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The Islamic State Wants to Use America’s Love of Junk Food Against It

A member of a pro-Islamic State forum has chipped in a rather out-of-the-box idea for jihad: turn Americans consumers off of salty snacks by associating them with beheadings -- a scheme he says will destroy the American economy.

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A member of a pro-Islamic State forum has chipped in a rather out-of-the-box idea for jihad: turn Americans off of salty snacks by associating them with beheadings — a scheme that he says will destroy the U.S. economy.

The idea’s faith in classical conditioning would make Pavlov proud — or possibly horrified. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, the plan, posted on the pro-Islamic State al-Minbar Jihadi Media forum last month, urges jihadists to distribute videos of themselves watching beheadings and other gruesome footage while sitting near bags of chips made by American food companies.

“Emotionally and psychologically, this will leave a bad impression on the American audience,” reads the post, translated by SITE. The post’s author, one Ayyam Fath Baghdad, adds that after seeing this footage, “the person will throw up when he recalls the scenes of slaughter with the chips…!!!”

“The American people will hate chips such as Doritos, because it will remind them of the scary footage, and at that time, the sales of these chips will decline,” he says. His hopes for this outcome are clearly pretty high: The post is titled “A Great Suggestion to Eliminate the American Economy.”

“The American people in general are very conceited, to the point where they boast about their food, their attire, and their cars and things like that,” the poster says. “They have a special thing, which is eating chips and movies, or watching movies while eating chips!!!!”

He also provides some helpful examples of good candidates for chip conditioning:

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American snack companies make about $6 billion on potato chips each year — profits that most likely won’t be dampened by a couple cases of extremist product placement.

But at least one other forum user appreciated the idea. Someone called Hara’ir al-Quds responded, “May Allah increase their horror and feeling of being overwhelmed.”

Image via SITE Intelligence Group

Justine Drennan was a fellow at Foreign Policy. She previously reported from Cambodia for the Associated Press and other outlets. Twitter: @jkdrennan

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