Do ISIS Recruiting Videos Show Donald Trump? Here's How The Terrorist Organization Gains Supporters
Saturday night's presidential debate included thoughtful discussion on how the Democratic candidates would work to eradicate ISIS. Martin O'Malley and Hillary Clinton both referenced ISIS recruiting videos during the conversation, with O'Malley saying that training videos suggest ISIS devotees use the gun show loophole to acquire weapons, and Clinton saying that ISIS was showing potential recruits videos of Trump in order to foster anti-American sentiment. Fact checkers are all over those two assertions — neither has been confirmed so far — but what do ISIS recruiting and training videos really look like?
The radical Islamist terrorist group's short films are a far cry from the Taliban's rudimentary ones that showed a lone group member speaking directly into the camera. ISIS has been known to create Hollywood-style trailer videos in order to draw new adherents to its cause. The videos have showcased the group's brutality, pledged retribution against its enemies, and promised its followers power and salvation. While videos released by the group used to center on grisly beheadings, they've been less graphic as of late, potentially to avoid alienating recruits. As ISIS grows, its strategy seems to evolve.
In September 2014, its video "Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun" showed footage of the attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.
They've released videos in perfect English, probably in hopes of winning over Americans and other Westerners.
And, they've launched campaigns targeted specifically at Canadian citizens.
In August 2015, the FBI warned that ISIS was specifically targeting women with propaganda showing seemingly affluent families.
A video called "No Respite" released in November 2015 mocked U.S. military action in the Middle East and showed the terrorist group's expanding territory.
Whatever the group is doing, it appears to be working, with U.S. officials saying the terrorist organization is "growing like crazy."