I Asked The Foreign Office, The Ministry Of Defence, and The Home Office If Linda COULD Destroy ISIS

Simon Doherty
5 min readApr 26, 2021

It all started in January 2014. A middle-aged American, by the name of Linda Glocke, made a strong commitment to defeat ISIS in an online comment. So strong, in fact, that the internet vowed to follow Linda on her one woman crusade against the caliphate.

The comment — which was only four words long — was posted in response to an online article, originally published by KABC-TV, about the execution of two Japanese hostages. It simply read: “I will destroy ISIS.” The emotionally-charged sentiment behind the post was celebrated globally. Here was an ostensibly normal woman, with an exceptionally normal profile picture, acting like she’d drop the kids at soccer practice then roll up on Syria like Chris Kyle in a Chrysler minivan.

It wasn’t long before Linda was re-posted, tweeted, and photoshopped into our hearts and minds.

The poetic simplicity of her statement generated a great deal of debate on the internet. How was Linda going to ‘destroy’ ISIS? Would she use rifles? Would she use drones? Or would she just bore them to death with interminable anecdotes about her children? No one knew. We still don’t.

The abhorrent terrorist attack in Paris last month brought Linda back into the limelight, it also got me thinking: The prospect of a middle-aged woman making her way to ISIS-held territory, acquiring weapons, then laying waste to jihadis is certainly unlikely. But is it impossible?

What would happen if Linda, or at least a woman like Linda, actually tried to destroy ISIS? Wanting to know, I contacted some organisations who might be able to give me an answer.

The Ministry of Defence

Could a woman with no military experience do anything to help defeat ISIS?

MoD spokesperson: “I don’t think that an untrained lady could help the armed forces. Maybe she could speak to the Home Office to see if it’s possible she could do something to counter extremism. Or if she wanted to, I don’t know, do something to add to the diplomatic process she could possibly speak to the Foreign Office. But I don’t think that there is anything that an everyday member of the public could do to help…

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Simon Doherty

I’m a London-based writer and this is my blog. You can read my VICE articles here: https://www.vice.com/en/contributor/simon-doherty