Islamic State terrorists have begun English-language radio news transmissions on their al-Bayan radio network. The bulletins were launched Tuesday and are the latest step in the group’s campaign to reach extremists beyond the Middle East.
The first bulletin, which provided an overview of their activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya, discussed a range of topics including the alleged death of an IS commander in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital, Damascus, a suicide bombing in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk and mortar attacks on militias in Sirte, Libya.
The Islamic State terrorists hold territory in a third of Iraq and Syria and are becoming increasingly active in Libya. The group also publishes a monthly online English-language magazine, Dabiq, with religious lessons, plus news about its activities.
Islamic terrorists already use sites like YouTube to upload gruesome beheading videos. The nature of social media is such that even when the videos are taken down they have already been copied thousands of times and are being circulated via sites like Twitter and Facebook.
In November, David Cameron told the Daily Telegraph: “A new and pressing challenge is getting extremist material taken down from the internet. There is a role for government in that. We must not allow the internet to be an ungoverned space.
“But there is a role for companies too. In the UK we are pushing companies to do more, including strengthening filters, improving reporting mechanisms and being more proactive in taking down this harmful material.
“We are making progress but there is further to go. This is their social responsibility. And we expect them to live up to it.”
He pledged to work with internet service providers to create a button to automatically report terrorist material on the internet. So far the system has not been implemented.
Additional reporting by Associated Press