From radio broadcasts to mobile apps: Inside Daesh’s propaganda machine

Published November 26th, 2015 - 08:31 GMT

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Not long ago, a typical Al Qaeda video was grainy footage of Osama bin Laden murmuring in a rural Afghan cave. Now, militant Sunnis have upped their game. Daesh runs some of the best social media campaigns in the world, with high-definition videos, radio broadcasts, video games and a glossy monthly magazine. And it's working: So far, over 20,000 foreign fighters are estimated to have traveled to the "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq. 

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Daesh runs a radio station called Al-Bayan, which covers the group’s military operations in Iraq and Syria. The station broadcasts in Arabic, Kurdish, French, Russian and English. Al Bayan is headquartered in Mosul but has correspondents throughout the region. The Washington Post said Al Bayan sounds “eerily like NPR.”
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10Daesh runs a radio station called Al-Bayan, which covers the group’s military operations in Iraq and Syria. The station broadcasts in Arabic, Kurdish, French, Russian and English. Al Bayan is headquartered in Mosul but has correspondents throughout the region. The Washington Post said Al Bayan sounds “eerily like NPR.”

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You’ve probably heard about Daesh’s glossy magazine, Dabiq. The magazine is published monthly in English, and seeks to convince Muslim men and women from around the world to immigrate to Daesh's so-called 'caliphate.'
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10You’ve probably heard about Daesh’s glossy magazine, Dabiq. The magazine is published monthly in English, and seeks to convince Muslim men and women from around the world to immigrate to Daesh's so-called "caliphate."

Enlarge
The magazine features transcripts of the final statements of suicide bombers, interviews with the leaders of ISIS affiliates in other parts of the world, and lots of quotes from the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, and 7th & 8th century Islamic leaders.
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10The magazine features transcripts of the final statements of suicide bombers, interviews with the leaders of ISIS affiliates in other parts of the world, and lots of quotes from the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, and 7th & 8th century Islamic leaders.

Enlarge
Dabiq Magazine is published by Al Hayat, Daesh’s media center, which was founded in 2014 and whose logo appears to have been ripped off from Al Jazeera. Both Dabiq and Al Hayat evolved out of Al Qaeda In Iraq’s Al Furqan media foundation, which was started after the American invasion of Iraq to drum up support for the insurgency.
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10Dabiq Magazine is published by Al Hayat, Daesh’s media center, which was founded in 2014 and whose logo appears to have been ripped off from Al Jazeera. Both Dabiq and Al Hayat evolved out of Al Qaeda In Iraq’s Al Furqan media foundation, which was started after the American invasion of Iraq to drum up support for the insurgency.

Enlarge
Daesh has also developed an Arabic-language mobile app that advertises itself as providing the latest news from Syria, Iraq and the Islamic World. The app is called “The Dawn of Glad Tidings” and has been around since 2014. It was available for Android users in the Google Play store until people complained and Google yanked it from the shelf.
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10Daesh has also developed an Arabic-language mobile app that advertises itself as providing the latest news from Syria, Iraq and the Islamic World. The app is called “The Dawn of Glad Tidings” and has been around since 2014. It was available for Android users in the Google Play store until people complained and Google yanked it from the shelf.

Enlarge
Daesh has also created video games, posters, CDs, DVDs and other forms of media to push its radical ideology on young Muslims around the world. The group is reportedly producing propaganda in over 20 different languages, according to FBI Director James Comey.
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10Daesh has also created video games, posters, CDs, DVDs and other forms of media to push its radical ideology on young Muslims around the world. The group is reportedly producing propaganda in over 20 different languages, according to FBI Director James Comey.

Enlarge
British jihadi “bride” Aqsa Mahmood often uses Tumblr as a tool to encourage vulnerable women to join the group. In one blog post, the 21-year-old published a checklist for schoolgirls planning to travel to Syria. The former uni student has since been sanctioned by the British government.
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10British jihadi “bride” Aqsa Mahmood often uses Tumblr as a tool to encourage vulnerable women to join the group. In one blog post, the 21-year-old published a checklist for schoolgirls planning to travel to Syria. The former uni student has since been sanctioned by the British government.

Enlarge
No one will forget the cinematic video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in a cage earlier this year. If the harrowing footage was not enough, the way it was filmed was on par with a Hollywood movie, showcasing Daesh’s sickening ideology as if it was a movie trailer.
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10No one will forget the cinematic video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in a cage earlier this year. If the harrowing footage was not enough, the way it was filmed was on par with a Hollywood movie, showcasing Daesh’s sickening ideology as if it was a movie trailer.

Enlarge
Daesh hit the headlines when James Foley was beheaded by “Jihadi John” who went on to become a boogeyman figure in subsequent videos with foreign hostages. Filmed and edited in high quality, the professionalism behind Daesh footage became the group’s trademark for propaganda. Hostage confessions, drownings and torture videos followed suit.
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Daesh hit the headlines when James Foley was beheaded by “Jihadi John” who went on to become a boogeyman figure in subsequent videos with foreign hostages. Filmed and edited in high quality, the professionalism behind Daesh footage became the group’s trademark for propaganda. Hostage confessions, drownings and torture videos followed suit.

Enlarge
Daesh militants and supporters both love Twitter. Twitter management usually shuts down Daesh-affiliated accounts, but Daesh users simply create new accounts.
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Daesh militants and supporters both love Twitter. Twitter management usually shuts down Daesh-affiliated accounts, but Daesh users simply create new accounts.

Enlarge

1

Daesh runs a radio station called Al-Bayan, which covers the group’s military operations in Iraq and Syria. The station broadcasts in Arabic, Kurdish, French, Russian and English. Al Bayan is headquartered in Mosul but has correspondents throughout the region. The Washington Post said Al Bayan sounds “eerily like NPR.”

Image 1 of 10Daesh runs a radio station called Al-Bayan, which covers the group’s military operations in Iraq and Syria. The station broadcasts in Arabic, Kurdish, French, Russian and English. Al Bayan is headquartered in Mosul but has correspondents throughout the region. The Washington Post said Al Bayan sounds “eerily like NPR.”

2

You’ve probably heard about Daesh’s glossy magazine, Dabiq. The magazine is published monthly in English, and seeks to convince Muslim men and women from around the world to immigrate to Daesh's so-called 'caliphate.'

Image 2 of 10You’ve probably heard about Daesh’s glossy magazine, Dabiq. The magazine is published monthly in English, and seeks to convince Muslim men and women from around the world to immigrate to Daesh's so-called "caliphate."

3

The magazine features transcripts of the final statements of suicide bombers, interviews with the leaders of ISIS affiliates in other parts of the world, and lots of quotes from the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, and 7th & 8th century Islamic leaders.

Image 3 of 10The magazine features transcripts of the final statements of suicide bombers, interviews with the leaders of ISIS affiliates in other parts of the world, and lots of quotes from the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, and 7th & 8th century Islamic leaders.

4

Dabiq Magazine is published by Al Hayat, Daesh’s media center, which was founded in 2014 and whose logo appears to have been ripped off from Al Jazeera. Both Dabiq and Al Hayat evolved out of Al Qaeda In Iraq’s Al Furqan media foundation, which was started after the American invasion of Iraq to drum up support for the insurgency.

Image 4 of 10Dabiq Magazine is published by Al Hayat, Daesh’s media center, which was founded in 2014 and whose logo appears to have been ripped off from Al Jazeera. Both Dabiq and Al Hayat evolved out of Al Qaeda In Iraq’s Al Furqan media foundation, which was started after the American invasion of Iraq to drum up support for the insurgency.

5

Daesh has also developed an Arabic-language mobile app that advertises itself as providing the latest news from Syria, Iraq and the Islamic World. The app is called “The Dawn of Glad Tidings” and has been around since 2014. It was available for Android users in the Google Play store until people complained and Google yanked it from the shelf.

Image 5 of 10Daesh has also developed an Arabic-language mobile app that advertises itself as providing the latest news from Syria, Iraq and the Islamic World. The app is called “The Dawn of Glad Tidings” and has been around since 2014. It was available for Android users in the Google Play store until people complained and Google yanked it from the shelf.

6

Daesh has also created video games, posters, CDs, DVDs and other forms of media to push its radical ideology on young Muslims around the world. The group is reportedly producing propaganda in over 20 different languages, according to FBI Director James Comey.

Image 6 of 10Daesh has also created video games, posters, CDs, DVDs and other forms of media to push its radical ideology on young Muslims around the world. The group is reportedly producing propaganda in over 20 different languages, according to FBI Director James Comey.

7

British jihadi “bride” Aqsa Mahmood often uses Tumblr as a tool to encourage vulnerable women to join the group. In one blog post, the 21-year-old published a checklist for schoolgirls planning to travel to Syria. The former uni student has since been sanctioned by the British government.

Image 7 of 10British jihadi “bride” Aqsa Mahmood often uses Tumblr as a tool to encourage vulnerable women to join the group. In one blog post, the 21-year-old published a checklist for schoolgirls planning to travel to Syria. The former uni student has since been sanctioned by the British government.

8

No one will forget the cinematic video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in a cage earlier this year. If the harrowing footage was not enough, the way it was filmed was on par with a Hollywood movie, showcasing Daesh’s sickening ideology as if it was a movie trailer.

Image 8 of 10No one will forget the cinematic video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in a cage earlier this year. If the harrowing footage was not enough, the way it was filmed was on par with a Hollywood movie, showcasing Daesh’s sickening ideology as if it was a movie trailer.

9

Daesh hit the headlines when James Foley was beheaded by “Jihadi John” who went on to become a boogeyman figure in subsequent videos with foreign hostages. Filmed and edited in high quality, the professionalism behind Daesh footage became the group’s trademark for propaganda. Hostage confessions, drownings and torture videos followed suit.

Image 9 of 10Daesh hit the headlines when James Foley was beheaded by “Jihadi John” who went on to become a boogeyman figure in subsequent videos with foreign hostages. Filmed and edited in high quality, the professionalism behind Daesh footage became the group’s trademark for propaganda. Hostage confessions, drownings and torture videos followed suit.

10

Daesh militants and supporters both love Twitter. Twitter management usually shuts down Daesh-affiliated accounts, but Daesh users simply create new accounts.

Image 10 of 10Daesh militants and supporters both love Twitter. Twitter management usually shuts down Daesh-affiliated accounts, but Daesh users simply create new accounts.

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