ISIS revamps recruitment machine for West, using polished video, public-radio-style broadcasts

Global News

PARIS – After a selection of tunes, the presenter with an American accent offers “a glimpse at our main headlines.” IS militants have just seized three Iraqi cities. A bomb blows up a factory, killing everyone inside. Militants destroy four enemy Hummers and an armoured vehicle.

The newscast’s tone sounds much like National Public Radio in the United States. But this is Al-Bayan, the Islamic State radio targeting European recruits – touting recent triumphs in the campaign to carve out a Caliphate.

All news is good news for Al-Bayan’s “soldiers of the Caliphate.” In this narrative, the enemy always flees in disgrace or is killed. The broadcasts end with a swell of music and a gentle English message: “We thank our listeners for tuning in.”

READ MORE: Activists turn to social media to fight jihadists

The tension between the smooth, Western-style production and the extremist content shows how far the…

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