The French government has released a shocking video filled with brutal scenes of death in Syria in an attempt to convince young French citizens to turn away from becoming Islamic terrorists.
Amid scenes of crucifixions, people murdered with handguns and being thrown off cliffs, and bodies dragged behind trucks, the video attempts to expose the horrors of joining the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and counter the appeal of jihadist recruiters, The New York Times reports.
The two-minute video, backed with eerie music, states, "[Jihadist recruiters] tell you, 'Sacrifice yourself by our side. You will be defending a just cause.' In reality you will discover hell on earth and die alone and far from home," according to the Guardian
Part of the video aimed at young women who are seduced online to become wives of Islamic State fighters, states, "They tell you, 'Come and start a family with one of our heroes.' In reality, you will raise your children in war and terror.
"They tell you, 'Come join us and help Syrian children.' In reality, you will be an accomplice in the killing of civilians.
"They tell you, 'You live in a world of disbelievers who are unclean. The truth is [in Syria].' In reality, the only truths you will discover are horror and deceit.
"The aim of jihadi discourse is to recruit new victims every day."
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The video and website are part of a $479 million funding package over three years established by the French government in an effort to block the radicalization of French citizens, The Guardian reports, prompted by the recent attack at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine by Islamic terrorists who were French citizens, resulting in the deaths of 17 people.
To date, The Guardian states, 1,200 French citizens have gone to Syria to fight with ISIS. Of that number, 73 were killed and 176 have returned.
The French are deeply concerned with Internet postings actively recruiting young French citizens to travel to Syria and fight with ISIS, such as those of Omar Diaby, also known as Omar Omsen, who produces "Hollywood-quality videos" which have gotten 165,000 views on YouTube in the past two years, The Daily Beast reports.
"It’s always the people doing the recruiting that cause the most harm," John Robb, author of "Brave New War" and a former U.S. Special Operations Command counterterrorist expert, told The Daily Beast.
"They’re selling religious heroin to naive and vulnerable young people who see all this as a way to have a meaningful life. Like drugs, it appeals across all ethnic lines."
"We will broadcast this video widely on social networks in order to reach the maximum number of young people vulnerable to these calls. We hope it will shock them," Christian Gravel, head of the French government's communications office, told Agence France-Presse, the BBC reported
The video, entitled, "They Tell You," begins with an anonymous invitation from Facebook, in which a jihadi recruiter writes, "The truth is out there and now is the time to go," French news site The Local reports
"If you want more info, just give me your number."
The Washington Post notes that the French
anti-jihadist video echoes the social media efforts of the U.S. State Department, whose "Think Again, Turn Away" Twitter account "actively hounds Islamic State sympathizers online and attempts to dispel jihadist propaganda found on social media."
The account can be found at https://twitter.com/thinkagain_dos
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