“Rap videos, romanticized notions of revolution and adventure, and first-hand accounts of the ‘fun’ of guerrilla war…”
As reported by the SBS New Service of Sydney, Australia, hard-core jihadists are reaching out to non-Muslim Western nations with a slick new recruitment strategy: to make jihad über cool.
Making their presence known on social media, the Al Hayat Media Center is the Western mouthpiece for the al Qaeda-allied ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorist organization. Other than their own German-language Facebook page Al Hayat (translation: “The Life”) also has its own Twitter feed and has regularly relied on YouTube.com to further both its message and internet presence.
Al Hayat published and posted a video that fell into the hip-style of music videos reminiscent of the days when MTV used to show actual music videos. However, Youtube quickly yanked the video due to its violation of the site’s graphic violence policy. Nonetheless, Britain’s Daily Mail has posted a short portion of the original.
Security experts in both Britain and the United States note that the jihadists rely heavily on “rap videos, romanticized notions of revolution and adventure and first-hand accounts of the ‘fun’ of guerrilla war are the latest tactics used by militant recruiters as part of what experts have identified as an, ‘intensification of radicalization.'”
Yet Al Hayat isn’t the only jihad-friendly portal prowling social media in search of recruits. Numerous amateurs armed with a camera phone have done homemade Youtube shorts that range in content from glorifying the decapitation of bound and gagged captives to the ludicrous “Fitness and Jihad Training” workout video, which more closely resembles heavily armed T’ai Chi, performed by uncoordinated individuals: