Counter Daesh Insight Bulletin 12 – 18 February 2018

Propaganda Overview

Most military or insurgent activity reported between 12 and 18 February was from Syria and Iraq. There were also attacks reported from Afghanistan and Egypt, and one each from Yemen and Russia (Dagestan). Al-Naba (Daesh’s weekly, digital newspaper) carried features on Egypt and Afghanistan, and an infographic showing Daesh claims of attacks in West Africa. There was a graphic video from Sinai, and two videos from Syria: one seeking to shame those who do not fight for Daesh, and another showing the bodies of children, allegedly killed by American air strikes. An unofficial channel distributed a poster showing photos of Shanghai and Rostov, and urging attacks with vehicles.

Daesh Sinai threatens Egyptian election, Christians and tourists

A 23 minute video was released on 11 February entitled, ‘Guards of Shariah’. It includes graphic footage of hand-gun assassinations of men said to be members of the security forces, filmed in public locations with body-mounted cameras in the style of a first-person shooter video game. It also shows attacks on Egyptian military vehicles. An Egyptian fighter delivers an invective against the coming election, describing it as a ‘day of polytheism’, and threatening to target election locations with attacks.

An editorial on 15 February in al-Naba, entitled ‘El-Sisi’s Army and the Great Propaganda Campaign’, mocks the Egyptian military offensive against Daesh in Sinai and warns that the group will use its fighters elsewhere in Egypt to attack Christians and tourists. This, it says, will show President Sisi is incapable of sustaining security across the country. Daesh states its aims as to take over all of Egypt and transform it into a ‘land of Islam governed by the complete faith’.

A separate communique issued on 17 February claimed that Daesh Sinai is “repulsing” attacks of the Egyptian military across east, north and central Sinai. It was accompanied by photos of fighters shooting from behind sand dunes at unseen enemies.

Warning to abstainers

A 9 minute video released on 15 February under the brand of Daesh’s Barakah province (Eastern Syria) shows a Moroccan fighter claiming that waging of “jihad” is a religious duty for Muslims and those who abstain will be punished. A narrator then adds that there is nothing worse than fighters who turn back and leave the fight.

Attack on the Taliban

Also in al-Naba is a feature on Afghanistan, with Daesh accusing the Taliban of being apostates and not willing to fully implement Sharia. It claims that only Daesh has the ability and resolve to resist the US and “help the downtrodden Muslims to leave the despots’ rule”.

Read older versions of the Insight Bulletin here

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