Counter Daesh Insight Bulletin 05 Feb – 11 Feb 2018

Propaganda Overview

Daesh Amaq media group resumed their English language publications after having struggled to do this since September. Attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, and the killing of an intelligence officer in Somalia were claimed in the week of 5 February. Several official propaganda outlets covered a video of Daesh activity in Idlib and a video of children allegedly killed by US strikes in Syria. Unofficial propaganda included an article on the leader of a Daesh affiliate in Kashmir, a drone attack on the Syrian government, a video of a hypothetical attack on Paris, an English language comic depicting the beheading of US President Trump and lone actor guides in English and Dutch.

Al Wafa media group disowned by Daesh

Daesh media operatives circulated a file exposing the Daesh media group al-Wafa as part of a plot to undermine Daesh. Al-Wafa, which first appeared in 2014 was originally a trusted Daesh media group, but after it raised questions on ideological issues and on how Daesh was run, it was disowned by Daesh in 2017.

Now the pro Daesh Telegram channel Qanat Fadh Yahud al-Jihad wal-Mashbuhin has compiled a file against al-Wafa, claiming the media group is part of a plot with US intelligence agencies to undermine Daesh media activities by providing alternative sources of information. Al-Wafa affiliates have also been disowned.

First official Daesh video featuring female fighters.

A 20 minute video, part of the “Inside the Caliphate” series, shows footage of women fighting alongside men at the frontline of battle. The video first shows the women, fully covered in black, sitting in the back of a pick-up holding arms. They are then seen firing over a dirt berm at unseen targets. It also focuses on the events on a supposed military campaign launched by Daesh in January named “Avenging Virtuous Females”. The video was distributed in English and Arabic.

Following the release it was discussed by supporters, some of whom stated that it puts men to shame for not taking part in ‘jihad’. Some suggested that now women have taken up arms it is going to be ‘impossible’ to defeat Daesh, although others expressed discomfort with the sight, and some suggested the figures could be men in disguise.

Daesh vows to keep fighting in Afghanistan.

Daesh’s weekly al-Naba news-sheet, released on 8 February, focused on several issues:

  1. President Trump’s plan to augment the amount of troops present in Afghanistan, arguing that the US is doing this to protect its own interests and to save the weak Kabul government.
  2. The Shia presence in Afghanistan, ‘in all the layers of society’. Daesh states it will confront them.
  3. A chart, with statistics of all its claimed activity and operations in Somalia.

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