The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have released a video promoting their (as yet unrecognised) state and militant organisation.
The 13-minute long video is professionally shot and edited, and shows a group of young men – including those from Britain and Australia – holding weapons and reciting militant Islamist slogans and passages from the Qur’an.
The aim of the video is to encourage young, western Muslims to travel to Iraq and Syria and become part of their jihad (struggle).
The creative strategy for persuading potential recruits is to portray members of the militia as relatively normal people who the audience could associate themselves with.
The setting for the majority of the video is a verdant, thriving and bright forest; this is to imply that the environment recruits could look forward to would be comfortable and relaxed. Occasionally there is footage showing groups of young men, often in balaclavas toting machine guns and seemingly having a good time; the sense of camaraderie and solidarity will no doubt appeal to the audience.
The video is however very long indeed and there isn’t enough interesting things happening or being said to justify this duration. The speeches often seem slightly confused, incoherent and are not particularly inspiring.
Nevertheless, I suspect the mere fact that the organisation has produced a professional looking video that speaks directly to the small group of people who were considering making the very dangerous trip will be inspiration enough for the potential recruits.