The Islamic State has been sending out photos of its “graduating class” of young, idealistic recruits ready to join the ranks of the terrorist killing machine.
According to Fox News, the photos that have been tweeted out over the past several days come after the class completed 18 months of training at a “university” in northern Syria.
One expert told Fox News that ISIS has two goals in publicizing the pictures.
Adjunct professor of Homeland Security for the Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro told Fox News ISIS has reasons for publicizing these pictures.
“There are two messages being sent by ISIS besides the obvious shock factor,said Ryan Mauro, adjunct professor of Homeland Security for the Clarion Project.
“First, [that] their caliphate is an actual functioning and legitimate state. Second, this is long-term struggle,” he said. “This is a way of saying that ISIS has succeeded (in creating a state] where Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists have failed.”
Jasmine Opperman, an analyst for the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, agreed.
“The graduation photos send a message by ISIS that it has a military capacity ready to defend the Islamic Caliphate,” she said. “A ‘government’ that has not lost control and will be able to defend its ‘territory.’”
“One of the purposes of these photos is to show that they didn’t just seize territory; they transformed it into an attractive caliphate that is a viable alternative to other civilizations,” Mauro added.
“ISIS and other Islamist groups are at odds over the legitimacy of [the Islamic State’s] caliphate, but they are in agreement that this is a ‘civilizational jihad’ against other systems influenced by the West.”
The Twitterverse chimed in with its own thoughts on the graduation pictures.
#ISIS military grads: not quite #Ottoman imperial janissaries yet, but trying really hard: http://t.co/oTT8mBNkVZ pic.twitter.com/vfWOL3ivSV
— Timothy Furnish, PhD (@Occidentaljihad) March 31, 2015
@FoxNews we should have helped them celebrate with a drone strike.
— craig matteson (@csmatteson) March 30, 2015
@FoxNews empty seats in the back, Guess graduation didn’t sell out.
— kyle lamb (@kyle24lamb) March 30, 2015
@FoxNews did they toss their caps in the air? No, that would require those faceless cowards to show who they are.
— VF Castro – Author (@VFdoesFootball) March 30, 2015
@kyle24lamb @FoxNews Obama read the indoctrination speech
— Michael B. Simpson (@MichaelBSimpso1) March 30, 2015
@FoxNews perhaps job fair?
— E24 (@Edddie24) March 30, 2015
@kyle24lamb @FoxNews probably failed in the suicide bomb drill…
— abel jr (@BoaterMote) March 30, 2015
ISIS latest beheading video; heartbreaking use of young boys at blood bath.
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