The United States Air Force was able to locate and destroy an Islamic State headquarters because a member of the group posted a picture of himself there on social media, according to a top official.
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, explained that the militant’s careless photo and glib online posts allowed the military to bomb the target within 22 hours, the Air Force Times reported.
“The [airmen are] combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,” he said at a speech in Arlington, Va., on June 1, according to the newspaper. “And in some social media, open forum, bragging about command and control capabilities for Da’esh, ISIL. And these guys go, ‘Ah, we got an in.’”
Carlisle praised the airmen at the Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in Okaloosa County, Fla., for spotting the posts and tracking down the Islamic State member’s location.
To destroy the building, the armed forces sent three bombs that were guided by Joint Direct Attack Munition.
“It was incredible work, and incredible airmen doing this sort of thing,” Carlisle added.
According to United States Central Command, military forces stayed on the offensive for two days after Carlisle’s speech, with four airstrikes in Syria and 18 in Iraq.
“The coalition struck Daesh targets in 10 different locations across Iraq,” said Col. Wayne Marotto, of the Combined Joint Task Force dedicated to eliminating IS, said in a statement. “These strikes were in support of our ISF partners and their efforts to drive out Daesh terrorists.”
It remains to be seen whether this turn of events will put a damper on the Islamic State’s social media activity, which has been a central element to the group’s propaganda campaign and recruitment efforts around the world.