ISIS Update, June 4-11, 2015
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Thursday, June 11th, 2015 @ 11:54PM
The longer the U.S. and its allies dwell on how best to react to the Islamic State, the more time this Islamic plague has to take over territory, treasure, weapons and fighters. The more ISIS terrorists are “martyred” by the limited aerial bombing campaign, the more foreigners flood to Iraq, Syria and Libya. Alas, as many have noted, bombing is not enough to lessen ISIS’s appeal to many radicalized Muslims the world over.
Instead of preventing the jihadi ideological plague from spreading, the West maintains its political correctness, even helps disseminate it. Only after the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, reported that copies of ISIS’s English-language publication, Dabiq, could be purchased on Amazon.uk at the price GBP 27 per copy, sent to buyers without shipping costs (along with a gift), did Amazon stopped selling the issues of Dabiq.
Dabiq is ISIS’s English-language publication, published monthly by the Al-Hayat Media Center. The publication includes a large quantity of propaganda about the Islamic State and ISIS’s activity. It has published a call to kill “Crusaders” (i.e., Western civilians) in each country that has joined the battle against the Islamic State, as well as an article justifying the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff. ISIS uses social media and Western media to spread its Salafist-jihadi propaganda and make it available to operatives who identify with ISIS.
ISIS’s Al-Hayat Media Center described Dabiq as a periodical focusing on various topics including jihad, as well as filmed reports documenting events, and informative articles on topics related to ISIS. On June 7, the Daily Mail reported that similar periodicals were sold on Amazon’s websites in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and Spain (Daily Mail, June 7, 2015).
Spotlight on Global Jihad notes that Interpol has revealed the identity of some 4,000 foreign fighters who joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Back in September 2014, Interpol announced that it had identified more than 900 such operatives. the new information could indicate an increase in the number of those who join ISIS as well as an improvement in Interpol’s ability to reveal the identity of the foreigners who join (Al-Arabiya TV, June 4, 2015).
A recent example of ISIS recruitment efforts is ISIS’s June 5 Al-Hayat Media Center release of “a video in English addressing jihadi operatives from the Balkans and calling on them to join the ranks of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The video shows 12 ISIS operatives, presented as fighters, who came to the Islamic State from Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo. Some of them came with their families. In the video, one of the operatives relates the history of the Balkans. After that other operatives appear, including operatives who identified themselves as Abu Jihad the Bosnian and Salah al-Din the Bosnian, who explain why Muslims from the Balkans should go to Syria and join ISIS.
Spotlight on Global Jihad explains that Operatives from the Balkans began to join the Al-Nusra Front and ISIS in 2013. At that time they were estimated at several hundred. However, the current figure is probably higher. They are Muslim foreign fighters, most of whom adopted Salafist-jihadi Islam in their native countries. In the past, Salafi leaders in the Balkans denied accusations that they were recruiting or sending fighters to Syria, claiming that those who go to Syria do so as individuals and not in an organized manner. However, in the ITIC’s assessment, organized recruitment activity is carried out in the Balkans among Muslims, in which jihadi operatives are located and sent to Syria and Iraq. The return of these operatives to their home countries is liable to pose a terrorist threat not only in the Balkans but in more than the 100 countries from which they traveled to join the ISIS jihad.
The full report is available here.