The Islamic State’s propaganda apparatus has suffered a setback in recent weeks, loyalists in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem, admitting that the decline in the organization’s online presence came as it experienced a series of defeats on the battlefield.
The organization’s networks on the messaging app Telegram previously featured hundreds of updates daily, including reports, statements, pictures, and other publications, covering anything from military updates to so-called crime and punishment in the “caliphate.”
Over the last few days, the volume of updates, including from the IS-affiliated news agency Aamaq, slowed considerably.
The first sign of seeming distress came from IS spokesperson Mohammed Al Adnani, who said last month, during Ramadan, that the organization’s goal is not to rule over territory but to enact Sharia law worldwide, and that its men will continue to fight for it “even if they go back to live in the desert” like they did in the past.
Abu Alayna Al-Anssari, a top jihadi in Gaza who maintains regular contact with IS, says that the setback is tactical.
“It’s a natural reaction to developments on the ground,” he told Breitbart Jerusalem. “Clearly, war is like ebb and flow, but we have other tools in the box, as we demonstrated recently in attacks around the world. I’m not saying the two are connected, but when you fight us in Ramadi and Fallujah, expect us to retaliate in France, the US, and elsewhere.”
He added that IS concentrates its effort in the battlefield, “as we see now in Ramadi, where we retreat from one area and take over another. Clearly, it comes at the expense of propaganda. Many brothers who were in charge of the propaganda services were hit in one of the many strikes on our organization, so it’s natural that there’ll be a certain setback, but we’ll rebound, I’m sure.”
“As long as the pressure on us in Syria and Iraq intensifies, we’ll step up our efforts to strike back on the soil of the aggressors, as we’ve seen recently,” he added. “The same goes for the Syrian and Iraqi governments, they should brace for more attacks on areas under their control, especially Baghdad and Damascus. In the longer term, I’m assuming that the organization will dedicate more efforts to its military capability in the US and Europe. They won’t have time to celebrate their tactical achievements in the Middle East, because as soon as they do they’ll face the actions of our brothers in America and Europe, as we’ve shown only this morning in Germany.”
“The Crusaders in America and Europe need to know that their lives as they knew them for the past few decades will never be the same again,” he concluded.