Skip to main content

Facebook looks to block ISIS clothing sales

By Samuel Burke, CNN Correspondent
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
  • Clothes supporting ISIS slogans are available on a host of websites and social media
  • Facebook is disabling accounts that sell the merchandise when it sees them
  • Many of the retail sites are in Indonesia, where some may be sympathetic to ISIS, analysts say

(CNN) -- T-shirts, hoodies and even toy figurines bearing the ISIS logo are being sold on online and marketed across social media.

For around $10 you can buy an ISIS shirt with the militant group's logo and phrases printed on it like "We are all ISIS" and "Fight for Freedom, Until the Last Drop of Blood."

ISIS right outside Baghdad
Refugee: 'Iraqis betrayed themselves'
Iraq problem 'actually growing bigger'

A toy soldier available on, an Indonesian site which by Tuesday could not be accessed, holds a gun in its hands and an ISIS flag with the Islamic tenet: "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God."

The websites are marketing the ISIS paraphernalia across social media. Facebook has been removing the pages once the media alerts them to their existence.

"Where hateful content is posted and reported, Facebook removes it and disables accounts of those responsible," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN via email.

CNN alerted Twitter to some of the merchants' pages on that social network, but Twitter declined to comment.

Using merchandise to market itself as "cool" is a one of the common propaganda tools ISIS uses, according to researcher Hassan Hassan of the Delma Institute in Dubai.

"The point is to encourage people to get out there and join the trend," Hassan said.

Many of the websites with the merchandise come from Indonesia.

While Middle East experts are unsure whether ISIS is manufacturing the products, terrorism researcher J.M. Berger says he wouldn't be surprised if the money ends up going to ISIS.

"ISIS has a big base of support in Southeast Asia -- a long history with Islamism and jihadism. A number of foreign fighters come from the region," Berger wrote in an email to CNN.

"Much radical activity is local: vigilante gangs and mainstream politics. For those who find those options lacking, ISIS seems to be the leading choice of outlet."

While some of the Indonesian manufacturers of the ISIS merchandise may be opportunistic capitalists, others may be sympathetic to ISIS.

Will ISIS target Jordan next?

On the Twitter feed of the Rezji manufacturers, they describe themselves in the Indonesian language as "distributors of anti-Western culture" and state "together we stand with you against the tyrants."

In early 2014, the Institute for the Policy and Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) published a report that said the Syrian conflict was attracting foreign fighters from Indonesia.

McCaul: ISIS 'number one threat' to U.S.

"Indonesian extremists are more engaged by the conflict in Syria than by any other foreign war in recent memory, including Afghanistan and Iraq," the report said.

"As far as we know the number of Indonesian combatants is still in the dozens."

Part of complete coverage on
Get all the latest news and updates on Iraq in Arabic by visiting CNN Arabic.
updated 6:32 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
ISIS has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.
updated 12:27 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Kurdish leaders in Iraq say U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish ground forces are driving ISIS back. CNN's Anna Coren reports.
updated 10:42 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
CNN's Andrew Stevens speaks to The Daily Beast's Christopher Dickey about ISIS' strategy in Iraq.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield, according to a new analysis of its capabilities and tactics.
updated 11:50 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus once again the risks faced by reporters in modern conflicts.
updated 1:20 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
When war reporter James Foley wasn't writing for GlobalPost or recording video for AFP, he occasionally shared stories on his own blog, aptly titled "A World of Troubles."
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
A video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.
updated 5:34 PM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
"May God help you," the speaker of Iraq's parliament told Haider al-Abadi the day he was nominated prime minister.
updated 10:19 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
The answers to this question lie in some clear differences in the two conflicts.
updated 6:27 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Framing the intervention in religious terms bolsters theories of U.S. bias, says Fahad Nazer.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
They are the faces of an entire community on the run.
updated 4:54 AM EDT, Sun August 17, 2014
In an exodus of almost biblical proportions, thousands trudge across a river to escape killers belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
updated 9:13 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Theirs were the faces that stood out in the chaotic helicopter evacuation off the Sinjar Mountains.
updated 8:13 PM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Browse through photos of thousands of refugees trudging across a river to escape ISIS.
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Sat August 16, 2014
The face of 15-year-old Aziza -- rescued from Mount Sinjar in Iraq -- says it all.
updated 2:50 PM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson flies along with the Iraqi military as they drop emergency supplies.
Why do the militant Islamists have the Yazidis in their cross hairs?
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Images illustrate the ongoing violence in Iraq.
updated 12:08 PM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
The message from a growing number of actors inside and outside Iraq is the same: Maliki must go if the country is to be saved.
updated 11:23 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
ISIS gives young men "cars to drive, guns, cell phones and cash money."