RAQQA – ISIS has evolved since its inception in many ways. To give some of the more athletic militant fighters a creative outlet, the ISIS Cheer Squad was formed three years ago. The team has never competed in person at a competition, but they have submitted videos of their routines.
For the third year in a row, the group has been awarded the worst cheer squad in the world by the World Cheer Association. Disappointed but undeterred, the team’s coach believes they will someday be taken seriously.
Amjad, a ISIS cheer instructor, admits the team needs work. “You can see from the photo below that we have tremendous choreography, but we still need to focus on the details.” As the team practiced their jazz hands, Amjah spoke about skills the terrorists can improve upon.
“We’ve suffered a number of injuries this year, but most are not too serious. When the team is practicing aerials or stunts, you’re always going to have accidents. Recently, however, Iqbal was the flyer in a stunt, but he forgot to remove his suicide belt before practice and it detonated midair. Now, he tumbles for Allah.”
“And sometimes the men fail in their cradle catches. Fortunately, we have plenty of sand for the falling flyer to land in. You see Kahil over there? His high kicks are terrible, but he can slice a man’s throat so cleanly that I just don’t have the heart to cut him.”
“See Masrur, in the second row, the heavy one? He has the most embarrassing herkies you ever laid your eyes upon, but you can tell the cheer spirit is deep within him. And one last thing that I think holds our team back – we all wear skeleton masks during our routines and, when smiles are needed to ‘sell it’ to the judges, our smiles are hidden. Judges will always take points off for that.”