Nothing Says #Jihad Like Cats With Guns

Westerners fighting in Iraq and Syria are turning to social media - and the internet sensation, cats - to spread their message.

Cats with guns
Cats with guns. From Twutter

Thousands of Westerners, including American, British, French and German citizens, have joined jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Center for Near East Policy, estimates that nearly 3,000 European citizens have gone to Syria to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or other jihad groups, CNN reported this week.

It said authorities and analysts believe about 800 French nationals and 100 Americans have made the trek. Last month, Moner Mohammad Abusalha from Florida became the first American suicide bomber in Syria.

Some of these Westerners have created an unholy alliance between their weapons and that feline representative of all things meme, or at least so it appears based on several photos on Twitter and Instagram. Call them "cats of jihad": a hashtag used for some of the photos that pair purring pets with instruments of death.