Small Wars Journal

ISIS Is Paying Attention To What Experts Are Saying About Them

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 9:07am

ISIS Is Paying Attention To What Experts Are Saying About Them by Armin Rosen, Business Insider

The recent inaugural issue of Dabiq, ISIS's English-language propaganda magazine, included a typical assortment of jihadist imagery: black flags fluttering over stolen armored vehicles, graphic photos of dead enemies, and pages reveling in the group's assault on northern and western Iraq.

It also demonstrated that one of the world's most brutal terrorist groups isn't indifferent to what the western expert community has to say about them. On page 32, there's a picture of Douglas Ollivant, a former National Security Council official and Army officer and one of the planners of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, under the heading "The Islamic State in the Words of the Enemy."…

Read on.


Outlaw 09

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 1:10pm

I have commented on the other IS threads that in order to understand the IS goals and tactics one must understand al Baghdadi.

The over all Sunni coalition and the now IS is in fact a learning and adapting organization and to not understand that is to vastly under estimate them and their capabilities.

I still go back to a comment of mine---what was it the US intelligence community totally missed when we captured al Baghdadi in 2005 --had him in Abu G for at least a year or so and then what did we miss in his interactions with the other prisoners at Bucca? If he was picked up in Mosul in 2005 that was a great center for contacts between the various strong Sunni coalition groups and Zarqawi/AQI and JSOC worked that area hard---so what was his role there in the period from say 2002 until 2005?

Would really be interested in what his true name is.

"The fact that ISIS cares what experts have to say about them — and that they're even paying attention in the first place — is another sign of how the organization differs from other jihadist groups.

"They obviously have a good intelligence organization," Ollivant says of ISIS. "They're looking at what's being said about them and what people are thinking."

Al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS's forerunner organization, didn't produce propaganda with Dabiq's sophistication or professional-level quality. AQI was also notoriously uninterested in the effect its brutal tactics were having on the people they were effectively ruling over — Osama Bin Laden even believed that AQI's violence and heedlessness were damaging the global Al Qaeda brand.

ISIS is an incredibly violent organization, but it's invested a lot of effort in shaping its public image and in getting a sense of how the rest of the world views it."

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