The Jihadi Media Support Battalion (JMSB), an internet-based jihadi propaganda group, has announced the launch of a new propaganda campaign entitled “ISI: The Gate to Liberate Extorted Palestine.” The goal is to acquaint as many Muslims as possible with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and the Salafi-Jihadi creed (al-mohagr.com, March 13). The campaign has attracted many positive responses from jihadi forum members.
The JMSB campaign’s objectives and instructions were posted in many jihadi forums and websites by forum members claiming to be JMSB reporters. The posting called upon Salafi-Jihadi adherents to participate in distributing leaflets about the ISI to as many Muslims in the world as possible. The first leaflet to be distributed is a communiqué regarding the establishment of ISI and the appointment of its Amir, Omar al-Baghdadi. The message also encourages Muslims to migrate to the Islamic State of Iraq and deploy there to conduct jihad. The campaign endeavors to counter the anti-jihadi Western and Arab media efforts. JMSB praised other existing jihadi online media outlets, such as al-Sahab Media Productions, al-Fajr, al-Furqan, al-Somod, the Islamic Global Media Front, al-Malahim, the Media Jihadi Battalion and al-Yaqeen Media, for their continuous support of jihad. JMSB urges volunteers to bring to the streets the internet-based jihadi propaganda from the aforementioned media groups. A JMSB reporter claimed that since the setup of JMSB in October 2008, 16,000 leaflets featuring the ISI and its Amir have been distributed. The leaflets urge Muslims to fight the Zionists and Crusaders who “want to wipe out Islam.”
JMSB lists the main objectives of jihadi media propaganda. The campaign is intended to:
• Inform as many Muslims as possible about ISI and the state of the jihad, which Muslims are religiously obliged to migrate to and support financially.
• Counter enemy propaganda, especially the Jewish news networks.
• Communicate with the mujahideen through the internet and spread their achievements.
• Encourage jihadi media supporters to move to the next phase: jihad field operations.
The JMSB instructs each campaign volunteer to print 1,000 copies of the leaflets on private, non-color printers and distribute them to randomly selected addresses from different post offices, direct to mail boxes, on walls and utility poles, in schools, universities and marketplaces, and to parked cars or drivers. The post included video clips of armed men stopping cars and handing out leaflets to the drivers.
The volunteers should distribute 1,000 copies each and do the same through the internet in forums, chat rooms and emails. The JMSB warns volunteers to take the following security precautions while handing out the leaflets:
• Avoid places monitored with CCTV networks.
• Avoid public places adjacent to government buildings.
• Volunteers must work individually and never tell anyone about their activities.
• Keep the leaflets in an easily accessible place.
• Distribute the copies immediately after printing.
• Do not hand out the leaflets in residential areas.
• Distribute the leaflets to Muslims only.
• Do not keep copies at home or in the computer after distribution.
Finally, JMSB calls upon graphic designers to design logos for this campaign and future campaigns as this is the biggest jihadi media project ever. “Be it known to you, media jihadist, with this activity you are waging jihad similar to what the mujahideen are doing in the battlefield. Be honest with God and He will facilitate a passage for you to join the Mujahideen in the battlefield,” says a JMSB reporter. He also recommended a number of websites for communicating with the jihadi media and the JMSB for information about mujahideen achievements censored by the international media (katebatnusra.arabform.com).
Many jihadi forum members responded to the JMSB campaign with comments on the wording of the leaflets and questions about security precautions. One forum member, nicknamed Nashid al-Irhab, revealed his participation in the campaign but asked for further security instructions from JMSB concerning printing and distribution procedures (al-mohagr.com March 26).
Another forum member said he is very enthusiastic about the campaign and suggested inserting the leaflet between false business advertisement brochures to fend off suspicions and use gloves so as not to leave fingerprints on the leaflets.
Another forum member complained other jihadi outlets were not included in the campaign, but declared that the importance of the campaign had encouraged him to participate, even though he “is not the jihadi type” (almnbr.info, March 18).
Jihadi propaganda materials are a key indication for security forces of terrorist activities. They are usually confiscated and scrutinized for possible intelligence that would lead to the arrest of terrorists exposed by the materials. Compartmentalizing jihadi propaganda activity to an individual level, as recommended by JMBS, would lessen the chance of exposing the jihadis behind the ISI’s propaganda campaign.