The Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is a hardline Jihadist group that formerly had ties to Al Qaeda. After conquering large swathes of Iraq and Syria, ISIS has announced their intention to reestablish the Caliphate and have declared their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the Caliph.
During the first week of August, ISIS took over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged
While the Islamic State is hardly friendly to journalists, VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh was able to get open access to the ISIS' inner workings for an impressive five part video series
VICE News reporter, award-winning journalist, and filmmaker Medyan Dairieh was given access to the group to produce a five-part documentary The Islamic State.spectator.co.uk
The documentary offers an inside look into the self-proclaimed caliphate, its members, and their way of life. Dairieh spent three weeks filming and interviewing the Islamic State members as they trained new recruits, methodically indoctrinated children, and established Sharia police, courts, and prisons. The documentary was released on Thursday, August 7.foreignpolicyblogs.com
Dairieh shows ISIS in the manner they'd like to be portrayed. Crucifixions, kids brandishing Kalashnikovs, beheadings, joy-riding in tanks, his documentary veers between the terrifying and the absurd.
The first video was released on YouTube on 7 August, in which Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where ISIS fighters are laying siege on one of the Syrian Army's bases
In the second video, reporter Dairieh follows ISIS through the streets of their recently-declared capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa, which you would notice is publicly devoid of women
Jubilant scenes in the video show excited boys, some toting weapons almost as large as they are, listening eagerly as their elders proclaim victory. Footage said to be taken from Raqqa, Syria, shows gun-wielding men wearing camouflage uniforms atop tanks supplied by the US to the Iraqi Army.couriermail.com.au
The videos pump out ISIS's threatening messages. In the second video, Abu Mosa, ISIS Press Officer, is filmed saying that, if Turkey continues to hold water in the Euphrates river via the Atatürk Dam, ISIS will 'liberate Turkey'
The video shows how the ISIS have a preaching van that purveys sharia secrets and is driven by "Abdullah the Belgian"
In the video, Abdullah is shown leading his son through a bone-chilling show of religious doctrine:
After giving his son a lesson on the notion of killing people, Abdullah then declares this for the camera:
In the third video, reporter Dairieh shadows the Hisbah, the ISIS's religious police, through their Syrian capital, Raqqa, and visits prisoners whose "crimes" involved not being sufficiently Muslim
The video shows Abu Obida, a leader of the Hisbah, and his colleagues prowling the streets like beat cops looking for inadequately religious civilians to arrest or tell them how to live
The video then shows the prisoners of the Islamic State in their common cell. Their punishments include:
One man, arrested for drug use, professes nothing but love for the Islamic State, whose religious "education" in prison has shown him the error of his ways. That is a narrative common to all the prisoners Dairieh visited. But it may not be enough for the drug convict when he goes to sentencing; drug offenses are often punished by execution.gawker.com
The fourth video shows how Dairieh has gone where no other reporter has managed: into the heart of the Islamic State, shedding light on how the ISIS treats practitioners of minority religions like Christianity and the Yazidi faith
The details are disturbing—a man is crucified, a Christian church is seized and turned into a jihad indoctrination center for children—but what is perhaps even more striking than the Stone Age conception of justice discussed is the matter-of-fact, almost low-key mood of the footage.slate.com
In the final video, reporter Dairieh was taken 200 miles from the ISIS's power base in the Syrian city of Raqqa to the Iraqi border. There, after defeating the Iraqi army manning the checkpoint, ISIS fighters were working further to bulldoze the border.
As ISIS tear-apart a barrier that divided Iraq and Syria, its fighters declare an end of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a nearly 100-year-old pact between France and Britain that divided up the Middle East
For now, that area between Iraq and Syria is part of a new territory: the Islamic State
The final video then shows how the militant activities perpetuated by ISIS have created a massive humanitarian crisis by creating a flood of refugees. Thousands of Christians have fled for their lives and over 33000 Yezidi minorities are trapped in the mountains.