As Isis whips up a tsunami of violence , barrelling through Iraq capturing towns and borders on a daily basis in its quest to create an Islamic state, a few entrepreneurial businessmen are capitalising on the exposure by selling a range of “terror”-related merchandise.
All publicity is good publicity, particularly in the sale of jihadist apparel, with baseball T-shirts, caps and hoodies being flogged online emblazoned with “ISIS” or supporting the insurgent cause.
A number of Facebook groups marketing the Islamic goods have since been taken offline, including pages such as the “Koas Islamic State of Iraq and Sham” or “Muzalzil production.”
The t-shirts, stamped with the al-Qa’ida splinter group’s name and bordered by automatic weapons, have been available for at least a few months and originate from Indonesian vendors. Islamic clothing has also, however, been seen in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
One Facebook account that’s still live, Rezji Militant, has pictures of a store that it says is in Pabelan, central Java, and proudly displays items it sells including an “Always Fight Against Jews Zionism” poster, camouflage vests, and militant dolls-come piggy banks.
Ninety-nine percent of Muslims in Indonesia are Sunni, the Pew Research Centre says, and according to Vocativ, at least 50 jihadi fighters have left the country to fight in Syria this year, where they believe there will be an apocalyptic war as prophesised.
Another website, Zirah Moslem, has computer game-style images of men with scarves wrapped around their faces illustrated on t-shirts with the words “Muslim Brotherhood,” Fight For Freedom Till Last Drop of Blood,” or “Mujahideen Around the World.”
Zirah Moslem has almost 5,000 friends on Facebook and shows off merchandise supporting Hamas, the Taliban and the Free Syrian Army.
The T-shirts generally go for 80,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (£4) each.
Facebook confirmed that it had taken down the groups, in a statement to Fox News that said: "We have rules that bar direct statements of hate, attacks on private individuals and groups, and the promotion of terrorism.”
By Natasha Culzac