Author(s): Ingram, H. (The George Washington University Program on Extremism); Whiteside, C. (US Naval War College Monterey); Winter, C. (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, ExTrac)
The Islamic State’s complete loss of territorial control in Iraq and Syria in 2019 forced its central media unit to adapt in order to continue to produce the high-quality products for which it had become infamous. This paper evaluates this transformation, and measures both output, themes, and quality of product in the years since the collapse of the territorial caliphate. We distill some of the elements the group has used to successfully produce and disseminate products from strengthening affiliates abroad, and the impact the central media has had on these distant media cells. Through our research regarding non-state actor influence operations, a sense of the larger, comprehensive character of the ever-evolving information environment can be derived.