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Pulling Back the Curtain: An Inside Look at the Islamic State's Media Organization

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Technical Report

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Combating Terrorism Center West Point United States

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Over the past five years, there has been a significant amount of discussion on the propaganda created and disseminated by the Islamic State. This discourse, which mainly relies on what the group creates for external publication, has been unable to answer questions regarding the structure, policies, and management of the groups media arm. This Combating Terrorism Center report draws on 13 internal documents that discuss the Islamic States media organization in great detail. These documents, obtained by the Department of Defense from Afghanistan, provide an insightful look at how the Islamic State managed its media network. More specifically, this report utilizes these documents to 1 demonstrate that Amaq News Agency is an official node of the Islamic States media organization, 2 show the level of detail and direction given to the creation of a wide range of products, 3 illustrate the way the Islamic States Diwan of Central Media used policies and programs to centralize control over the propaganda production process, and 4 outline the importance the media organization placed on information security.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Psychology

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