In Memory of Ruqia Hassan Mohammed

ISIS found a way to make the story of Ruqia Hassan Mohammed even sadder and more infuriating than it already was. She was executed by the Islamic State last summer or fall, but ISIS’ communications experts kept this secret and used her social media accounts for months to pose as her and thus draw out her friends and allies to betray their locations.

Ruqia Hassan Mohammed was a Syrian Kurd who was born in 1985, studied philosophy, and in recent years became a reliable source of information about what life is like in a war zone, specifically, what life is like in Raqqa, Syria. In 2013 control of that city, which once had a population approaching a quarter-million people, changed hands several times. Chaos reigned. It was governed by the Assad regime, then government loyalists, then the Al Nusra Front, and then Daesh—the Islamic State.
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