Daesh fighter becomes new face of global incompetence

Published April 28th, 2016 - 04:07 GMT
These ISIS fighters may or may not be more competent than Abu Hajaar (AFP / File)
These ISIS fighters may or may not be more competent than Abu Hajaar (AFP / File)

A new face of the Islamic State has been revealed in leaked GoPro battle footage, and it’s not pretty.

Abu Hajaar has become the internet’s most popular Daesh fighter after starring in a Vice film, recorded on the headcam of a group of ISIS members in battle. Shown fumbling with his weapons, failing to follow instructions, getting yelled at by his fellow Jihadis and generally being the weak link in an already very rusty chain, he's been both mocked and pitied on Twitter.



The footage was revealed by Vice reporter Jake Hanrahan, and is part of a 7-minute film that begins with fighters saying goodbye to a suicide bomber.



Three men then set out onto the battlefield, where they proceed to screw everything up in the course of a disastrous altercation with peshmerga fighters. They can’t figure out whether the rocket launchers are for vehicles or people. When they finally manage to launch something it backfires into their truck. There are bullet casings everywhere.

Eventually the driver is killed and the rest of the team try to save themselves by rolling back to base.

The scapegoat of the series is Abu Hajaar, whose name is screamed so many times during the video that it will be forever associated with ineptitude and failure. He fumbles with his gun and can’t follow instructions. He asks too many questions. He misplaces his gun.

The internet was quick to pick up on the inadequacy of the young fighter and his earnest but ultimately doomed attempts to be an effective footsoldier for the global caliphate.







Abu Hajaar’s skills, at least, follow a rich line of depictions of battlefield amateurishness. If Daesh doesn’t work out he could always feature in Dad’s Army or Seinfeld.

Many commentators even leapt to Abu Hajaar’s defence. It’s probably pretty tough to be in ISIS, after all, and it doesn’t get any easier when your friends are picking on you.

“What’s wrong with you, Abu Hajaar?!” was a screamed phrase that many of us can relate to being on the wrong end of.

In fact, Abu Hajjar could very well become the new byword for anything hapless, fumbling, and not-quite-up-to-par.

Can we make this happen, please?


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