Exploring The Islamic State’s Online Radio Broadcast Network

February 19, 2016

The Islamic State (ISIS) launched its official radio broadcast network Al-Bayan in 2014. Al-Bayan, which broadcasts mostly religious content and reports about ISIS’s military operations, has been an integral part of the group’s information apparatus.

Al-Bayan broadcasts locally in many of ISIS’s “provinces” and on several different FM frequencies. The image below (published online on November 2015) lists the provinces and the frequencies used in each.

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To reach a wider audience, Al-Bayan’s content has been also disseminated online in various formats using different approaches. Its daily news reports, for example, were uploaded daily to the Internet Archive (archive.org), where listeners could stream them using their browsers, or even download the content in printable PDF-format copies. These reports were also offered in several languages, including English, French, and Russian.[1] However, they were not streamed live, which paved the way to ISIS’s next development.

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Sample of ISIS news broadcast in Russian posted on archive.org

In early February, ISIS announced the launch of its Al-Bayan radio app. Currently still in its experimental stage, the app is used to stream test samples of Al-Bayan’s broadcasts.[2]

MEMRI JTTM subscribers can read the full report here.

[1] See MEMRI JTTM report ISIS Expands Its Radio Broadcast To Include English, French, And Russian Content, Uploads To The Internet Archive, April 15, 2015.

[2] See MEMRI JTTM report ISIS Launches Android App For Its Radio Broadcasts, February 1, 2016.