Does ISIS Use Fake Facebook Accounts for Intelligence Gathering? - ITS Tactical

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Does ISIS Use Fake Facebook Accounts for Intelligence Gathering?

By Bryan Black


Yesterday, myself, along with what seemed like a large percentage of my industry friends on Facebook, received a few new friend requests that appeared suspicious. Some questioned, some accepted and as of this morning, the accounts appear to have been removed.

For a few years now, I haven’t approved friend requests on the social media platform unless I personally knew that person. It’s meant that I’ve probably ignored your request, but please don’t take it personally.


Sunday’s friend requests solidify that shill accounts are out there and its hard to determine their true intent. Many of my friends posted the “Not today ISIS!” statement in reference to these requests and it looks like someone in the industry had their Facebook account compromised, which led to these accounts friending many people that I knew. They used the compromised account list of friends to build their own.

A few common indicators of these fake accounts are that there’s nothing available in terms of posts or photos for you to see, other than the persona a quirky guy behind the desk wants you to see. In this case and many others, these accounts are female, attempting to friend males. They typically are either some scantily clad woman giving off the “just looking for a good time” vibe, or like these instances, an outdoor/adventure chick.


While I can neither confirm nor deny that these accounts originated from ISIS or a terrorist network, I do wish Facebook would do more to crack down on these, rather than other things they’re doing in our industry, like trying to shut down gun sales over their network. I get it, but I feel like stopping the intel gathering of foreign interests should be a little higher on the priority list. Surely there’s some kind of alarm that gets thrown when a new Facebook account suddenly sends out dozens of new friend requests. Perhaps though it’s hard to distinguish this activity from another Facebook newbie that’s just found all their friends online.

THE_ENEMY_IS_LISTENING_250If anything, I hope this post makes you think twice about the friend requests you’re receiving and that you’re not already the type to let everyone in. I locked down my privacy settings years ago and am careful about what I share on any social media network. If you’re after more info about making your online accounts more secure, check out the articles linked below.

Remember, loose lips sink ships, which is to say that you need to scrutinize what you put out there publicly on the internet. Just assume that nothing is private and once it’s online, anyone can read it. It’s a good policy to adopt, especially if you’re in the Military, Law Enforcement or another organization that depends on OPSEC (operational security.)

Even if you’re a civilian who thinks that your life is an open book, you definitely have your own OPSEC concerns to worry about. All those places you check into online are leaving a digital footprint and waving a big flag that you’re not at home. Don’t even get me started on the stick figure family stickers on your mini van.

What security practices do you follow online? Post them up in the comments below so we can all benefit from some new ways of staying safe that we might not have thought of.

Additional Resources

Update 160201: I must be on the radar now, I just received another request below. Can you spot the resemblance with the previous friend request? The language is a dead giveaway too.


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  • Lisa Durham

    Yes!! People need to know about this..also watch out for profiles that seem to be servicemen!! I have had a few that pretend to be servicemen but they speak as if english is a second language. They will also attempt to initiate conversations concerning military intelligence, building locations, marital status, etc. The fake military ones seem to be trying to recruit women..

  • Erich Schultz

    I’ve noticed an increase in fake account friend requests. Just out of nowhere I started to get quite a bit…. and then… they were gone again.

  • ITS Tactical

    Thanks for the addition, Lisa. That’s certainly something else to be on the look out for. ~ Bryan

  • Nicko Demeter

    It appears the fake friend requests go up the more military/veteran friendly FB groups one joins.

  • Lisa Durham

    It is scary!

  • Eric Davidson

    Where the hell is Linda?? Wasn’t she going to deal with this

  • Brian

    I have had a few of these in the last month. Some have been the sport girl and then others from eastern Europe

  • Austyn Pember

    That’s not isis, that’s the people that run isis, the NSA/spooks.

  • Rob Rothamel

    That’s one of the reasons if I don’t know them personally I don’t accept their friend request. Heck if I don’t know you, I’m sure you have better things to do then read my occasional status updates. I don’t put my life on Facebook..

  • Al Covey

    OMG! I just got that COLLEEN KENNEDY on several accounts today!

  • Steve Langford

    Shit they hit me up all the time DENIED !

