ISIS’s self-publicized atrocities: be-headings, burnings and mass murders have been created to cause indignation and fear. Their barbaric propaganda videos are slick and well produced. In today’s digital world, they’re also easy to spread and access online.
In one of their latest outings, ISIS have even instigated confusion by showing the killing of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach in a video which has experts scratching their heads because of fake elements in its production. That isn’t online conspiracy, that’s mainstream media saying that.
Whatever the truth is behind the beach killings is anyone’s guess. Either way, thanks to ISIS’s use of media, never has a murderous group captured the world’s imagination so fast.
And there’s method in ISIS’s madness.
In the video above AJ+ breaks down how ISIS makes use of the media and also looks at how the Western media is covering the group’s atrocities. It makes some great points.
But the AJ+ report doesn’t touch on why ISIS wants to raise so much uproar through their videos and here we’re talking about ideology.
And therein lies ISIS’s raison d’être.
At the center of its black heart, ISIS has an apocalyptical belief system that includes a prophesized battle against ‘Rome’ at a town called Dabiq in northern Syria and later a final showdown in Jerusalem before the world is governed by Islam.
As part of this ISIS supporters believe their duty is to speed up this end of days process by ramping up confrontation with the West and their pitiless videos support such fanciful goals.
The short CCN clip below discusses how ISIS fighters see themselves as part of this cosmic struggle where they’re the good guys and everyone else are the bad guys who deserve to die.
Outside of the above scenario, Michael Rubin, from the American Enterprise Institute, argues that the publicity behind ISIS’s violent executions also reveals a deadly logic. He says that everyone’s attention on the videos distracts them from the setbacks that ISIS have been suffering on the battlefield.
“In recent weeks they’ve lost the battle of Kobani, and they’ve also suffered serious setbacks against Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the largest city held by the Islamic State,” says Rubin.
“But no one’s talking about that anymore. They’re just talking about the brutality of the Islamic State, which is good for the Islamic State’s recruitment and takes the focus off the fact that they’re on retreat on the battlefield,” he added.
Rubin raises more valid points in the video below, especially in regards to the execution of a Jordanian fighter pilot.
But what do you think?