Previous research has shown that jihadis attach great importance to dreams, to the point of taking them into account in personal and strategic decision-making. This article asks whether the same is true of Islamic State (IS). Using evidence from social media and IS publications, I review night dream accounts by IS members and supporters, seeking to assess the prominence, main themes, and reception of such accounts. Dreams appear to be at least as important to IS as to previous jihadi groups. Like other jihadis, IS activists consider dreams a potential window into the future and use them to make sense of the world, justify decisions, and claim authority. In at least one case (that of Garland, Texas attacker Elton Simpson), a dream may have informed the decision to take violent action.
This article is part of a special issue on the Islamic State in the journal Perspectives on Terrorism, see the whole issue here.