  • Sebastien Leonard

    Yes, i noticed this too
    Since a month or something, i have been getting fake friend requests portraying fitness folks, artists and what looks like military personnel or former personel. When looking a little closer, you notice these accounts are literally 1 – 5 hours old or are completely fake
    And knowing Facebook us working with terrorists, it wouldn’t surprise me at all that they don’t do shit against it
    Cmon, open your eyes. Facebook blatantly lets islamists recruitment pages prevail, closes down pages that spread awareness about the migrant crimes being committed, patriotic pages and things like that

  • Eric Pollack

    Yes, as well as the federal alphabet agencies. I know local PDs in major cities have them

  • Ben Fox

    I get them on IG mostly.

  • Landon Michael Mabe

    Definitely be cautious of all these women who try to friend request soldiers, I have noticed throughout these last couple of years of these girls who ask to be you’re friend and the mutual friends are usually all soldiers that you know or who are stationed somewhere else… So put you’re egos aside guys and check into their profiles . You’re not that popular lol…

  • Brian Ferguson

    If I were them I would. . .

  • Richard Bell

    Was I the only one that got this guy? Damn it maybe it was legit and deleted them U0001f602

  • Sean Michael

    Why not our government does!

  • Damon Workiewicz

    Absolutely!!! I knew it from the first request I received. Look at the profiles when you get the request. All of the profile picture will have been uploaded within hours to just days before. People need to be more alert

  • John Westcott

    If it is anyone besides advertisers it is likely the US government who classifies retired soldiers as possible domestic terrorists.
    Plus federal law enforcement agencies have used social media accounts in the past to spy on people.
    So I am not sure what your reason to suspect these accounts as some foreign terror group, because I don’t think ITS is that high on the target list.

  • I received the “Colleen Kennedy” one as well. I’m honored to be considered worthy of spying upon.

  • Chris Janquart

    So, Facebook doesn’t like any firearms-related groups or posts, but could give zero shits about take profiles.
    Yep, sounds legit to me.

  • Rob Moore

    Around a month ago I did get a Facebook request from a young woman I didn’t know. Her friend list was 100% Arab men. It was a day after I pointed out that the liberal media gives Muslims in the Gaza Strip a free pass on all of their hate group stances and terrorist activity. This is 100% real.

  • Mark Vasquez

    I was getting them daily probably because I am member of every patriot group on facebook. People I had never heard of from countries I had never been.

  • Ryan Fillman

    I’m getting them too. I leave them in friend request limbo.

  • ITS Tactical

    Check out my update in the article, I think you’ll recognize that background image. ~ Bryan

  • Kitaf

    I don’t know if you’ve read any of their documentation, but ISIS’ online presence is typically articulate; the people manning their “network army” are typically in/from the countries or cultures they’re trying to reach. A more likely connection follows: did you and your buddies receiving these requests all fill out SF86’s in the past 15 years?  My money is on OPM hack.
    A number of cleared friends have reported receiving fake IC job recruitment e-mails in the past two weeks, as well. I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’re not unconnected.

  • Kitaf

    I don’t know if you’ve read any of their documentation, but ISIS’ online presence is typically grammatically correct; the people manning their “network army” are typically in/from the countries or cultures they’re trying to reach. A more likely connection follows: did you and your buddies receiving these requests all fill out SF86’s in the past 15 years?  My money is on OPM hack.
    A number of cleared friends have reported receiving fake IC job recruitment e-mails in the past two weeks, as well. I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’re not unconnected.

    • TF ODIN

      @Kitaf I got some way sketchy IC job related emails.  Like I couldn’t close the browser type weird.  Stay well clear of those things.

  • Kitaf

    Also, LOL at the “our government runs ISIS” and other similar tinfoil hat commentary. People seem to forget that the Intelligence Community is manned by American patriots who love their country and volunteered to dedicate, and in some cases, sacrifice their lives to protect it.

  • Jeff Hess

    Yes! I get several a week.

  • Dave O’Neil

    Make use of Google’s and others “reverse image search” on images related to questionably fake profiles. You will often find the same images being recycled.

  • Dan Scott

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all

  • Jürgen Hatzenbichler

    Flashing, had exactly those 2 pictured within the last 3 days

  • Taylor Tortorice

    omg I get these all the time

  • Cathy McMahan

    I guess, they are US and Israel so why wouldn’t they

  • Zvonimir Brudec

    all this what was happen in real time space in past happen also now and is transferred in digital world/space, so always think on safety of your digital citizenship

  • Zvonimir Brudec
  • Louis Matteau

    I’ve gotten a few

  • Daniel Cooper

    Yes and I’ve seen many

  • Mike Wilson

    I have been too and should be more clear yo people.

  • Ultimate Survival Gear

    NEVER click the accept button if you don’t know who it is. Instead hit delete immediately. (From an IT security specialist speaking from experience)

  • Olavi Lahikainen

    Never received one. You guys must be important assets to the nation.

