Taking a leaf out of the Idarat al-Tawahhush, “The Management of Barbarism,” (see “New Book Lays Out al-Qaeda’s Military Strategy” in this issue) and the need to understand ‘the rules of the game’ — particularly the need to sidestep traditional media channels to send the jihadi message to where it hurts most — the mujahideen’s attention to the media has recently taken a dramatic step forward. On March 4, a statement was posted on the Minbar Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a jihadi forum from the newly constituted Katibat al-Jihad al-I’lami (Information Jihad Brigade), which introduced itself as “a support and aid to our mujahid brothers to break the Zionist control over the media.” The statement outlined the Brigade’s specific aim: a full-scale propaganda war as the newest arm of the jihad. Its aim is “to influence the morale of our enemies … and expose the reality of what is happening to them in Iraq, so that the soldiers lose their faith in themselves and their commanders.”
The statement maintains that work has already begun, and a plan of action devised “to attack them in their websites and forums.” In addition they have “sent to the soldiers, their dependents and families frightening, terrifying letters to shake them to the core.” These, the statement indicates, have been sent in several languages to innumerable forums and web groups, particularly the United States, eliciting a reaction, they claim, beyond their expectations. The statement closes with a call for contributors and manpower for this new enterprise. Some graphically illustrated samples of the leaflets (American Soldier — You are Next; Don’t be Afraid — We’ll Just Cut Your Head Off’) are provided on the forum site [www.islam-minbar.net].