ISIS Features Johnny Depp in Video Targeting Movie, Media Companies to Rally Online Jihadists
A new official video from ISIS singles out an array of Western movie studios and networks as enemies in the media realm while chiding online jihadists to have "good manners" and "bring people together" while disseminating gory propaganda.
"Inside the Khilafah 8" from the Al-Hayat Media Center begins with standard ISIS battlefield scenes and a reminder to adherents that they need to be "working together toward one goal."
The English-speaking narrator has voiced ISIS videos in the past and is believed to be Canadian.
"If you're unable to make hijrah [migration] to the khilafah [caliphate] to support your religion and to fight on the front lines, then terrorize the disbelievers with your jihad outside the khilafah by targeting them and shedding their blood," he says as the film shows gory video of attacks including Nice, Brussels, Orlando, and Paris.
"Make whatever preparations are easy for you... select your targets and carry out a strike that will tear out their hearts and make them lose their minds for a piercing bullet or a stab deep in the intestines, or the detonation of an explosive in your lands is akin to a thousand operations here with us," the video advises would-be jihadists. "And target them on the streets."
"So equip yourselves for your war and ignite its fires so that its flames may consume the Crusaders and the murtaddin [apostates]." The film shows the creation of a pressure-cooker bomb.
The narrator stresses that if armed combat "isn't possible, then support your khilafah on the digital front."
Here the film quickly breezes through snippets of movies -- including "Gladiator" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" -- and news shows, and flashes the names and logos of several companies, channels and networks, including Warner Bros., Miramax, Disney, Viacom, Pixar, Universal, Paramount, Marvel, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Sony, DreamWorks, Village Roadshow Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Discovery, History, AMC, HBO, Showtime, National Geographic, TIME, BBC, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, Guardian, Sky, Al Jazeera, ABC, Al Hurra, NBC, France 24, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Sunday Times. The UK newspaper The Telegraph is misspelled as "The Telegram."
"In the digital world, America beguiled the people for so many years by monopolizing the media and using it to spread its false notion of invincibility while leading the war against the religion of Allah and his allies. And now, this arena has become a source of their regret in their war against the Islamic State," the narrator states, arguing that "the Islamic State has utilized the same tools to confront their lies, expose their weakness, and destroy their falsehoods."
The video lashes out at counter-campaigns that use fake ISIS accounts or propaganda materials, stating that coalition allies were "spending billions in an endeavor to diminish the strong digital presence of the khilafah state, seeking the aid of online mercenaries in a vain attempt to counter the message and the aqidah [creed] of the Islamic State and extinguish the light of Allah."
They show logos of not just the National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ, but of Anonymous hacking ops that have been targeting and taking down ISIS sites for years.
"They established fake media entities and channels that claim to support the Islamic State and began joining specific channels, aiding them and adopting their ideology all in order to infiltrate," the narrator continues, saying the goals have been "undermining the Islamic State's institutions," "discrediting its leaders and officials," "collecting a large amount of information about the khilafah state" and trying to "break the bonds of unity between the sons of Islam and their state" by causing "turmoil and affliction."
They define a "true supporter of the Islamic State from the malicious antagonist" as one "bringing joy to the believers and enraging the disbelievers" and who adopts messaging of official media "and strives to disseminate it far and wide."
ISIS took more digs against potential double-crossers, saying that a faithful ISIS online operative "is not someone who publishes conflicting messages and fishes for leaks and conflicting material" but "protects the secrets of the Islamic State" and "does not reveal identities."
The video adds that an ISIS operative should be "characterized by good manners, recognizes the rights of his brothers and the rights of the leaders of his state, seeks to bring people together and holds firmly to the rope of Allah."
The narrator slams a nominal ISIS operative who "openly spreads his dissension and accusations in public channels under the pretext of denouncing evil and offering advice when it fact these dangerous deeds are a form of disobedience to Allah."
Jihadists are advised to "strive patiently in the digital arena and do not allow the disbelievers to enjoy a moment of sleep or to live a pleasant life."
"If they close one account, open another three. And if they close three, open another 30," adds the narrator.
Showing the Associated Press among an array of hashtags that includes Islamic State, the video tells online jihadists to "terrorize them, fill them with fear, ignite the fires of conflict and create a climate of anxiety and distress on every one of their platforms."
"For with every press of a key on the keyboard you amplify the force and reach of the explosives and with every click of a mouse and every piece of content you disseminate whether a thunderous nasheed [song] or a scene depicting the khilafah's warriors, your support enrages the disbelievers," the narrator adds.