Al-Furqan Releases New Iraq Video
Al-Furqan, the official media wing of al-Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), posted a new video on Saturday - its first since September - called "Implementing Allah's Rule On Nine Elements Of Interior Commandos." The video lasts 3 minutes and 14 seconds and shows the gruesome assassination of nine Iraqi men by masked mujahideen with a bullet to the back of the head. It is included in the group's ongoing series of video releases called "Roman and Apostate Hell in al-Rafedain Land."
The murders appear to be recent. Although the video and accompanying Web posting do not state when the men were killed, the New York Times reported the discovery of four dead bodies in Salahuddin, including three floating in the Tigris River, on November 20.
Al-Furqan represents the "Information Ministry" of the ISI and, until recently, maintained a large output of propaganda products, including short videos and occasional PDF magazines. Its network of media cells across Iraq, each manned by a media emir, cameramen and digital video editors, suffered tremendous setbacks over the Summer and was practically dismantled by U.S. forces. A total of eight cells have been disrupted and 24 propaganda operatives captured and killed between July and October. The head of al-Furqan, Khalid Abdul Fatah Da’ud Mahmud Al Mashadani, was captured on July 4 and, according to The Long War Journal, revealed that not only is the ISI a notional group created by al-Qaeda but that its head, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, is a character performed by a local actor.
The appearance of the new release by al-Furqan has been heavily promoted on Jihadi Web sites and message boards across the world. With nearly one or two new videos produced by militant Sunni and Shiite groups inside Iraq every day, al-Furqan is at risk of losing its preeminent position in the war's cyber threater. This video is not only a signal to jihadis that the ISI's media teams are still "in the game" but also creates the perception that the ISI continues to control territory inside Iraq - critical issues for fundraising and recruitment.
Warning: Video contains graphic scenes.
A Note from ThreatsWatch Editors:
We have begun posting the propaganda from al-Qaeda and others for the primary purpose of informing and educating both the general public and policy makers about the level to which the enemy has actively engaged in Information Warfare. Some of the messages, such as this one, contain graphic content. We at ThreatsWatch post these videos as evidence of the brutal nature of the enemy we face and the clear intent they have to kill those not aligned with them. Making the public aware of the nature of the enemy - as well as the often forgotten virtues of our own nation - is one of the primary missions of ThreatsWatch and the Center for Threat Awareness.