ISIS Propaganda videos are so highly effective in recruiting that the only way to counter them is through increasing awareness of the military defeats the terrorist group has suffered according to a recent article in Vox Media, a leading on-line media group specializing in digital media and technology
According to U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper approximately 20,000 fighters from 100 different countries have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS, much of them recruited via on-line video propaganda.
The article written by Johnny Haris and Zack Beauchamp said that although the ISIS propaganda videos are "some of the foulest things on the internet" they are a highly calculated tactic to convince people to leave their home countries and join ISIS.
They said ISIS videos appeal mainly young people, mostly young males, who believe they lack a sense of direction or purpose. They come from places where thee is extremely high unemployment " but they come from enough different countries from around the world that we can say, with confidence, that radicalization isn't just about either proximity to ISIS or poverty. It's about something more: a sense of political grievance on the part of the recruits, sure, but also a life of romantic adventure in a holy war".
The ISIS videos are a lot different from earlier al-Qaeda produced ones which were mostly low-action, single-cut videos, shot with no music. The ISIS videos contain sophisticated editing and camera techniques with animation and effects "unparalleled among violent Islamists.” The videos are produced in a variety of languages increasing their international appeal. They also have a real plot which usually is aimed at ridding the organization of the blame of barbarism by saying it id getting rid of the evil in the world on behalf of God.
They also show a range of social and medical services that are available to ISIS members that according to experts do not really exist.
Enough people are sucked in by the videos that it has enabled ISIS to hang on to enough territory to survive for the present, and have some military victories mainly on the backs of foreign recruits lured by the videos and other sophisticated propaganda.
"The only way to beat back ISIS's ability to recruit, in the long run, will be to expand on the defeats ISIS has already suffered" concludes the authors.