Media

ISIS outlets exhibit major deterioration with lack of quality photos, videos

By Salaam Times

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This dark, grainy photo posted on November 16th of an ISIS member in Iraq is emblematic of the shabby media that the terrorist group is now producing -- if and when it is able to do so. [File]

"Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) propaganda channels on Telegram and other social media outlets have shown a major deterioration in recent months, with most posts containing only text and the rare photographs and videos posted of very low quality.

This trend is reflective of the increasing losses that the group has suffered across the Middle East, in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world.

The territorial defeat of ISIS in the Middle East in March 2019 was a huge blow to the propaganda nerve centre of the group, as many of its main operators and propagandists were either killed or arrested after the destruction of the so-called "caliphate".

Since then, various security and intelligence operations have curbed the group's technical capabilities, depriving it of most of its media platforms, technology, videographers, sound technicians and propagandists in addition to other personnel.

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This photograph posted by ISIS on November 3rd shows two of three attackers before a high-profile attack on Kabul University. It was the only media on that massacre released by the group's once sophisticated propaganda machine. [File]

The aftermath of a number of recent high-profile attacks has exposed the flailing terrorist group's increasingly threadbare publicity operation.

The November 2nd ISIS attack on Kabul University is a prime example. Three terrorists -- one of whom blew himself up -- rampaged through the campus, shooting students in their classrooms and killing at least 22 people.

In past years, ISIS media would have published multiple images and videos of such a high-profile atrocity, before, during and after.

Reduced to solitary photos

But now, with its media capabilities crippled, the only photo it posted was of two of the terrorists standing in front of the ISIS flag before the operation. The paltry posting suggests that the terrorist group has no ability, equipment or personnel to document attacks in progress.

ISIS claimed a similar attack on Kawsar-e-Danish education centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of western Kabul that occurred October 24th. That suicide bombing killed 24 people and injured more than 50, most of them young students.

Similarly, the group posted only a photograph of the lone culprit beforehand.

No more apparent is this media degradation than in Syria and Iraq, where the group once claimed vast territorial sway.

At the height of the so-called caliphate, the group produced sophisticated, high-quality photographs and videos.

No longer able to maintain a pretence of military victory or to trumpet its "utopian" caliphate, the group now posts mainly simple text messages whose claims most of the time cannot be verified.

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