RAQQA – All members of the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on board US bound flights have been relying on Tic-Tac-Toe to entertain themselves this past week, after the US banned laptops in several major airlines coming from the Middle East.
According to these clearly discomfited jihadists, Washington’s decision has targeted them where it hurts the most.
“It’s 14, sometimes 18 hours, in the airplane and there is nothing for us to do without the laptops,” complained one ISIS recruit wishing anonymity. “Even these airlines don’t often videos of Khalifa al-Baghdadi on their entertainment devices. What else can we do to pass the time except play Tic-Tac-Toe?”
Another budding jihadist from Syria says the move is lowering the morale of his team mates.
“I don’t blame them. The flight is a brutal torture. And considering the security issues these days, one is anxious travelling with strangers to another country anyway,” he said. “I think if the ban continues, we as a group might have to settle for domestic assignments.”
Middle East security analysts believe the Trump administration’s decision is a masterstroke.
“No one is going to put themselves through all that just to blow up another country,” said one expert after landing from a Baghdad-New York flight via Amman.