CHATTER: AMERICAN ADVISER KILLED OR CAPTURED BY DA’ISH
By Michael S. Smith II
3:00 PM (GMT) In an effort to assess the accuracy of a report that indicates a US adviser was killed by Islamic State fighters during recent fighting near Haditha the DOWNRANGE team has been mining social media accounts and websites used to promote information about the Islamic State’s activities. Concurrently, trusted sources who are monitoring jihadis’ communications concerning recent fighting near Haditha are tracking chatter that suggests IS fighters may have taken an American adviser prisoner. However, during the past 11 hours, the DOWNRANGE team has not/not identified corroborating evidence of either account.
It is common for misinformation to overshadow spot reports on skirmishes in Iraq produced by various “news” sites. Meanwhile, it is possible the Islamic State has not covered this development with its propaganda for a variety of reasons:
If an American adviser was killed during fighting in or near Haditha, IS fighters may not know they killed him.
If IS fighters have taken an American prisoner, the group’s leadership may wish to postpone the announcement of this development until either a video concerning the matter can be produced by the group’s media wing, or international news organizations have concluded their coverage of the group’s efforts to obtain large ransom payments for two Japanese hostages.
Presently, however, the dearth of information available about this alleged development on social media accounts managed by IS fighters and propagandists who are generally quick to pull the trigger on boasting about such feats means it is difficult to characterize such accounts as anything but “RUMINT.”
Further processing to follow if warranted by discoveries of supportive evidence.