YouTube Bans 'Flames of War' but VICE Posts a Remarkable Inside Look at the People and Ideology of the Islamic State
September 22, 2014
Medyan Dairieh / VICE News & Polly Mosendz / The Wire & Bill Gertz / Counter Jihad Report
A 55-minute propaganda film posted by the Islamic State has been removed by YouTube. Some elements have been posted on foreign Websites. Meanwhile, an extraordinary inside look into the people and ideology that is driving the Islamic State has been made available by VICE News. VICE reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.
Inside the Islamic State (Full Length 5-part Video)
Medyan Dairieh / VICE News
RAQQA, Syria (August 14, 2014) -- The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced its intention to reestablish the caliphate and has declared its leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.
The lightning advances the Islamic State made across Syria and Iraq in June shocked the world. But it's not just the group's military victories that have garnered attention -- it's also the pace with which its members have begun to carve out a viable state.
Flush with cash and US weapons seized during its advances in Iraq, the Islamic State's expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.
VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.
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Warning: Item ISIS Propaganda Video "Flames of War"
might contain content that is not suitable for all ages.
By clicking on CONTINUE you confirm that you are 18 years and over.
The video was posted to YouTube by the ISIS media arm, the Al Hayat Media Center, and distributed widely on Twitter by what appear to be ISIS sympathizers.
Newest ISIS Recruitment Video Styled After a War Movie Trailer
Polly Mosendz / The Wire
(September 17, 2014) -- The AlHayat Media Center released a new propaganda video for the Islamic State overnight. The video, titled "Flames of War Trailer," is styled after a war movie trailer, complete with slow motion effects, explosions and high-powered weaponry. The tragic and unfortunate truth: this video is completely real and shows horrific acts of war from ISIS.
The video also shows American troops on the ground, the "Mission Accomplished" banner from the Bush era, then cuts to a clip of President Obama saying "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq." Afterwards, this logo appears "Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun." The screen then cuts to "Coming Soon," like a normal trailer would, and turns to black.
The video was posted to YouTube, where some questioned if it was actually a movie trailer. The account that posted the video responded:
The link the account refers to, Fashared behim mun khalfahum - 2, is a video posted on YouTube from the account "ISIL World" depicting child suffering, acts of war, and mass executions.
Some viewers have questioned why YouTube and Google have allowed these videos to stay on the site. The beheading videos of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and David Haines were rapidly removed from social media. While the trailer style recruitment video does not contain extremely graphic content, the second video they link to from ISIL World is quite graphic; though some scenes are blurred out, likely in an attempt to stay within YouTube's policies and therefore keep their video online.
Just after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, YouTube removed the trailer video, citing a violation of their terms of service, however the second video has been live since September 12th and remains on the site. [Actually three installments of Fashared behim mun khalfahum remain posted on YouTube. They are crude videos that appear to show militants engaged in training, preparation and active assaults. – EAW]
Fasharrid Bihim Mman Khalfahum 1
Marafiki Wa Pangoni / Published on November 6, 2013
New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment
Material for Americans, Westerners
Bill Gertz / Counter Jihad Report
(June 13, 2014) -- Al Qaeda's ultra-extremist Syrian offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is stepping up efforts to recruit Americans and other westerners for jihad in Syria and possibly for future domestic terror attacks, according to US officials.
A new media outlet affiliated with ISIL recently began producing recruiting materials in both English and German that US intelligence analysts say is a sign they are targeting western jihadists for recruitment. It is the first time ISIL, one of the most prominent ultra-violent jihadists among Syria rebels groups, has set up a western-oriented media arm.
ISIL also is leading the major military operations now under way in Iran that has produced the group's take over of several Iraqi cities, including Mosul, the second largest.
According to US officials, the new media outlet is called the Al Hayat Media Center that is under the authority of the ISIL's official propaganda arm, the Al-Itisam Establishment for Media Production. Recent ISIL recruitment products include English-language videos, pamphlets, and a magazine.
Analysts say the products appear to have been produced by competent English speakers and are devoid of spelling and grammatical errors, while including Arabic phrases and words. Patrick Poole, a counterterrorism analyst, said ISIL's media arm has made a major push over the past month to produce material targeting potential western recruits.
The ISIL appears to be copying a similar propaganda and recruitment model used by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, he said in an email. "We know from recent reports that their recruiting efforts in the US have been successful, with at least 15 Somalis from the Minneapolis area leaving to fight jihad in Syria, some fighting with ISIL itself," Poole said.
"With as many as 70 Americans fighting with Syrian jihadist groups, and thousands of westerners, counterterrorism authorities have been rightfully worried," he added. "Now that we have known cases of Americans fighting with ISIL, that is considered even too extreme for al Qaeda, and ongoing recruitment inside the US, we're only going to see the potential domestic terror blowback from the Syrian jihad grow even more."
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