Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Waging an Anti-Irhabi Media Campaign

In waging an information campaign it is important to be in position to take advantage of events as they occur and to get media products out in a timely manner. An organization needs to be in place and prepared to move quickly. This is true generally with any kind of activist media campaign. In the effort to delegitimize the irhabi movement, all kinds of events have occurred and will continue to occur that can serve a useful purpose. For example, there was an anti-terror rally in Algeria recently to protest bombings that killed at least 50 people by al Qaeda's north African chapter. Rallies are exactly the kind of event that will provide excellent visual material for a media campaign. Material that can be produced in a variety of forms and distributed quickly on the internet, via cell phone, dvd etc. Our adversaries already have such an organization in place to take advantage of the events that they create to further their own agenda:

In the case of short attack videos, only the footage of the actual attack need come from Iraq. Once an affiliated individual has received that footage and basic accompanying information, which can be transferred over the internet or by mobile phone, he has only to add the insurgent group's logo, a short title sequence, and perhaps a soundtrack with a motivational song. He then uploads the resulting video product to a free upload-download site and posts and announcement to a forum. The video-editing software required to produce such a video is cheap and readily available. (Part 2: 3.3.1)

The same technology that enables the terrorists to wage a do-it-youself, decentralized media campaign is available for waging a non-violent anti-terror campaign as well. As we have seen in Anbar, al Qaeda's inclination to murder, torture, terrorize, and tyrannize other Muslims is a flaw that can be exploited to delegitimize their movement and serve as the catalyst for the creation of a Muslim anti-irhabi movement. We need to identify Muslims who want to act but maybe don't know how or perhaps feel alone in their opposition to the extremists and help them organize and build networks. This kind of campaign needs to be run by Muslims for it to have credibility, but we can be facilitators of such a movement.

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