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

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Source: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, by DANIEL MILTON, August 28, 2018

Report Description

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 group’s media arm. This Combating Terrorism Center report draws on 13 internal documents that discuss the Islamic State’s 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 State’s 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 State’s 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.

Documents Released with Report

Clarification Regarding the Media of the Islamic State

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


General Guidance and Instructions

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Information Security

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Instructions in Use of PidginPortable

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Organizational Structure of the Media Office

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Responsibilities of Media Offices towards Amaq Agency

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Responsibilities of Media Offices towards Military Media

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Responsibilities of the Media Offices towards Al-Bayan Radio

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Summary Advice for Media Mujahid

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


The Essential Duties of the Media Mujahid

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


The Table to Evaluate Video Releases

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


Top Ten Releases Month of Rajab

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation


A Table of Statistics for the Video Releases

Download: Original Arabic / English Language Translation