As the Islamic terrorist group, ISIS, continues its violent rampage through sections of Iraq and Syria, capturing and controlling villages and large swaths of land, their recruiting efforts for like-minded individuals continue.
With a powerful media arm that has proven very effective, ISIS has reached out around the world via videos and other social media to potential jihad candidates. Thousands have responded, the prospective ISIS militants making their way to the Middle East battle fields from the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere.
The United States, being the creators of most social media platforms and tools, apparently does not want to be outdone on the important terrorist propaganda front, so the U.S. State Department has created a video of its own aimed at those considering leaving their current lives behind to join the ISIS ranks.
Titled “Welcome to the ‘Islamic State’ Land,” CNN calls the production a “graphic anti-ISIS video” while others describe it as a mock ISIS recruiting film.
Featuring a series of violent clips including people being executed, crucified, and thrown off a cliff, the video contrasts the horrific images with a sarcastic tone, asking those considering an Islamic terrorist career with ISIS if the skills they will learn such as “Blowing up Mosques,” “Crucifying and executing Muslims,” and “Plundering public resources” really fit in with their future career goals.
According to CNN, the video uses clips from ISIS’s own library of propaganda footage. Along with the brutal actions listed above, the video also showcases Muslims being mercilessly whipped and beaten, and a suicide bomber blowing themselves up inside a Mosque while surrounded by worshipers.
“Welcome to the ‘Islamic State’ Land” was produced by the U.S. State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications reportedly as an effort to push back against ISIS’ propaganda messages that frame themselves as dedicated, noble, and romantic fighters acting on behalf of their righteous interpretation of Islam.
The anti-ISIS recruitment video, posted below, was released by the U.S. State Department on a dedicated YouTube channel. Again, the video does contain explicit violence:
Q13 Fox reports that the video is aimed at U.S. Muslims believed to be “vulnerable to recruitment” by Isis and other Islamic extremist groups. At least 100 U.S. citizens, or more, are already believed to have headed east to unite with ISIS.
The U.S. State Department has been using social media for several years to interact with Islamic terrorist group sympathizers and jihadists to debate their claims and the merit of their ideas. Their goal is to deter potential Islamic terrorist converts from going down the extremist road to join groups like ISIS.
The coordinator of the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, Alberto Fernandez, oversees the anti-terrorist recruitment efforts which he calls, “participating in the marketplace of ideas.”
[Images and video via YouTube]