Pro-Islamic State Media Group Seeks to Incite Violence, Releases Video on How to Craft Makeshift Rifle Suppressor
Islamic State-aligned Doat Al-Falah has been conducting an online campaign to instruct and incite jihadis to conduct attacks against the movement’s designated enemies, and, under the rubric of “the Military Training Department,” it has released a video on how to create a makeshift suppressor (they use “silencer”) for an AK-type rifle. The production was promoted as a “special release” so it remains unclear if there will be more of its kind.
Doat Al-Falah had been publishing pro-IS media content for some time prior to the Military Training Department’s introduction. The added instructional element should be understood as one part of their broader media incitement strategy.
The network’s materials are disseminated in multiple languages and circulated throughout the pro-IS communications ecosystem. There is a notable crowd-sourcing dynamic around the campaign as well — the new technical assistance program pushes out and feeds content downstream into channels where administrators share and caption, and where supporters discuss, exchange ideas, post related materials, and ask others for further information.
Video on How to Build a Suppressor
Doat Al-Falah’s premiere production for the Military Training Department was focused on how to “easily and with cheap and easily available materials” craft a “rifle silencer” for AKs “in the easiest, effective, and tested way.” The AK model was likely chosen as it is the most accessible and cost-effective rifle in much of the world. However, the type of makeshift suppressor featured in the video can also be made to fit other types of guns.
The instructor appears to be using an AKM rifle (identifiable by the gun and barrel profile) that likely chambers 7.62x39mm ammunition. Interestingly, the rifle is covered with a blanket — apart from the barrel and muzzle — presumably to conceal features of the weapon that could be used to identify the gunman. Later in the video, it is apparent that the rifle has a rail dust cover and rail handguards. Upon completing the build, the instructor tests out the suppressor which successfully reduces sound. There are some possible downsides to using this component such as added weight and lowered accuracy.
There have been some noteworthy responses to the release — IS supporters have shared complementary videos on how to assemble and take apart AKs. This information is potentially useful for plotters looking to clean and perform maintenance on their weapons. Other online sympathizers posted instructions on how to use mortars and build various explosive devices such as sticky or magnetic bombs. Doat Al-Falah itself has circulated images describing how to use dynamite and has a record of promoting low-cost terrorism activity involving knives and arson.
The video’s introduction tapped into some common themes historically propagated by the Islamic State and amplified by its supporters. Doat Al-Falah opened the production by appealing to “every supporter of the Islamic State,” “everybody sensitive about his religion and protective for the honor of the monotheists,” “those who want to support the religion of Allah Almighty,” those who want to hasten “the return of the Khilafah,” and “those who want to meet Allah almighty and enter heaven.”
Doat Al-Falah’s messaging campaign fits seamlessly into the Islamic State’s broader media culture. The group seeks to motivate and inspire supporters to fulfill their supposed religious obligation to strike the movement’s enemies, and it advocates planning, preparation, training, and practice while identifying desirable targets. It also emphasizes the importance of appealing to Muslim youth.
Their directives stress the necessity of preparing and conducting prison break operations, travelling to join IS branches, helping “a mujahid prepare himself and get what is needed for travel and battle,” taking “care of a mujahid’s family,” ambushing “investigators, judges, spies, and prison guards,” giving “donations and money to help the sisters meet their needs and to help release prisoners with money,” participating “in sharing and publishing the suffering of prisoners,” and inciting “others to participate in Jihad … all over the world.” The network regularly threatens and calls for attacks on America, its anti-Islamic State coalition allies, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Shiites.
Although Doat Al-Falah is not particularly significant, and its Military Training Department approach may not do much to move the needle in terms of violent incitement, its campaign is representative of the still-energized IS and pro-IS media ecosystem and support base. These elements clearly and consistently state their intent to commit violence in the West and around the world. The group functions as one node within a global constellation of pro-IS media groups and online propaganda creators reinforcing and adding momentum to official Islamic State narratives in furtherance of the cause.