New Delhi, Jan 26: Hoax it if you cannot strike. This appears to be a new motto of terrorist groups in a bid to spread panic and confusion. Moreover they are ably aided by a section of the media covering such events who always put 2 and 2 to ensure that the sum total is 5.
In a lighter vein an intelligence bureau official had said, " we issue an alert, the media and police then go berserk and in the bargain ensure that the public panics beyond imagination.
Hoax it if you can't strike:
Intelligence Bureau officials say that in the recent past and especially after the emergence of the ISIS, the propaganda battle has become bigger. There have been several hoax calls made in the past which has sent the security mechanism in India into a tizzy. For the cops it is a difficult situation. In most cases the cops do know that it is a hoax, but cannot ignore it too.
Recently in Bengaluru there were two incidents. While one was a letter written to the French consulate threatening terror attacks another involved a bag being placed in a busy area. Both turned out to be hoaxes, but whoever did it managed to spread panic among the public.
Terrorist groups have largely relied on propaganda material to further their cause. While one part of the agenda does involve destruction and killing through strikes, the other involves just creating panic. The ISIS is known to rely largely on a propaganda battle. 80 per cent of the beheading videos are staged in a studio.
The fact however is that they are so slick in their production that it does manage to create a great deal of panic among some. It also impresses others who end up getting recruited into the terrorist group.
Killing people for the cameras:
Aki Peritz had a unique job in Iraq. One of his duties was to view beheading videos and track al-Qaeda in Iraq's media output for the CIA. Aki Peritz co-author of the book "Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden and Devastated Al Qaeda," is also a former CIA counterterrorism analyst.
He says, " I have watched dozens of these gory videos, and they used to be crude, amateurish efforts. But AQ's media operatives were quick learners and soon upgraded their product to the slick, multimedia productions commonplace today. They clearly killed these people for the cameras. Terrorists enjoy murdering people.
Despite the justifications for killing that often accompanied these videos, the murderers seemed to really have a good time putting people to the knife. Watch enough of these productions, and you'll generally notice the terrorist participants - the executioners and the others in the shot - seem very much at ease with what they are about to do.
They take to their jobs with gusto. Even the chants of "God is great" that accompany each murder are happy, full-throated ones. And they sometimes go well beyond execution and into mutilation.To my knowledge, few of these killers expressed remorse for their actions when they were caught.
Those true believers felt that what they were doing was completely acceptable - even essential - to advance their warped cause. And many are now free men again: After ISIS staged a largebreakout from Abu Ghraib prison in 2013, some 500 individuals at all levels of the terrorist organization found themselves back on the streets.
ISIS's delight in its gruesome exploits indicates the way its leaders would run their self-declared "caliphate" across a broad swath of Iraq and Syria. The ISIS uses a multi-layered strategy to gaining publicity- both on the Internet as well as in traditional media outlets. They reach different audiences.