#AceNewsServices – Nov.19 – By now it is well known that Islamic State (IS) produces propaganda videos of exceptional quality. They are slick, smart and incredibly powerful. It is no exaggeration to say they are the best-produced videos to have ever emerged from the global jihad movement.
This is quite something, given that jihadist groups have always been at the forefront of harnessing new technology for their own ends.
Even with this in mind, the release of another IS video on Sunday was remarkable for a number of reasons. The group’s nihilism and gross barbarism is packaged with the kind of artistic care that might be more expected in a Tarantino thriller.
After a long introduction outlining the IS version of history, the group is shown marching 20 men to their deaths.
Menacing sounds – the clanging of swords and the heavy, desperate breathing of men who know what comes next. Slow motion shots capture the stony fear etched on the victims’ faces.
Halfway through the slaughter the ringleader – a British man dubbed “Jihadi John” – stops and looks directly into the camera. It is breathtakingly callous.
The small Syrian town of Dabiq, which featured in the latest beheading video from the Islamic State group (IS), has figured heavily in the group’s propaganda since July when it named its new English-language magazine after the town.
The group has focused on the dusty backwater not because of any strategic importance or the size of its population – the Syrian census of 2004 recorded that little over 3,000 people were living there – but for the power of its symbolism.
Dabiq, which lies around 10km (six miles) from the Turkish border, features in Islamic apocalyptic prophecies as the site of an end-of-times showdown between Muslims and their enemies.
The Prophet Muhammad is believed to have said that “the last hour will not come” until Muslims vanquish the Romans at “Dabiq or Al-A’maq” – both in the Syria-Turkey border region – on their way to conquer Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).
IS has been seeking to bring on that battle by goading the international coalition to confront it there.
‘This British militant is believed to have been involved in the beheading of five Western hostages since August ‘
The masked British militant who is believed to have been involved in the killing of five Western hostages since August appeared in the latest IS video with Dabiq in the background and the severed head of murdered US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig at his feet.
“Here we are, burying the first American Crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive,” he said.
IS has repeatedly dared the West to send ground troops to Syria. By staging the latest beheading video in Dabiq, the group appear’s eager to be given an opportunity to fulfil the prophecy and bolster its legitimacy to a wider audience.
It appears that the militants were filmed on a hill on the northern edge of Dabiq, close to the location of another IS propaganda video released in October which featured three European jihadists all playing up the significance of the town.
‘The British man in this video has threatened to behead coalition forces ‘
One of them, a British IS member of Eritrean origin called Abu-Abdallah, addressed the camera with the black IS flag fluttering in the background saying “We are waiting for you in Dabiq” and threatening to behead coalition forces there.
Source: BBC World News – Contributions