Over the past few days, the following videos were disseminated on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). The three videos below represent three genres of videos produced by ISIS: the first is a video documenting an attack carried out by ISIS, the second illustrates ISIS’ achievement of one of its goals (freeing prisoners), and the third outlines ISIS’ core beliefs.
This video begins with an ISIS commander taking credit for an attack on a “secret” Iraqi police station in northern Baghdad. The commander says that the order to attack the police station came directly from the “ISIS military base,” and vows to continue carrying out attacks “in support of Ahl al Sunna [Sunni Muslims].” He says that the goals of such attacks are “liberation and the caliphate, with Allah’s permission.” The video goes on to show night footage from the attack on the police station, with a banner at the bottom reading “raiding a secret Savafid [Shi’ite] police headquarters – north Baghdad.” ISIS fighters are seen battling Iraqi police forces and then storming the headquarters and seizing weapons, ammunition, and other material from the station. Starting at 4:46, the video shows footage of “the Savafid [Shi’ite] army’s flight from their barracks fearing confrontation with the lions [of ISIS] – Ninewa.” The video concludes with shots of the “loot of the apostates [ghana’im al murtadeen],” more items seized by ISIS from Iraqi soldiers.
This video, titled “The Islamic State Wilayat Ninewa Freeing the Detainees From The Savafid Prisons,” purports to show a group of recently freed Iraqi prisoners who have joined or rejoined the ISIS ranks. A group of 30-50 prisoners is shown sitting in a mosque flanked by black ISIS flags. The banner at the bottom of the screen reads, “The freed prisoners from the rafida Savafid [Shi’ite] prisons.” The video concludes with images of freed prisoners taking up arms; a banner at the bottom of the screen reads, “The freed ISIS prisoners joining their brothers in the battlefield.”
This video is titled “The Doctrine of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, may Allah keep it.” The video presents a rundown of 18 core ISIS tenets, ostensibly in order to “respond to some lies” about ISIS circulating in the media. The 18 core tenets outlined in the video are as follows:
1) The requirement to destroy and remove all manifestations of polytheism and to proscribe its means.
2) The rafida [Shi’ites] are a community of polytheism and apostasy who prevent the application of many obvious tenets of Islam.
3) The infidelity and apostasy of the sorcerer and the requirement to kill him and not accept his repentance.
4) We do not deem any Muslim commander/leader a kafir [infidel].
5) The requirement of adjudicating according to Allah’s law by way of bringing cases to Shar’iah courts.
6) The requirement to revere the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him.
7) Secularism, patriotism, nationalism, et cetera, are all outright infidelity that removes [a believer] from the religious community.
8) Aiding and assisting the occupier in any form is considered infidelity and apostasy.
9) Jihad in the cause of Allah is religious requirement since the fall of al Andalus [Southern Spain].
10) Civilians who have been defended by the “cannons of disbelief” and have triumphed are considered infidels.
11) The requirement to fight the police and military of the state of apostasy and idol-worship.
12) The jihadi groups working on the field are brothers to us in religion.
13) Any group or individual who enters into an agreement with the occupying invader is not seen as binding on us and instead [any such agreement] is seen as void.
14) The requirement to revere the pure clerics.
15) We recognize the right of those who preceded us in jihad, we take up their home and succeed them with goodness.
16) The requirement to rescue Muslim prisoners from the hands of the infidels and to take care of their families and the families of the martyrs.
17) The requirement that the ummah [Muslim nation] studies the issues of its religion as well as requiring that it learns what is necessary from “worldly knowledge.”
18) The proscription of everything that calls for obscenity and we require from women the religious requirement of covering her face and maintain her purity.