EXCLUSIVE – Islamic State Showing Signs of Desperation as Western Counterterrorism Improves

A photo posted on internet on April 7, 2015 shows ISIS or Daesh (Daech) or "Islamic State" group militants posing in Yarmouk (Yarmuk) Palestinian camp, located in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, that is partially now under their control. Photo by Balkis Press/Sipa USA
AP File Photo: Balkis Press/Sipa USA

TEL AVIV – Islamic State has faced significant difficulties in enlisting Western recruits, an Arab intelligence official has told Breitbart Jerusalem.

The organization has returned to its original recruitment material, alluding to a doomsday war that is to take place near Aleppo in Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of last week’s attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the organization’s propaganda organ disseminated statements about the conquest of Constantinople as an overture to the conquest of “Crusader” Europe.

“In returning to its initial recruitment methods, IS signals that it seeks to return to propaganda that has proven itself, but mostly it reveals great distress,” the official said. “We no longer see exquisitely produced videos, but rather a use of classic leitmotivs, such as Salafi teachings about the end of time, and about the conquest of Turkey, who chose to join the infidel coalition, as a stepping stone on the way to conquering Rome and the Crusaders’ countries.”

The main difficulties stem from successful anti-IS coordination between Western countries as well as between Europe and Middle Eastern countries, the official said.

“Up until recently, Western countries didn’t detain or even question young men who wanted to travel to Turkey or the Middle East,” he said. “Neither did they pass on their names and details to the authorities in the region, but recently they have started to. This exchange of information has delivered a significant blow to IS’ recruitment apparatus. It deters potential candidates, and these difficulties trickle up very quickly, hence the return to the original propaganda.”

The organization’s distress has prompted it, on the one hand, to carry out attacks that are much more violent, but also, on the other, to look for new potential arenas, like Jordan.

IS has focused its efforts on creating an infrastructure of sympathizers, supporters, and informants among Jordanian Salafi groups, one that would substitute for the lost infrastructure in Syria and Iraq.

In relation to this, he added, the Jordanian security services have stepped up surveillance on Salafi strongholds such as Salt, Maan, Irbid, and Zarqa, the birthplace of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind the idea of an Islamic State that preceded the organization.