The jihadist group that refers to itself as Islamic State (IS) has just released a new video in which a British hostage and journalist, John Cantlie, is shown to be advertising a series of forthcoming IS propaganda videos. These videos promise to reveal the ‘truth’ about IS rule while deconstructing Western media coverage of the group. The videos also seem to be an attempt to galvanise Western public opinion against military intervention in the region.

A voice claiming to be that of Cantlie’s says “Over the next few programmes, I am going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State”. The voice also says “After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?”

We at Quilliam believe this is a desperate move on the part of IS and illustrates the fact that the previously confident and brash group is now panicking. The strategy of releasing beheading videos proved to be counter-productive and global civil society has united in condemnation of their ideology and actions.

This change in tactics is an attempt to win public sympathy by focusing on the media and previous conflicts while seeking to place pressure on Western governments not to intervene. US airstrikes and the building of an international anti-IS coalition have been a game-changer in Iraq and IS have already lost significant territory and fighters as a result.

Quilliam Managing Director, Ghaffar Hussain, says:

“IS simply cannot afford to have their so-called Caliphate dismantled since that would undermine the entire mythology the group relies on to galvanise fighters and attract recruits. Furthermore, attacking the freedom of the Western media is a tactic to distract from the terrorist group IS’s own myopic propaganda. This video represents a diversification of tactics and exposes core weaknesses within the group at this time.”