Thanks to a rash of recent media reports, it's widely known that U.S. military members who use Strava may have inadvertently revealed sensitive information, including locations of bases and regularly traveled running routes.
Now comes an even more alarming development—the widespread use of the words jogger and jogging in those same reports, far from being random, is part of a concerted effort to humiliate and embarrass U.S. service personnel.
In a YouTube video published Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for what it called the "jogger campaign," vowing that the terror group will "stop at nothing to degrade and demean American militants who run for sport."
"This is only the beginning," said the man in the video, in halting English, his face covered by a head scarf. "Allahu Akbar!"
The man did not specify how ISIS manipulated journalists and editors into using the words joggers and jogging in their stories. Whatever the group's methods, however, it's clear that they've been effective, as even a cursory review demonstrates. (Emphasis added.)
U.S. Soldiers Are Revealing Sensitive and Dangerous Information by Jogging—The Washington Post
A Global Heat Map For Joggers Is Exposing Sensitive US Military Information"—CNBC
U.S. Troops Accidentally Reveal Secret Bases by Going Jogging—Popular Mechanics
GPS jogging app Strava reveals the running routes of military / Joggers have been using a fitness app in sensitive intelligence and military locations—The Daily Mail
"This particular track looks like it logs a regular jogging route."—FoxNews.com
For many, the video sent a chilling message.
"ISIS has, in effect, weaponized the word jogger," said Bruce Wayne, an expert in linguistic terrorism at Gotham College. "It is deeply disturbing."
"Our service members are runners, not joggers," he said. "Conspiring to have our own media outlets suggest otherwise is just evil. Even by ISIS's standards."