March 2, 2010 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 592

Behind the Scenes of Virtual Jihad IV–Jihadi Media: A Global Production of Local News

March 2, 2010 | By Eli Alshech and Y. Apelbaum*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 592

In the past two years there has been a surge in the quality and quantity of jihad media, as is evident from the numerous texts, films, and images distributed by Islamist websites on a daily basis. What started as a small group of jihadi media organizations has, within several years, mushroomed into a vast network of regional jihadi media branches throughout the Islamic world, Asia, and Europe. Surprisingly, these secondary jihad news outlets, which claim to operate independently from each other and autonomously from the global major jihad news outlets, have exhibited no learning curve. On the contrary; the professional quality of their news productions is indistinguishable from that of most Middle Eastern mainstream broadcast media right from the outset. Moreover, the films that they purportedly created on their own are uniform in both style and content and conform to existing commercial media standards.

The purpose of this article is to show that despite their implicit or explicit claims of independence, the jihad media outlets, whether global or local, are operating under an umbrella organization and coordinated media network which resembles a large news cooperation, rather than local grassroots jihadi cells. ...

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