The Sophisticated Media Operations of ISIS

In addition to being one of the most violent and brutal terror groups in the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also has a very sophisticated media system and public relations strategy.

A new report (Arabic link) found that ISIS has seven distinct media outlets through which it publicizes its radical ideas. These are Ajnad, Al-Furqan, Al-I’itisam, Al-Hayat, Al-Bayan Radio, Dabiq Magazine and media offices in each of its “provinces.” In addition, ISIS has published around 90,000 pages on social media platforms, mostly on Facebook and Twitter.

Egyptian researcher Sabra al-Qasemi, who published the research paper “The Seven Media Wings of ISIS’s Communication Department,” told the Al-Arabiya TV channel that ISIS’s media department is run by Mohammad al-Adnani, the communication “minister” of the terror organization. He said that every one of the seven media wings has a very specific mission decided on by the organization’s top leaders.

According to al-Qasemi, those seven wings market ISIS’s radical ideas in more than 12 languages all over the world, aiming to recruit as many young people as they can.

The research has shown that ISIS allocated $3 billion from its budget to fund its media operations. The terror group controls many oil-rich areas in Iraq and thus can fund this media activity easily.

Al-Qasemi also found that ISIS spends significant sums of money to import the latest hi-tech equipment for its media operations from neighboring countries such as Turkey.

Most ISIS videos, which are shot in high-definition video and include sophisticated graphics, are distributed by Al-Hayat Media Center and the Al-Furqan foundation. Al-Hayat has also released an online English-language magazine titled Dabiq, which includes in-depth reports about ISIS strategy and its activities. ISIS also runs a special studio, the Ajnad Media Foundation, which produces religious hymns and songs.

[Photo: mustafa sayed / YouTube ]