Report says Islamic State extremists using mainstream media

LONDON (AP) — A report based on a translated Islamic State group document says the extremists consider mainstream media to be an effective weapon for spreading its radical message.

The International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence in London said Monday that IS has a three-pronged media strategy to gain support that includes launching media "projectiles."

The report by senior researcher Charlie Winter is based on "Media Operatives," a 55-page document published online by Islamic State last year.

Winter, who translated the document from Arabic into English, said the extremists have three interwoven strategies: use media to project an attractive, positive alternative that offers something to replace the status quo; use media to repudiate the alleged lies told by so-called "crusader nations"; and use media to project spectacular events, like the assaults on Paris and Brussels and the filmed beheading of captives.

He said the group's media operation has flagged as it has lost ground in Iraq and Syria in the last year.

"They are operating at below half capacity compared to this time last year and videos are few and far between," he said. "But it manages through its propaganda to tell a very different story to true believers."

The report finds effective use of mainstream media, "if leveraged correctly," can have more "far-reaching" power than the most powerful bombs, the militants believe.

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