ISIS Newsletter Touts Role Of The Organization’s ‘Media Points’ In Indoctrination And Recruitment

March 10, 2016

An article in the Islamic State’s (ISIS) official newsletter, Al-Naba’, discusses the “media points” that ISIS  has established in the territories under its control (booths where the organization screens videos and distributes other propaganda materials). The article stresses the effectiveness of the media points in bringing ISIS’s message to the local population and in recruiting loyalists and fighters, and presents testimony to this effect from ISIS members and officials (For more on the media points, see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1190, The Islamic State (ISIS) Establishes ‘Media Points’ In Syria, Iraq, Libya To Indoctrinate Caliphate Citizens And Enhance Its Cyber Activities On The Ground: A One-Year Review, October 7, 2015).

Locals watching an ISIS video at a media point in Falujah

The following are details:

The article describes the booths as “a media and da’wa project whose basic purpose is to distribute informational materials of every type to the people, which [the people] then circulate farther by various means, including cell phones, flash drives, CDs, etc. Another purpose is to [meet] the need to distribute the Islamic State’s media productions, such as newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, announcements and flyers. [The media points] are also used for screening films featuring the mujahideen, whose battles are real, whose bullets are live, whose blood is not paint, and whose dead do not return to [life and appear in] another video… films that document the current jihad arena, which has restored the Muslims’ glory and early history.”

The article quotes one of the founders of the media points project, Abu Omar Al-Muhajir, who says that the project began in the Aleppo region and then spread to other ISIS “provinces,” such as Raqqa and Ninawa [=Mosul]. He adds that ISIS means to conduct new kinds of activities at the media points, such as competitions, in order to make the booths “a link between the public and the Islamic State’s media [apparatus].”

Another ISIS official, Abu Fatima Al-Ansari, says that there are currently more than 60 media points in the organization’s territories in Iraq, and that ISIS successfully uses them to offer an alternative to the “enemy’s media”. He states that, in addition to permanent media points there are also mobile ones, which enable the organization to bring news and media releases to remote areas. As evidence of the media points’ popularity, he remarks that, the day ISIS released the video of the burning of the Jordanian pilot, the media points were “crammed” with interested viewers: “That day… was like a holiday,” he says.

Mobile media point in the Ninawa province

The full text of this report is available to MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor Subscribers. 

Subscription information is available at this link.

JTTM subscribers can visit this page to view the report.