[Ed. – Can you say “pointless and ineffective”? Next up: jihadi corpses posed with hashtag slogans.]
The U.S. State Department ratcheted up the online propaganda war on Wednesday, tweeting a photo composite showing four dead ISIS jihadis who it suggested were killed in overnight airstrikes in Syria.
The ‘Think Again Turn Away’ program’s Twitter account blasted out the image to nearly 8,000 followers. The initiative’s goal is to dissuade would-be jihadis, including so-called ‘foreign fighters,’ from joining up with ISIS.
Social media messaging has become a key element in the Obama administration’s battle for hearts and minds in the Arab world, especially since ISIS – the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham – began distributing graphic beheading videos that way.
State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Sept 5 that the anti-jihad campaign had already ‘been appearing in Arabic for quite some time. We are doing more in English as well.’
The messages are produced by the agency’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications as a pushback against Islamist terror groups that use online spaces to recruit militants and spread propaganda to young followers.