While Apple products are popular all across the globe, including in the Middle East, they are apparently not welcome in ISIS’s self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
The International Business Times is reporting that ISIS has banned all Apple products from its caliphate, saying that iPhones and iPads can be used by U.S. intelligence to target its forces.
More on ISIS ban on Apple products
The militant group put out a directive banning the use of all Apple products late last year from its “general supervisory committee”. The statement was disseminated through social media and ISIS’s online media operations.
The December directive also banned the use of all GPS-enabled devices within the caliphate. The statement noted worries about the coalition conducting airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria pinpointing targets by monitoring smartphones and other devices.
A spokesman for anti-militant organization “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” confirmed that ISIS has banned the use of iPhones there. He noted that those with iPhones were forced to get rid of them.
“They said the USA can see what you are doing,” spokesman Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi wrote in an exchange on Skype with IBT.
Excerpt from ISIS statement
“[I]n order to shut one of the doors of penetration the enemy uses to attain its goals and strike with exactness by means of its war and remote-guided aircraft, it has been decided to forbid the use of any electronic device or a system that has access to service to enable precise location of positions (GPS),” the ISIS statement noted.
The statement called for a ban on “products of the Apple network … on account of the risks they create.”
Also of note, the group has used technicians to block GPS service in ISIS-controlled territory, and every member has been ordered to be sure to turn off GPS on their phones and other devices. Intelligence analysts confirm that cell phones (of all kinds) can be used to track users movements.