Counter Daesh Insight Bulletin 9-15 April 2018
Daesh claimed attacks in Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia and Pakistan. The group made HTS and other opposition groups in Syria the target of strong criticism, accusing them in a video and in al-Naba of not being sufficiently religious and of conniving with the regime. Another article in al-Naba announced a compulsory series of proselytising events in southern Damascus under the slogan of ‘Spreading the Right Path’. A Daesh linked channel published an article attacking the US-led missile strikes against chemical weapons targets in Syria, claiming they would make Assad stronger. Unofficial channels included more posters and a video threatening New York and inciting attacks on the World Cup in Russia.
Tensions between pro-Daesh factions were visible through speculation about the loyalty or otherwise of a channel called Khattab, and by the circulation of death threats against a woman alleged to be a Saudi spy with links to the out-of-favour, pro-Daesh media group, al-Wafa.
Daesh criticises HTS and other groups in Syria
In an 18 minute video on 11 April, the narrator and an un-named fighter accuse Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) of deviating from the battle against the regime to fight against the ‘honest people’ – by whom they mean Daesh. They run through a brief history of HTS, portraying its leaders as traitors who stopped implementing Shariah in order to win support, who make short term alliances with other groups and who have failed to effectively fight the Regime. The fighter promises that Daesh will kill all those who oppose it, and then invites them to join the group.
On a similar theme, an article in al-Naba, also released on 11 April, accused opposition groups of tolerating Regime sieges in order to protect themselves from Daesh. The article argues that continuing sieges worked to the benefit of the groups, which could raise money from smuggling or by using the situation to gain sympathy from donors.
Proselytising drive in southern Damascus
In al-Naba, Daesh announced a compulsory series of preaching events starting on 13 April under the slogan of ‘Spreading the Right Path’. All men living in the parts of southern Damascus controlled by Daesh are expected to attend. The article claims these are in addition to religious classes held in the area for men and women.
Unofficial video using clips from old Daesh releases
A video made up of recycled clips from old Daesh videos incited supporters to kill citizens of countries participating in the Global Coalition, using subtitled clips from former spokesperson, al-Adnani.
Guidance on using secure operating system
A group calling itself Afaaq Electronic Foundation promoted the use of Tails, an operating system that can securely boot a PC from a USB, enabling the user to work without leaving any record on the machine. The group posted links on Telegram to a manual which shows how to download and use the operating system.
Read previous versions of the insight bulletin here