THE NEW ERA OF ONLINE MEDIA….WHEN THE TERRORISTS HAVE THEIR OWN JOURNALISTS
HOW DAESH GOT ALHAYAT MEDIA CENTER?
As a free lance journalist and an independent researcher of terrorism issues, I was more than curious to follow some paths to the media covers for ISIL-ISIS-DAESH activities. We usually read or hear that the mentioned militants are announcing their threats, warnings, ideas or something else from their sick death cult project. I am sure that many of you were wondered how they do that and what channels they use to inform their followers and to attract also the fearful attention from those who are the potential target of their mission. I am wondered and I researched as far as I was able to do that because I am not a cyber maestro.
That is how I came to the ALHAYAT MEDIA CENTER, the Islamic State magazine, as it represent itself. You can see it by yourselves at https://alhayatmedia.wordpress.com/ . First of all, that is made on free blog website http://www.wordpress.com , which means it wasn’t made on some private exclusive dark zone website. It is an ordinary free blog website. I expected to face up with organized menu and rich content but all I could have seen it very poor managed site with a few arrogant statements and some, I would say, purposely made grammar mistakes in English. You will not find the war propaganda but you will find a kind of option to watch a video under the name ” Flame of war”. All I can notice is that majority of the contents havent been updated since last year , September. However, the twitter account which is a kind of twin soul to this website is more than active.But if you think that you will be reconnected to the twitter account of ISIL-ISIS-DAESH under the same name, you are wrong. You wont. Because that is not possible. You come to the twitter profile of the ALHAYAT MEDIA CENTER, with more than 6.000 followers and where you cant find any exclusive material of the militants but the comments of people who claim that this Center should be forbidden as an official media arm of DAESH.But if you try through the Google search engine to research ALHAYAT name, it will bring you to the http://www.alhayat.com/ , obviously the media platform of Saudi Family. The whole site is in Arabic language but it seems to be legitimate based one. Actually, it is considered as pan-Arabic media, which is in the ownership of UK Corporation, Alhayat Publishing Company, printed in London, Beirut, New York and Riyad. The name is very deep and in Arabic( الحياة) it means life. What made me confused is that the motto of Al-Hayat’s was taken from one Egyptian poet, Ahmed Shawki: “Life is belief and jihad”. This magazine considered under jihad the personal struggles but in these times, that could be also interpreted differently, especially when islamists are hiding behind the emphasized Islam ideology. Isnt a bit surprising that the same name is (mis)used twice?For different purposes. One is a regular informative portal, the second one is the terrorist voice from the shadow.If we dont analyze the rumors that Saudi Family could be linked with financing the terrorists of the DAESH, we should open our senses for all kind of soft connections which could be detected in between.
My second attempt to follow the digital jihad journalism was started with one informative portal from Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the name VIJESTI UMMETA at https://vijestiummeta.wordpress.com/ The good thing about researching this website, also made on free blog space, is the fact that I can understand Bosnian language and furthermore I can analyze what they are writing or referring to. As we already know, Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered as a serious factory of jihadist in the whole Europe , since the Wahhabi spirit became very dominant over there in the last 10 years. This is a typical jihadistic oriented site. It is daily updated and follow the death mission of DAESH as well as their announcements and comments. Most of the comments are hateful and cynic and most of them I see as a reflection of a writer who is trying to identify himself with the DAESH fake Islam ideology. But, I wanted something more concrete from DAESH so I was keep searching…and I was intrigued with one name which was all around the site Al Hayat Balqan , the man who was translating from Arabic to Bosnian language. His name in google brought me to the site jihadology.net where I found real ALHAYAT propaganda mashine. Here is just one video http://jihadology.net/2015/06/04/al-%E1%B8%A5ayat-media-center-presents-a-new-video-message-from-the-islamic-state-honor-is-in-jihad-a-message-to-the-people-of-the-balkans/ which addresses and call Muslims from Balkans to kill kafirs the best way they can and in every step they are able to. In this video, they are talking about the historical suffer of Muslims in Balkans and the group of Bosnian jihadists are inviting Muslims to join them in this battle. Video is more than horrific because they are talking in Arabic when it comes to Qur’an, in Bosnian when they call their brothers and sisters to follow them and everything is subtitled in English. I would say that this jihadology site is a kind of not valid. It seems it is DAESH media arm but whatever link I tried to connect to, the content was erased and links were fake. The only video was the one I mentioned with the direct message to the Balkans people. I would like also to add that the whole site is supported by Al Furqan production network. They present themselves as a Muslim heritage foundation which doesnt stop them to give logistic to the radical Islam, if we are talking about exactly the same group.
This is just the beginning of my research of terrorists digital connections and their media. In past, terrorists didnt have so many chances to make their own sick marketing as they have now. But in 21st century, with all technology, they are able to make a brand of themselves. They build websites, even if they are in deep web zone, they still exist and they reach those they want. They are active in social media and they are skilled in using all of media platforms.They want popularity like the pop stars. They want fans and fears. They want blood and tears. They should be stopped to multiplicity themselves in viral manner. The indoctrinated hateful people are the most dangerous people. We must not let them connect with those who are like them.
Problem of this high tech society is that we have so many smart phones but also so many ignorant people. Terrorists use both for their own sinister intentions.