“Virgin. Beautiful. 12-years-old … Her price has reached $12,500, and she will be sold soon,” read a sex slave advertisement on the Telegram app, the Daily Caller reported. This is why we must defeat ISIL militarily. There will be a strange black market vacuum in their wake as the region continues its downward tick. But if we don’t stop that market from growing it could become a monstrosity in and of itself.
The Islamic State has been using Whatsapp and Telegram to sell and advertise sex slaves in Syria. They’re selling women over these apps and injecting them into the global sex slave market. There’s no known boundary ISIL won’t cross to generate revenue for the organization. They’ve become black market giants in short order.
The New York Daily News reported “roughly 3,000 women and girls are sold on ISIS sex slave market using Telegram, WhatsApp.” Watch the video of the story, here: ISIL sells nearly 3,000 women, girls on Sex Slave Markets
The article continues to describe the methods ISIL is employing in their sex trade and how desperate they are for cash. “In a fusion of ancient barbaric practices and modern technology, IS sells the women like chattel on smartphone apps and shares databases that contain their photographs and the names of their “owners” to prevent their escape through IS checkpoints.
The fighters are assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives, just as funds to buy the women out of slavery are drying up.
The thousands of Yazidi women and children were taken prisoner in August 2014, when IS fighters overran their villages in northern Iraq with the aim to eliminate the Kurdish-speaking minority because of its ancient faith. Since then, Arab and Kurdish smugglers managed to free an average of 134 people a month. But by May, an IS crackdown reduced those numbers to just 39 in the last six weeks, according to figures provided by the Kurdistan regional government.
Every slave is recorded and placed in some archive. So when one escapes, ISIL knows who is gone. This is a horrifying reality for these women and their families. It’s horrifying for the civilians caught in the confines of the so-called caliphate. These people caught in the Islamic State live in a kind of hellish prison where moral decision making costs your life.
WhatsApp has a role in this, too. The company has been deleting accounts identified as participating in the illegal behavior. “We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and disable accounts when provided with evidence of activity that violates our terms. We encourage people to use our reporting tools if they encounter this kind of behavior,” said Matt Steinfeld, a spokesman for WhatsApp.
While encryption makes it harder to track down these exchanges, they would likely occur regardless, just by different means. The cause is the evil nature of the Islamic State and all involved from its foot soldiers to their leadership. If nothing else is the right thing to do – it’s the removal of ISIL.
Featured image courtesy of NY Daily News.