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    Daesh Jihadist Forces Fueled by Professionally-Rendered Propaganda

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    Unlike its terrorist forerunners in the Middle East, who were hell-bent on religious issues, Daesh relies heavily on Western-style propaganda to winthe hearts and minds. Daesh's propaganda videos are authored in the language of Western filmmaking, and are professionally shot from dramatic angles using state-of-the-art equipment.

    Daesh appeals directly to young radicals using a language they already know from Hollywood movies and computer games. Today, there is no doubt that trained video directors and filmmakers are behind Daesh's videos, which are vastly superior to those produced by al-Qaeda ten years ago.

    "Daesh utilize common media tricks that are familiar to end users. Propaganda that is professionally made resonates with a greater public and ultimately has a greater impact on the receivers," Thomas Elkjer Nissen, a military analyst at the Danish Defense Academy, specializing in strategic communications, told Danish Radio.

    The videos Daesh distribute through a number of web portals are not all violent and brutal and include everyday reporting, such as news from a marketplace in Syria or information on how the health system in the Daesh-controlled city of Raqqa works. Such videos aim to convince the recipient that Daesh is succeeding in developing a civil society within the so-called "Caliphate."

    "The way they use angles, multiple cameras, as well as music and effects overlaying the narrative reveals considerable media professionalism," Nissen stated after seeing dozens of Daesh propaganda videos, pointing to computer games 'Call of Duty' and 'Grand Theft Auto' as possible sources of inspiration.

    According to Thomas Elkjer Nissen, half of Daesh's battle is being fought online. Therefore, identifying their approaches might be as crucial as sending troops to Syria, detecting traffickers or limiting the terrorists' oil revenues.

    "One must understand their media tactics, because more than half of their overall strategy is to produce propaganda," Thomas Elkjer Nissen said.

    Meanwhile, the US State Department has been pumping millions of dollars into attempts to solve the "Daesh equation." Part of the money went to a think-tank at the University of Chicago, who after watching hundreds of Daesh videos managed to discern the same dramaturgical structure as in epics like "Titanic," "Star Wars" and "Wizard of Oz," the news outlet The Daily Caller previously reported.


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    Middle East, propaganda, Daesh, United States, Syria, Scandinavia, Denmark
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