June 10, 2017

THANKS, UR!:

Islamic State's Collapse. Death of the IS Propaganda Machine (Bassem Mroue, June 10, 2017, AP)

The Islamic State group's propaganda machine used to be confident, promising that its self-declared caliphate would be "lasting and expanding." But in recent months, as the group's territory has shrunk, its messages have as well.

Far from the boastful, self-aggrandizing videos of the past, the group is now urging fighters to resist and not run away from the battlefield. The quality of the videos has dropped as well after some of the extremists' most prominent propagandists and producers were killed.

Slickly produced IS propaganda videos shot from multiple angles with religious songs in the background used to spread fear among the group's opponents, with gruesome footage of beheadings, shootings, confessions of detainees and sophisticated attacks against their rivals. In the videos, the group boasted that Muslims from all over the world were flocking to what they called the "first caliphate" since the fall of the Ottoman Empire a century ago.

Now the videos mostly urge fighters to be steadfast and call on the local population to join the group after hundreds of IS fighters have been killed over the past months.

"The propaganda of the organization has become zero to be frank. It indicates their collapse and that the group is retreating," said Omar Abu Laila, a Syrian opposition activist now based in Germany who is originally from Syria's eastern province of Deir el-Zour, held by IS. "Their calls for people to join the group are signs of weakness."

A major blow came in August, when an airstrike in Syria claimed by the U.S. and Russia killed Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the group's chief spokesman and senior commander who was known for fiery speeches that used to boost the morale of fighters. In 2014, after the group declared its caliphate, al-Adnani vowed to conquer Baghdad as well as the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq.

Another blow came in October when a U.S. airstrike in Syria killed Wael al-Fayadh, better known as Abu Mohammed al-Furqan, who was in charge of producing highly professional propaganda videos. One of the group's main media arms, Al-Furqan Media, was named after him. He was replaced by Abu Bashir al-Maslawi, who was killed a short time later.

In late May, the founder of the group's Aamaq news agency, Baraa Kadek, was reportedly killed along with his daughter in an airstrike in the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen.

A video released last month titled "Answer the Call" urged young men to join IS to make up for the loss of manpower.

"What are you waiting for? The infidels have gathered around us from all over the world," it said, showing scenes of IS fighters trying to persuade men in mosques and clubs to join the fight as suicide bombers.

You don't get to pick your enemies, but the UR did defeat his comprehensively, mostly thanks to the idiocy of their believing their own propaganda and gathering in one place.  ISIS was Lee.  OBL was Longstreet.

Posted by at June 10, 2017 5:39 PM

  

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