On Security

The Islamic State Loses an Important Ideological Weapon

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Apr 13, 2017 | 08:02 GMT
The Islamic State Loses an Important Ideological Weapon
The Rumiyah magazine profile of Ahmad Abousamra reads "Among the Believers Are Men." But though there are still many men associated with the Islamic State, fewer and fewer of them are as gifted a propagandist as Abousamra.

Last week, the Islamic State released the eighth edition of its Rumiyah monthly magazine. Its cover story: an article lionizing Rumiyah's former editor, Ahmad Abousamra, who was killed in January by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike near Tabqa, Syria. Other experts have already done a commendable job of retracing Abousamra's steps as he transformed from a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston's computer science program to a propagandist of terrorism. (I encourage readers interested in his past to look at the profiles compiled by CNN's Paul Cruickshank and the Long War Journal's Thomas Joscelyn.) Rather than repeating their good work, I'd like to use Abousamra's case to look at the importance of propagandists to extremist groups like the Islamic State -- and the impact their removal from the battlefield can have in the fight against terrorism....

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