“The West already has in place extensive efforts to counter ISIS [Islamic State] in the media, but winning hearts and minds can't rely on propaganda and military might alone,” Timothy Karr told Sputnik adding that the West needs to look at “the root causes that turn its citizens to extremism.”
Thousands of Western citizens, influenced by ISIL propaganda, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the militants.
In a recent bid to win over potential fighters, the Islamic State launched English-language news bulletins on its al-Bayan radio channel Tuesday.
The news bulletin gives an overview of ISIL activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya and its host has an American accent. Radio broadcasts are in addition to an ISIL monthly magazine Dabiq, printed in several languages including English.
Karr explains that the goals of the Islamic State are “both to recruit new fighters and win new supporters while shoring up those who are already fighting on its behalf.”
Earlier this week, the US State Department announced the start of two-week international exchange program called “Countering Radical Ideologies” focusing on how best to stop violent extremism by ISIL and other radicalized groups and individuals.
ISIL is a Sunni fundamentalist extremist group that uses online propaganda to lure Westerners into joining the group in the Middle East or conduct terrorist attacks at home. The group has attracted at least 20,000 members from over 40 countries around the globe.
In 2014, ISIL took large areas in Iraq and Syria under control, declaring the establishment of a caliphate and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.