We’ve finally developed a strategy to combat ISIS: Have them die of laughter.
The State Department is launching a tough and graphic propaganda counteroffensive against the Islamic State, using some of the group’s own images of barbaric acts against fellow Muslims to undercut its message.
While the department since 2011 has operated a small unit devoted solely to the task of analyzing and countering terrorists’ messaging around the world, that unit – the 50-member Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications — has shifted gears in recent months to concentrate more on the Islamic State threat.
The social media presence – on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and beyond – has started using some potentially risky tactics to go after the militant network, also known as ISIS.
The item grabbing the most attention lately is a shock factor-heavy YouTube video set up as a fake recruiting ad for the Islamic State.
“Run – do not walk to ISIS Land,” the video implores viewers. The video tells recruits they can learn “useful new skills” — like “blowing up mosques” and “crucifying and executing Muslims.”
Illustrating the sarcastic appeal is an array of bloody images and videos, including of people being crucified, decapitated heads arranged next to each other, and mosques being blown up.
The “ad” ends with the line: “Travel is inexpensive, because you won’t need a return ticket!”
Not everyone thinks the “ad” is an effective tool.
“I just thought it was bizarre,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News, dismissing the video as a symptom of “press release foreign policy” that is “fundamentally unserious.”
We can’t wait for the pouty-faced hashtag campaign.