SYRIA

ISIS Releases Promotional ‘Documentary’

ISIS supporters started circulating a promotional poster from the terror group's official media wing on Wednesday

SYRIA
A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghd — REUTERS
Jul 06, 2016 at 2:23 PM ET

Excited ISIS supporters spent Wednesday eagerly anticipating the release of a new video from the group’s media wing. It came complete with its own promotional poster—as well as a glimpse of the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Starting Wednesday morning, supporters online began circulating a poster with the caption “Coming soon”—to promote the release. The video, which was released several hours later by ISIS’ Foorqan media wing, is a 15-minute propaganda “documentary,” explaining ISIS’ structure and  organization. It begins with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader. Baghdadi, who last appeared on tape in December 2015, describes his role as part military, part religious. He “upholds and spreads religion,” he says, including “enforcing the people’s adherence to Sharia,” as well as “defend[ing] the homeland.”

In the video, the terror group says it has 35 “provinces” in total, including 19 inside Syria and Iraq, 16 outside—in places like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It also gives detailed explanations about their ministries of health, education, mosques, Islamic police force, agriculture, and more.

The video, which has relatively high production values in line with the rest of the terror group’s official media, comes on the heels of a string of crippling losses. The Iraqi Army declared in late June that it had retaken Fallujah, a strategic city near Baghdad that the terror group had held for years.

The video’s release was likely timed to coincide with Eid, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which comes this week. ISIS has used the month as a justification to call for intensified terror campaigns.