Two years ago, ISIS propaganda magazines were full of arrogance bluster about sending columns of armoured vehicles to invade Europe. Now, as military defeats threaten to strip the organisation not just of its tanks but even of the territory of the so-called ‘Caliphate’, their propagandists have changed their tune. But their new song will not be easy listening for the West, because they are preparing their followers for a terrorist Long War in Europe and America.
Some months ago, ISIS launched a new Arabic magazine, available online and entitled “Al Waqar” (literally “Dignity”). The professionally designed magazine (cover below) is composed of 16 pages and is light on text and heavy on photographs and graphics.
But rather than the design, it is the background that is really interesting. because it demonstrates well the state of mind within the leadership of ISIS: namely, that they fully expect, and are preparing their followers for, short-term reverses.
The new magazine has gone unreported in the West simply because it is in Arabic, but the change in emphasis from previous ISIS propaganda, such as the magazine Dabiq, is very marked.
We hope that, now that we in the KTI have released this information, the West’s lazy ‘mainstream media’ will now make the effort to grasp this new danger and to warn their audiences about it.
Because, when we read this magazine, it is obvious that ISIS are readying their sympathisers for military defeat. Military defeat, but not the destruction of the organisation, still less its mindset. We are seeing the transformation of ISIS from brutal army to brutal global underground terror franchise.
In both the first and the latest edition of Al Waqar, readers are encouraged to “stand firm” despite the problems, which are described as being sent by God, and to find new, unconventional ways to continue their bloody struggle.
In an effort to hold the allegiance of supporters despite the anticipated destruction of the so-called Caliphate, a major effort is being made to focus their minds on the long-term and on converting the organisation from an army holding territory into a shadowy network of terror gangs. Hence they are talking about future generations who will continue Jihad. And they are clearly seeking to inspire supporters to use terrorism to strike the West in retaliation for their military defeats in Syria, Iraq and Libya!