ISIS media activity has declined under international bombardment: Egypt's Dar El-Ifta

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Dec 2015

Fighters of ISIS at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

ISIS militant group’s media activity is facing a drop off as air strikes by the US-led coalition, the Syrian air force, and Russian warplanes have reduced the group's media capabilities, Egypt’s Dar El-Iftaa Monitor for Extremist Fatwas said on Wednesday.

"Military strikes, and the resulting human and material losses, have impaired ISIS’s media capacity," the monitor said in a statement on Wednesday. 

"Their losses are directly reflected in their (ISIS) media activity, as much of its information infrastructure was brought down," the statement explained.

Unlike other terrorist organizations, ISIS is widely known for its usage of varied forms of media activity, such as its own English monthly magazine "Dabaq" and its social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The monitor says that after following 30 media platforms affiliated with the terrorist organization, it became obvious that ISIS activity is facing a decline compared to the previous quarter.

"Following our observation, we witnessed a decline in quantitative and qualitative information materials published and broadcasts by the organisation," added the monitor of Egypt's top authority that issues edicts to Muslims.

"When the terrorist group was at peak violence, their performance was very active on social media, and that was the case by the end of year 2014 and the beginning of 2015 when ISIS military strength was on top, but when the decline took place in the last three months, their media activity declined as well," the statement added.

The monitor estimates that 63 percent of ISIS media content in general are photos and 20 percent are videos, adding that when the group gains full control of a territory, it releases non-military-related photos and images.

"From June 2015 until September 2015, ISIS released around 3217 photos from Syria and 3762 from Iraq, but from October to December the group released 2500 photos from Syria and 2700 photos from Iraq, while videos declined from 728 in August to 500 in October," the statement added.

The monitor estimates that the aforementioned figure shows that ISIS is more influential in Syria than Iraq.

The Syrian town of Raqqa, which is now claimed by ISIS as its capital, is frequently the target of air strikes by the US-led coalition, as well as the Syrian air force and Russian warplanes that began an air campaign in Syria in late September.

Raqqa has been under ISIS control since January 2014 after heavy fighting between the militants and opposition fighters, who had seized it from regime control in March 2013.

Russia stepped up strikes against ISIS after the group claimed to have downed a Russian passenger plane over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in October.

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