The Islamic State will be ramping up their propaganda efforts in a bid to inspire and direct attacks in the West – with Australia seen as a priority target, an expert has claimed.
Dr Haroro Ingram, a leading expert in terrorism propaganda, said it would be a big mistake for policy makers to assume the threat of ISIS is over.
Instead, he says Australia must be better prepared for an influx of terrorist propaganda as the group enters a new strategic phase following their loss of territory in Iraq and Syria.
‘What we’re seeing at the moment is a group that’s in big trouble,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
ISIS will ramp up propaganda efforts in a bid inspire attacks in the West – with Australia seen as a priority target. Pictured, the latest issue of the group’s flagship magazine featured an article purportedly written by an Australian woman who went to live under ISIS rule
‘The majority of the territory they controlled, they have lost – and propaganda will increase as the group weakens.’
Dr Ingram, who is a Research Fellow and lecturer for International Relations at the Australian National University said the next period of the terror group’s operations will see them push into new territories and increase their propaganda efforts.
‘The fight isn’t ending, far from it. They are going to place their propaganda machine at the forefront of their efforts to survive,’ Dr Ingram said.
‘Australia is an important part of their campaign, it is still very important for ISIS propaganda efforts to try to influence Australian supporters.’
Australia must be better prepared for an influx of terrorist propaganda as the group enters a new strategic phase following their loss of territory in Iraq and Syria. Pictured, Neil Prakash, from Melbourne, has featured in ISIS propaganda videos
Tareq Kamleh (pictured), an Australian doctor who travelled to Syria to join ISIS, has also featured in recruitment videos made by the terror group
He added: ‘If you thought their propaganda machine was good when ISIS was successful, wait till you see what they do when they are weak.
‘The propaganda unit is one of the most revered units of the organisation.
‘They send their best and their brightest there, they’re like ISIS Mad Men,’ referencing the hit American TV series.
‘They would be seen arguing about a word or a picture.’
He added: ‘What is most impressive about their propaganda is not that its slick, it is the little psychological tricks that they use.
Women who have joined ISIS share snapshots of their lives on Twitter. Above, a tweet purportedly from an Australian in Syria was captioned: ‘Chillin in the khilafah, lovin life’
‘It is the way they draw on really pertinent issues to gain more attention.’
Dr Ingram also noted that the very first issue of ISIS’s flagship magazine in September 2016 featured an Australian.
The latest issue of Rumiyah featured an article purportedly written by an Australian woman who travelled from Australia to live under ISIS rule.
Dr Ingram said Australia and its allies need to start developing strategies to counter this next phase of the battle against the terror group.
Dr Ingram said Australia and its allies need to start developing strategies to counter this next phase of the battle against the terror group. File photo
‘We need to be far more sophisticated in how we confront this propaganda than we have in the past,’ he said.
‘What Marawi has demonstrated to the world is that ISIS will deploy networks to different locations in an effort to stretch the focus and resources of its enemies.
‘If we are not co-coordinating our efforts transnationally, we may be contributing to the conditions they require to survive and perhaps rise again.’