A series of Facebook posts, quickly removed by the social media platform’s administrators, apparently offered two female slaves for sale at a price of $8,000 each.
“To all the bros thinking about buying a slave, this one is $8,000,” said the first post sourced to an Islamic State fighter who calls himself Abu Assad Almani. The Washington Post describes the girl in the accompanying photo as “young, perhaps 18, with olive skin and dark bangs that droop onto her face.”
Almani soon posted another photo, a woman who had “a pale young face with weepy red eyes,” and said, “Another sabiyah, also about $8,000. Yay, or nay?” Sabiyah means “slave.”
The Washington Post notes it is “unclear whether the account’s owner was doing the selling himself or commenting about women being sold by other fighters.”
In any case, Almani hung around to exchange comments with readers of his posts, discussing whether $8,000 was a good price for the women — he argued the prices were set by “supply and demand” — and even fielding some criticism for posting pictures of unveiled women.
These posts are grimly consistent with reports that the Islamic State is running out of money and turning to the slave trade as a new income stream, complete with official regulations for how slaves should be handled.
The Post reports those rules include “whether it’s possible to have sex with prepubescent prisoners — yes, the Islamic State’s legal experts say — and how severely a slave can be beaten.”
Using social media to facilitate the slave trade is evidently a new twist, although probably inevitable, given the Islamic State’s fascination with the Internet as a marketing and recruiting tool.
There is no question the Islamic State has an extensive inventory of slaves — nearly two thousand Yazidis alone, according to some estimates — and their plight will only worsen as conditions within the Islamic State deteriorate. The accounts given by women who escaped ISIS captivity are already horrific.