This information, especially the social media reaction to Secretary Clinton’s brainwave of the ThinkAgain_DOS warfare on the Internet, confirms ISIS has its roots in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and the hurt this caused Muslims in Iraq, the region and across the globe with 1.4 billion Muslims. This was all too predictable! Ms Clinton is so 20th century with her abrasive tactics on the political scene and in a position of power. I’m glad a young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, beat her to the job in the White House. An overview of the damage caused …

The State Department’s Twitter Jihad ‖ Can a bureaucracy out-tweet the terrorists?
By Jacob Silvermann | Politico Magazine | July 22, 2014 |

With the enthusiastic support of Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration started up the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) effort in 2011. Over the next year, using images, videos and text and communicating in Urdu, Somali, Punjabi and Arabic, the center’s 50-member team began posting on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, always identifying themselves as part of the U.S. government. There would be nothing covert about this effort. In a December 2013 speech, Fernandez said that this collective output had amounted to “18,000 engagements” to date.

More recently, with ISIL and other al Qaeda splinter groups popping up in different places, and attracting new adherents from Western Europe and other English-speaking populations, the U.S. government has had to step up its English-language efforts. Last month, the State Department awarded a contract worth about $575,000 to JTG Inc., a small, privately held company based in Vienna, Virginia, to expand its English-language offerings. The contract calls for a campaign manager as well as writer-analysts designers, and multimedia specialists — six employees in total who will work out of Foggy Bottom. It’s the second CSCC-related contract for JTG, whose previous work includes a $4.7 million deal to produce curricula for the Defense Language Institute. (Both the State Department and JTG declined to comment for this story.)

Although the State Department program operates in a technological milieu defined by precise metrics, data analysis and finely honed targeting procedures, it’s difficult to say exactly what its effect has been–whether any ISIL sympathizers have been turned away. As of this week, the @ThinkAgain_DOS Twitter account had 3,341 followers, but the State Department hasn’t released any information indicating that the program has been a success and instead has relied on the argument that terrorists have had the run of the Internet, so something should be done about it.

Abu Khalid, who identifies as an ISIL supporter living in the West, says, “They will never change anybody — rather they are only enraging people who support groups such as ISIL.” When I pointed out that, compared to the CSCC and its clunky graphic design, ISIL, also known as ISIS, is considered quite skilled at social media, Abu Khalid tried to explain why. “ISIS social media actually show the good they’ve done whether it is food distributions or developing state institutions,” he says. He also pointed out some inconsistencies in the CSCC’s language and arguments. In one instance, he noted, the State Department tweeted a photo of a bombed-out Shia shrine, but referred to it as a mosque. “Think Again Turn Away” excoriates ISIL for “killing Muslims,” Abu Khalid says, but “in fact, we don’t and many Sunnis don’t view Shias as Muslims.”

So it’s not that the “Think Again Turn Away” people have the wrong message; clearly they have a point to make. The issue is how they’re delivering it. ISIL, which also has an English-language magazine called Dabiq, is already far ahead of Western governments in how it engages with its followers and enemies alike. The terrorist group has popularized its own app, available on the web and for Android phones, called The Dawn of Glad Tidings.

Dabiq: What Islamic State’s New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine | Jamestown |

On the first day of Ramadan (June 28), the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared itself the new Islamic State and the new Caliphate (Khilafah). For the occasion, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling himself Caliph Ibrahim, broke with his customary secrecy to give a surprise khutbah (sermon) in Mosul before being rushed back into hiding.

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Dabiq Magazine (Source: Twitter user @umOmar246)

Published in several European languages, including English, the magazine has a number of purposes. The first is to call on Muslims to come help the new caliph. Next, the magazine, comprising 50 vivid pages of color pictures, illustrations and artfully crafted text, tells the story of the Islamic State’s success in gaining the support of Syrian tribes, reports on the success of its recent military operations and graphically portrays the atrocities committed by its enemies, as well as vivid pictures of its own violence against Shi’ites. The premier issue also used classic Islamic texts to explain and justify the nature of the caliphate, its intentions, legitimacy and political and religious authority over all Muslims. Throughout its carefully constructed allusions, the magazine subtly appeals to the followers of other jihadist groups including the followers of the Islamic State’s foremost jihadist critics and potential followers in the Arabian Peninsula.

Another important purpose of Dabiq in the service of recruitment is to establish the Islamic State’s cosmic destiny by combining an eschatological account of coming battles gleaned from popular apocalyptic literature, the classical traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, prophecies and modern tactics taken from Salafi-Jihadist strategic literature. The strategic portion of this message is attributed to the original leader of the jihadist insurrection during the American occupation of Iraq, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi.


Dabiq provides the first admission, albeit indirectly, that the Islamic State and previously ISIS have been following a strategy as laid out in broad strokes by Abu Bakr Naji and informed by the teachings of Abu Mus’ab al-Suri. This strategy is linked to the founder of this Salafi-Jihadist current, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, in his terror campaign in Iraq until his death in 2006. The magazine anecdotally connects the Islamic State to tribal coalitions inside Syria and Iraq. Through its allusions and usurpation of terms and titles, the magazine seeks to connect the Islamic State to the goals of major organizations and jihadist thought leaders even when they are known to oppose the Islamic State. The appeal encompasses the entire jihadist movement, including al-Qaeda affiliates and non-al-Qaeda extremists like Hizb-ut Tahrir with its large clandestine following in Pakistan, Great Britain and elsewhere.

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