News World Islamic State boss has change of heart on beheadings
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Islamic State boss has change of heart on beheadings

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After years of gloating at murder, the self-declared leader of all Muslims, Islamic State boss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has reportedly issued a global ban on depictions of violence.

To date, his network has marketed itself as the most bloodthirsty of all terror groups, spreading slickly-produced videos and images of beheadings, burnings, drownings and other atrocities.

Now, such brutal imagery will reportedly be banned. The astonishing reason – they may be offensive.

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Al-Baghdadi reportedly sent a letter to all his media offices instructing them to stop spreading this form of propaganda because it may ‘disgust Muslims’ and ‘scare their children’, ARA News reported.

An expert told The New Daily the images have served their primary purpose – to shock the world – and that the edict may reflect a change in tactic to broaden the terror group’s appeal.

abu-bakr-al-baghda
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims to be Mohammed’s successor.

“There’s a certain logic to it,” Monash University terrorism researcher Professor Greg Barton said. “The graphic tactic was always going to get people angry and respond.”

With ISIL now holding vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, Professor Barton said the group may have realised it cannot gain new ground and must instead focus on attracting, and retaining, new recruits.

“It’s counter-productive and no longer logical,” he said. “Recruitment now seems to be the priority.”

While depictions of violence may now be banned, the violence itself continues unchecked.

On Sunday, it was reported that boys as young as 10 are being shown videos of beheadings as instructional material.

The boys are then given dolls and knives with which to practice head cutting.

“Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit,” a former ISIL captive identified as Yahya, 14, told Associated Press.

“The trainer said if I didn’t do it, he’d shoot me. They beat us everywhere.”

jihad-school

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believe at least 1100 Syrian children under 16 were recruited to the Islamic State group this year.

At least 52 were killed in fighting, including eight suicide bombers, it said.

A Syrian politician and lawyer said the ban on images was not enough.

“Instead of banning the release of such videos, Baghdadi should have banned the crimes behind the scenes,” Ferid Hisso told ARA News.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims to be the Caliph – the successor to Mohammed as leader of all Muslims. The claim is refuted by mainstream Islam.

The brutal imagery spread under al-Baghdadi’s leadership has given rise to a perception that his terror group is a ragtag bunch of bloodthirsty killers.

The truth is far more sinister, Professor Barton told The New Daily.

“The real leadership is a whole lot more sophisticated than those thugs,” he said.

“It’s tempting to see them as an apocalyptic death cult … but behind that they’re a group made up of former Iraqi intelligence officials.

“We are looking at a very professional and sophisticated outfit.”

– with Rose Donohoe

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