Thursday, April 24, 2008

Terrorist Propaganda Targets Contractors

WIRED reports that the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), a Sunni breakaway faction of al Qaeda, has released a video specifically targeting the contractors who protect US diplomats and provide key services to American uniformed personnel.

Sophisticated propaganda operations - such a slick website in English, Spanish, French and Arabic designed for Western media outlets and a strong presence on YouTube - seem to be hallmarks of the Islamic Army of Iraq and other new insurgent groups.

Noah Shachtman of writes:

The video starts on March 31, 2004 -- a day when Iraqis, not American contractors, were the ones acting barbaric. Four Blackwater employees were killed by locals after getting lost in Fallujah. Their bodies were burned, dragged through the streets, and hung from a bridge.
The video goes on to claim that "crimes against Iraqis happen on a daily basis done by unleashed barbarians dressed in security uniforms, criminals protected by law and instructed by the Bush administration to murder for the sake of killing." As this blog and others committed to the truth have worked hard to show, this is not at all the case. But the propaganda pieces of the IAI and others have been picked up and believed by the American media and extreme elements of the anti-war movement and the political left. The consequence? Terrorist vitriol against those serving the US government has now become "common knowledge."

This latest video from the IAI shows "that security contractors are not being targeted just as an extension of targeting US forces but rather as a direct target," says Ben Venzke, the CEO of IntelCenter, which meticulously tracks insurgent and jihadist propaganda.
While attacks on contractors are nothing new, this video is one sign that the threat profile for contractors has continued to increase and that groups like IAI are specifically looking for ways to attack contractors such as Blackwater both on the ground and in the information war space.

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