Nico Prucha interview on ISIS’ successful use of videos as propaganda

VOX-Pol Research Fellow, Dr Nico Prucha, and Principle Data Scientist, VORTEX, University of Vienna, Ali Fisher, gave an interview to SciDev.Net last week on how the ‘media mujahideen’ of ISIS use modern technology to create films that work so effectively as propaganda for the group.

“The main characteristics of the ISIS content is a clear application of the written ideology that’s been created since the 1980s by the global Jihadist movements echoing from Afghanistan and then later on from Bosnia, but also in-between, from the Caucuses region. ISIS has taken up the generations of videos produced by Al-Qaeda”, Dr Prucha said.

“But”, he added, “it is very important to understand that ISIS has a different dynamic in Syria than in Iraq for a number of reasons. And within the respective environments they use ideology and local Arab traditions, and that in turn creates new content  – so you have an evolution of Jihadi videos which is unprecedented in terms of quantity; and also in terms of quantity, because pretty much every video is Full HD, 16×9 production and professionally made out.”

“In order to truly understand the videos, you need to be very well rooted in the Arabic texts to understand the application thereof,” Dr Prucha said.

For further discussion of the topic by Dr Prucha, read his posts on our blog: Words Matter: How the Arabic ideology of Jihadist movements translates into Non-Arab(ic) Online Networks and Pictures Matter: The Visual Culture of Jihadism