Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bombs Will Not Defeat ISIS (but Maybe the Internet Will)

I grew up in Raqqa, a small Syrian city on the banks of the Euphrates. The city of my childhood was little known. They didn’t even include Raqqa in the weather forecasts on local news. In January 2014, Islamic State militants took control of Raqqa and cut it off from the world, submitting its citizens to abuse and horror. The Islamic State claimed Raqqa as the capital of their caliphate and began to publish slick videos calling the city a paradise and seducing new jihadists into joining their cause. Even though we had no formal training, my friends and I became citizen journalists to expose the atrocities committed by the Islamic State. We called the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS).

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