Al-Qaeda Propaganda Production at New High
Noah Shachtman points to an IntelCenter report that Al-Qaeda’s media production house, as-Sahab, is now releasing video and audio messages at a higher rate “than at any point since the inception” of the terrorist group.
In 2006, as-Sahab released 58 videos — about one every six days — tripling its total from the previous year. In the first three months of 2007, that rate has increased, to a video every five days.
IntelCenter credits the uptick to “increased production/release capability.” But, to me, it looks like another piece of evidence that “senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network.”
The two aren’t mutually exclusive, certainly. It seems quite likely, though, that this is mostly a function of changing technology and a natural evolution in the propaganda machine. After all, everyone and his dog is now putting out videos, podcasts, and the like in an effort to spread their message “virally” through “Web 2.0” technologies. Everybody from PR firms to the Heritage Foundation to Members of Congress are trying to catch that wave. Why wouldn’t al Qaeda just naturally do the same thing?