitating?"

Background

According to his Facebook account, created December 18, 2013, A.T. first arrived in Syria a year and a half ago, and joined Ahrar Al-Sham. He says on it that he left Syria temporarily due to an injury and returned to Aleppo on September 4, 2013; since then, according to his "About" section, he has been serving as a cook for ISIS. He also states that he speaks English, Classical Arabic, Syrian Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, and Pashto. His profile photo is of a young man, from chin to torso. As of this writing, his page was last updated December 27.

His Facebook page includes photos of Osama bin Laden and a dead jihadi, ISIS posters, and an ISIS video. It also links to other Facebook accounts – one of which reports on a Muslim convert jihadi from Ontario, Canada killed in Syria. On his Ask.fm account, he states that he is American: "American 'Jihadi' or wtever they are calling it..inshAllah may Allah allow more and more [M]uslims to make hijra [refering in this case to emigration to a jihad front] and jihad in his path!" His Twitter account also links to his Ask.fm account.

Apparently, at one point he attempted to fight against Israel from the Gaza Strip. In answer to a question on his Ask.fm account, he states on January 2: "I went underneath a tunnel got into gaza found Hamas...but they str8 rejected the homie. plus Hamas fights the other groups who actually try to attack "israel" so now bi ithnillah the mujahideen in Syria are at the gates of [the Al-]Aqsa [mosque in Jerusalem]..."

Fielding Questions, Offering Help On Ask.fm: Bring Thermals, Baselayers, Goretex, Warm Socks – I Shopped At Walmart; "If U Make It To Turkey Border And Cant Get In Msg Me"

On his Ask.fm account, created December 30, 2013, he answers questions from others who want to come to Syria to join the jihad. On January 1, 2014, an anonymous reader asked what equipment he should bring to Syria:

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