Inside the Saudi military

Regular readers of this Tumblr will be familiar by now with the typical scenes from life inside jihadi groups like Islamic State. Recently I started compiling pictures from inside the Saudi military deployed in Yemen for the sake of comparison. I knew there would be many similarities, but I didn’t realise quite how similar the scenes would be. Frankly, if you swap the green Saudi flags for black ones, there is virtually no difference in the iconography and practices displayed in these pictures compared to the jihadi ones. The only slight difference I can spot, aside from the clothing and the hardware, is that the Saudi soldiers are using different hand gestures; they give thumbs up and V-signs where jihadis would point their index finger up. It’s worth noting that the Saudi government, when tweeting these pictures, refers to these soldiers as murabitun (frontier guards), just like the jihadis. This goes to show that many aspects of jihadi culture are not innovations, but traditional or mainstream practices in parts of the Muslim world.

Weeping and singing in a foreign fighter travel diary

We have a growing number of lengthy first-person accounts of life as a foreign fighter in Syria. A good example is this travel diary titled “Days in Sahawaat” which describes the experiences of an IS-affiliated foreign fighter named Abu Saa’d al-Sudani in an area West of Aleppo in 2014. The document is interesting for a number of reasons (Norwegian readers, for example, will note the prominence of a certain “Abu Musa al-Norweigi”), but here I’ll just highlight a few passages of particular interest to the Bored Jihadi. 

For example, there’s this description of what al-Sudani and his foreign fighter friends do while recuperating at a safe house after days of strenuous adventures:

Later, at another safe house, there’s praying, storytelling, and anashid-singing:

There are lots of other cultural tidbits in there as well, such as this: 

But I’ll leave you to read the whole thing if you are specially interested.