  • Påke Höglund

    Probably an African romance Scam,

  • Jason Nixon

    Oh shit- I’m getting them too. Time to scrub some likes from the shop page! Mark, Rick, Woody, Brent, Tango, K.m.

  • Brent Taylor

    This is why I don’t friend anyone I’ve never met in person

  • Tango Lima

    Ehhhh they are harmless…silly hadj

  • Brent Taylor

    That doesn’t mean I have to make it easy for them, though.

  • Eric Waugh

    I got the same ones

  • Ricardo Cohen Montoya

    Decline. Next. Decline. Next.

  • BryanWatts

    I’ve gotten about 6 today. Two seemed to be gun/shooting related but the other 4 were all race car related.

  • Cargo Sized Rumor

    Are you guys doing any more ITS Emerson A-100’s?

  • R Elijah Whosoever

    I know for certain that I’ve received at least one friend request from an FBI/DHS type person. Back then I was very active and vocal across many social platforms about the danger of Islam and potentially joining the YPG to fight AGAINST the IS. Somebody absolutely wanted a closer look at my life.

  • Ryan Ponitz

    I friend request Bryan a long time ago haha.

  • Rangar Lothbrök

    Why not, the government does!

  • WillHolland

    Moms don’t Demand Isis be vetted

  • Waverly Ferguson

    Its more likely your government, not isis

  • Justin M Dougherty

    If I don’t know them I just delete

  • Robert De Cherry

    That road can be traveled both ways, such as patriots posing as sympathizers of the scum of the earth in order to take them down!

  • David Stoeckl

    Why not? The Feds do… Daesh may as well also. Dozens of odd friends requests, no mutuals, IPs traced to all over the place (and rarely where they say they are.)

  • Cameron Benz

    I always scrutinize friend requests. The indicators you mentioned are great. I also look to see how many mutual friends we have. I look for a minimum of 10 unless I know the person or they have particular people on their friend’s list.

  • MikeJordan

    I literally not even a day ago was talking to a group of people about being careful of what they say for this exact reason. I’m done places military personnel have been forced to move back on post due to information leaks. This is a new age with new ways to attack and discover targets. People need to realize that…

  • mtbAndy

    I have heard from several people who have been getting these or their accounts have been spoofed. I haven’t received any of these request. Then again, all I post on Facebook is cat pictures. One theme I keep seeing, the spoofed accounts tend to be from cyclist. I am a cyclist myself and a few of my cycling friends have had their accounts spoofed.

  • cdavid1071

    Just because you “know” the person does not mean that the friend request is actually from that person. Verify through a phone call, text or even a FB message. You’ll know within a few exchanges if it really came from someone you know.

  • Christopher Whiting

    It’s really simple, if you don’t know them, don’t add them. Hell, there are plenty of people I do know that I don’t add.

  • DouglasWinston

    I’ve gotten several.
    I’m wary, especially as someone who’s a 2A advocate IRL, especially when someone who i don’t know personally it through friends with no expressed interest in guns suddenly appears on radar.
    If their profile is empty it’s what’s called a clue. 😉

  • Kimberly Siebert

    She’s killing ISIS, bruh.

  • Kimberly Siebert

    GET SOME Lisa!
    I get those all the time on Skype. I love fucking with them.
    And got a few here on f.b. – you need to fuck with these pieces of shit.

  • Lisa Durham

    lol…oh, I do!! 🙂

  • SwampDonkey

    Dont publish mission critial information on social media and it wont be an issue. Terrorists foreign and domestic will try to gather info on you and use it to take what you have. Be smart about what you say and who you say it to.

  • trip97

    MO is not just isis.  There are foreign powers and those in the darknet that have been doing this.  They are all looking for information to compile.  Some of it is for scams to trick you out of money, other is to generate enough information to create fraud. This particular trick has been going on for years.

  • Arielprncs

    krazy8ny Hey CJ U0001f60a

  • RebeccaDorn

    I’ve been receiving multiple friend requests like these also. I post every so often to my friends that if I send them a friend request from an alternate account (especially since one of mine was compromised a couple years ago), it will come with a message that includes the last 4 digits of their phone number or a memory from the past that would only be known between us. Then they know it really is me.

  • guest

    OMG the stick figures on the minivans…  The ones with the women and kids, with no adult male really make me cringe…  NOT that women cannot take care of themselves, but there aren’t nearly as many women with a defensive mindset as there are men.  It’s like advertising for trouble.

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