In an attempt to score much-needed funds, the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State group or ISIS may have begun selling its sex slaves online, according to the Washington Post. The Sunday report comes as human rights groups and terror watchdogs have increasingly advocated on behalf of the women held as slaves by ISIS.
“We have seen a great deal of brutality, but the content that ISIS has been disseminating over the past two years has surpassed it all for sheer evil,” Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, a group that monitors terror groups' presence on social media, told the Washington Post. “Sales of slave girls on social media is just one more example of this," he added.
Abu Assad Almani, believed to be a German foreign fighter for the group, posted two photos to Facebook May 20, advertising the sale of sex slaves for $8,000 each. The photos were removed by Facebook soon after their posting, but not before fellow social media users had time to comment and attempt to negotiate the price. It was unclear whether Almani was selling the girls or if he was posting on behalf of another militant.
ISIS has faced heightened pressure on the ground from other rebel groups, the military forces of President Bashar Assad and a U.S.-led air coalition. The group has been steadily losing ground over the past year and has looked to focus more efforts on terrorizing Europe and potentially finding a new base in Libya.
The terror group seeks to impose strict Islamic law on vast swathes of Iraq and Syria while attempting to depose Assad. Under a seldom-cited section of Islamic law, they have taken hundreds of sex slaves, many of them Yazidis, an Iraqi ethnic and religious minority.
Many of the women have been forced to take birth control, either through oral pills or injections, and some describe being coerced into having abortions if they became pregnant, according to a New York Times report in March.