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Since the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the United States has been engaged in an all-out war on terror. Nevertheless, terrorist attacks that are believed to be linked to the international terrorist organization al-Qaeda continue to be perpetrated around the world. And behind the violence, al-Qaeda is attacking its perceived enemies in another, lesser-known way: through the media.
Research conducted by NHK in various locations recently yielded a glimpse of al-Qaeda’s media war. A secretive al-Qaeda media group known as As-Sahaab produces propaganda videos on an ongoing basis using advanced computer graphics and video processing techniques and distributes them on video CDs and via the Internet for viewing by Muslims all over the world. At the same time, As-Sahaab skillfully manipulates a satellite television station in the Middle East as a way of using the airwaves to spread messages intended to justify terrorism in the eyes of the world.
Al-Qaeda’s media output is believed to inspire yet more terrorist acts. The United States government is devoting huge financial resources to countering al-Qaeda’s propaganda but has yet to achieve major success.
NHK’s ‘Media Jihad’ sheds light on the media war that continues to rage between al-Qaeda and its enemies.