A propaganda film for the Somalian Al-Qaeda cadet branch has shown jihadist fighters living the high life, hunting African big game, eating rich food and relaxing in the bush.
Part of a series of dispatches about life with the jihadist movement called ‘From the Front Lines’, the film is the latest piece of propaganda from radical Islamist groups portraying life in service as an exciting, glamorous existence.
Produced by the media wing of Al-Shabaab, the radical Somalian al-Qaeda affiliate the dispatch promises good food, camaraderie, and adventure as new fighters “travel to new lands and explore new territories”.
Far from the ascetic existence of war with rag-tag Islamist militias fighting to rout Christianity and competing sects of Islam from north and east Africa, the film portrays the wildlife of east Africa as a feast laid out by Allah, ripe for the taking. Delivering different messages to different audiences, the film even includes spoken word in clearly British accents, which reflects the number of recruits from the UK from both the born and later convert Muslim communities reports The Times.
Appealing to would-be Islamist killers with a sense of romance and adventure, the video shows fighters on safari hunting hunting giraffe, buffalo and antelope on the savanna. The narrator, in English, explains in the familiar style of a wildlife documentary: “The mujahidin are tourists. They get to see the beauty of the creation of Allah. They get to live close with the creation of Allah… The mujahidin [are] close to nature”.
Another narrator presents a different view of life with Al-Shabaab in the Swahili language, promising food rather than adventure for the hungry people of civil-war ravaged failed state Somalia. “There’s no shortage of meat here. It’s a great blessing from Allah. Here you do not need a permit to hunt these animals. In the lands of Islam these animals are free”, he says.
Calling would-be fighters to a glamorous and comfortable life in the Islamic world is a key part of Islamist propaganda films. As well as the glory associated with fighting Jihad, the Islamic State’s propaganda has also focussed on the abundance of food for fighters, and the stories escaping the caliphate about the ready availability of child sex slaves will be appealing to some.
Bbreitbart London reported in 2014 on the emerging trend in the Islamic State of publishing funny cat photos on their propaganda accounts. Showing cats cuddling with Islamist fighters and sleeping on machine guns, one Twitter account even claimed each Mujahideen going to join the Islamic State would receive a free cat.
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