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'Media savvy' or hit me?

Here is another example of how the free world is falling behind the terrorists’ power curve. True is that it is easy for ‘media-savvy militants’ to recruit and spread their propaganda. However, it is equally easy to counter it. It is also possible to follow the metadata to the sources of terrorism and to attack them with obliterating might.

AFP/Getty Images

One presumption is that the Islamic State recruitment prospects are all armed with computers and the internet to receive the their message with open minds.

Possible truism: “Come join us here in the blasted desert where we can assure you that your daily lives will be dust-filled and where you may rage with thirst as you cast your bodies into martyrdom.”

Broadcasting doesn’t ensure readership. Professor Bernard Fall emphasized that for insurrectionists to be effective they must actually improve the quality of life for their prospective citizens. So, how is that quality of life doing for you in Syria and Iraq these days? Is life as a disenfranchised Sunni better or worse?

Sooner than later, people come to understand that they and their families’ lives must improve to include sustainable and peaceful living standards. Tasting the free world with internet tongues raises the bar, doesn’t it? Hope and opportunity intersect and when people meet the means to fulfill life’s expectations, that is motivation to go forward.

The Islamic State offers entrenchment into the sixth century while life as we know is the 21st. Got power? Electricity that is? Not if the Islamic State is in charge. There is too much hype in this LA Times story to be credible.

“Islamic State's media-savvy militants spread message with ease

Fighters of the Islamic State pose after the battle for Tabqa air base in Raqqah, Syria. (Raqqa Media Center of Islamic State)
By W.J. HENNIGANcontact the reporter

Islamic State's media savvy makes Osama bin Laden's publicity attempts seem as dated as black-and-white TV
CIA is concerned about how Islamic State uses social media to connect with 'disenchanted Western youth'

For Islamic State, social media is not merely virtual, it's essential, British group says

Driving hulking tanks and armored trucks, Islamic State militants conducted a victory parade of sorts recently in Raqqah, their stronghold in northern Syria, flaunting military hardware that they had captured.

Some of the masked fighters muscled the massive tanks into tight circles, spinning them around and around in front of a cheering crowd.

The startling imagery, posted on YouTube in June, not only raced across social media. It was picked up by CNN and other TV networks, boosting the global profile of Islamic State as it seeks to establish and violently expand its rule across much of the Middle East.

Before he was killed in 2011, Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden attempted to recruit and rally followers with sermons that now seem as dated as black-and-white TV. His aides had to secretly hand deliver videotapes to Al Jazeera TV to get his words out.

Today, media-savvy militants in Iraq and Syria post graphic photos and slick recruitment videos on Facebook and Twitter, and even developed a now-defunct Android smartphone app that would automatically tweet from users' accounts. Fighters in the field answer questions from supporters on websites and chat rooms that allow users to remain anonymous.

"Back in the old days, jihadists would be depicted in recruiting photos with a rifle or a bomb," said Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, a nonprofit group based in Washington. "Now the laptop and hand-held device are just as important."

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