Slick propaganda sells a soft side of brutal IS terrorists - Tucson News Now

Slick propaganda sells a soft side of brutal IS terrorists

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English-speaking jihadists are featured in recruitment videos. (Source: CBS) English-speaking jihadists are featured in recruitment videos. (Source: CBS)

(CBS) – It's called a Mujatweet. A clip that has become a top recruitment tool for Islamic State terrorists, or IS.

In many other slickly-produced videos, jihadists speak English.

"We have people from all over the world," says one fighter.

The sophisticated campaign targeting Europeans and Americans is produced by the terror group's multi-lingual media arm. Some videos try to soften the militants' image by showing jihadists giving ice cream to Syrian children or visiting wounded soldiers.

"This is absolutely a new generation of jihadi videos," said Elliot Zweig of the Middle East Media Research Institute. He has been tracking IS on the web.

He says the terror group's propaganda machine now includes a glossy English Magazine, and so-called media booths, where anyone can walk in and download the latest videos or literature from IS. There are at least two in IS controlled parts of Syria and Iraq.

"This is the first that we've seen of sort of a public information booth to come and get what you want of jihadi materials," Zweig said.

Intelligence sources estimate that more than one 1,000 westerners are now fighting alongside militant groups including IS in Syria and Iraq.

Terrorism analyst Frank Cillufo says that poses the biggest threat to the U.S.

When asked if the terrorist were winning the public relations campaign, he said IS has had success.

"I hope that they are not winning the PR campaign. Unfortunately, they are getting enough fighters to come to their twisted cause. Of course at some point these individuals come back home they are going to come back hardened, disillusioned, trained - and that makes for a pretty tough situation," he said.

The propaganda outreach is so sophisticated in part because media savvy westerners are bringing their knowledge to the fight.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

 

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