Footage of an ISIS leader attempting to renew his allegiance to the terror group has been leaked by Al-Qaeda to undermine its regional rival.
The video, shot by the Yemeni branch of ISIS, shows the kneeling man repeatedly checking his notes before attempting to read an oath which is immediately drowned out by a squawking bird.
Recorded in 2017, the footage was shot at a time when ISIS still held territory in Iraq and Syria and were recruiting people from further afield.
You can watch the footage below:
Heroic bird relentlessly drowns out ISIS-Y's attempt to renew allegiance to the caliph. Leader's feeble memory adds to the woes… These bodged "takes" didn't make it into the official video of this solemn event, released end July pic.twitter.com/8w7sp79LcL
— Elisabeth Kendall (@Dr_E_Kendall) August 13, 2019
The footage was unearthed by Dr Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow at Oxford University’s Pembroke College and a Middle East expert, who said the clip was released this week by Hidaya Media, a broadcaster associated with al-Qaeda’s operations.
Dr Kendall wrote on Twitter:
Heroic bird relentlessly drowns out ISIS-Y’s attempt to renew allegiance to the caliph. Leader’s feeble memory adds to the woes… These bodged ‘takes’ didn’t make it into the official video of this solemn event, released end July
The jihadi, who has since been identified as Abu Muhammad al-Adeni by The Independent, also appears to struggle with his nerves in the video, repeatedly forgetting his lines and being told by another militant to ‘stay calm’ and ‘keep cool’.
Speaking to Business Insider, Dr Kendall said the footage may have been found by Al-Qaeda operatives when they took over an ISIS camp in northwestern al-Bayda, Yemen, earlier this summer. Both ISIS and Al-Qaeda are currently fighting over territory in Yemen.
The Middle East expert told The Independent:
One of the interesting things for me here is Al-Qaeda do counter-narratives better than we do, using humour and mockery in a local and very clever way.
Footage from the same shoot later made it into an actual ISIS propaganda video, released in September 2017 and showed young recruits celebrating and affirming their vows.
The released ‘blooper reel’ comes amid a resurgence by ISIS, which has been steadily rebuilding itself following the defeat of its self-declared caliphate throughout Syria and Iraq in March this year.
Since then, the ISIS covert network has been spreading in Syria, with ‘sleeper cells’ being established at the provincial level and therefore mirroring what has been happening in Iraq since 2017, UN experts said in a new report, as per The Straits Times.
The group has also carried out assassinations, suicide attacks, abductions and arson of crops, according to a US government report.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).