The U.S. State Department’s arm of Strategic Counterterrorism Communications released a grisly video last week depicting the violent, barbaric nature of the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL).
The video is complete with footage of people being shot in the back of the head, crucifixions, and bodies being thrown into deep ditches. It is meant as pushback to ISIS’ recruitment efforts, especially in light of the fact the U.S. believes more than 100 U.S. citizens have traveled abroad to join the group.
The video goes on to list some of the “skills” and the “perks” people can expect upon joining ISIS:
• “Blowing up mosques!”
• “Crucifying and executing Muslims”
• “Plundering public resources”
• “Suicide bombings inside mosques!”
“Travel is inexpensive, because you won’t need a return ticket!” the video ends, proceeding to show a body being thrown off a cliff.
The video was released by the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, which aims to push back against the extremist narrative through a variety of social media. The center also has anti-ISIS accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube under the name, “ThinkAgain TurnAway.”
A recent study published by researchers at King’s College in London found jihadists’ presence on social media has had a strong influence on recruiting Westerners, who now make up about one-quarter of jihadists fighting in Syria.
“Many jihadi foreign fighters from the West and at least one Al Qaeda affiliate, the Shabab, use English to recruit new soldiers online and sway the media, so it makes sense for the C.S.C.C. to write in English when trying to blunt their efforts,” William McCants, a former State Department counterterrorism official who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The New York Times last year.
Here’s the full video, which is quite graphic and should be viewed at your own discretion:
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