ISIS-linked media centers in the region around Mosul in northwestern Iraq have gone quiet as dozens of foreign IT experts have deserted ISIS’ ranks and returned to their home countries.
The group’s media centers have been used to broadcast pro-ISIS propaganda to advance their self-declared Caliphate.
Hundreds of foreign jihadis have deserted the group over the past days as the U.S. led coalition and Iraqi forces have stepped up airstrikes and made advancements in the region against ISIS command centers. Many deserters who were caught by ISIS were executed.
The recent wave of deserters was said to include a number of Americans who served as professional film makers for the extremist group, according to a local source.
The head of the Nineveh media center, Raafat al-Zarari, reported the loss of media and IT expertise, “because many of them have left their areas, especially after the US-led coalition forces intensified airstrikes on media and command centers in northern Iraq and Syria.”
According to the source, ordinary militants do not possess the technical ability to observe electronic devices, including laptops, computers, hard drives and smart phones, which have been collected by the Hisba police forces in Mosul.
Al-Zarari said a majority of those fleeing technical experts held American citizenship.
Another source, which preferred to remain anonymous, added that, “A number of American technicians have fled Mosul and crossed into Turkey through Syria earlier this week, while the remaining media workers do not have adequate technical expertise to do the same job of those technicians.”
Al-Zarari continued, “Some of those experts used to prepare multimedia reports in order to boost the group’s propaganda in a sophisticated manner. They were also delivering the materials to a large-scale audience on the social media. There experts have attracted thousands of new followers, washing their minds, inciting them to involve in the bloody terror group across Syria, Iraq and even Europe.”
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