Artificial Intelligence… Can It Revive ISIS Media?

The terrorist organization ISIS is using artificial intelligence to help it spread its propaganda and recruit new members at a low cost.

Videos released by media affiliated with ISIS show how artificial intelligence can be used to quickly and cheaply disseminate extremist propaganda.

According to The Washington Post, four days after ISIS‘s attack at a Russian concert in March, a 92-second video began circulating on a platform affiliated with the organization. The video showed a news anchor wearing a helmet and military uniform, stating that the attack was not a terrorist act but part of the “ongoing war between the organization and the countries fighting Islam”.

The anchor was fake, created by the organization’s supporters as part of a new media program called “News Harvest”, developed using artificial intelligence, according to videos and messages shared with The Washington Post by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist and extremist movements online.

Rita Katz, co-founder of SITE, said: “The program, designed to resemble a news broadcast from a major channel, represents the emergence of artificial intelligence as a powerful propaganda tool, as ISIS affiliates gain strength and rebuild the organization’s media operations”.

She added: “For ISIS, AI is a game-changer. It is a quick way for them to spread their bloody attacks to every corner of the world”.

The broadcasts begin with a graphic logo and title sequence, then AI-generated news anchors appear on screen, dressed in combat gear or formal attire. News tickers and video footage of the organization’s members carrying out terrorist tasks are shown, with anchors reading messages from ISIS‘s official media.

Experts in terrorist media said that the videos show early signs that artificial intelligence is helping terrorist groups quickly spread propaganda and recruit members, even sparking internal debates about using technology under Islamic law.

ISIS is known for its media operations producing recruitment videos that attract young people, and AI-powered video generators now allow them to create such content at a fraction of the cost.

Several extremist organizations, including Al-Qaeda, have also shown interest in using AI-powered chatbots, image generators, and voice cloners to quickly create misinformation, according to messages shared with The Post.

Katz said: “AI gives ISIS supporters the ability to create convincing propaganda in a harmless way, like news broadcasts, making it difficult for tech companies to moderate. Cheap and easy-to-use AI tools allow for quick and budget-friendly video production, benefiting groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda weakened by military attacks”.

Steven Stalinsky, executive director of MEMRI, added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if ISIS creates an AI-powered media department. They have always been quick to adopt advanced technology”.

He added that pro-ISIS media are already looking for people with AI skills. A message obtained by MEMRI dated April 23 shows an expert seeking individuals for poster creation, article writing, and video editing, proficient in Photoshop, Premiere, and AI.

On February 9, an Al-Qaeda affiliate announced it would start hosting online workshops on AI. The next day, it collaborated with another Al-Qaeda affiliate to release a 50-page guide titled “Amazing Ways to Use AI Chatbots”.

For over a decade, ISIS‘s media arm has enabled the production of high-quality videos, a key tactic in recruiting people from around the world.

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