Forged ISIS Video Praises Obama Backing

ISIS supporters disavow film bearing official logo

ISIS fighters / Screenshot from YouTube
December 16, 2015

An apparently forged ISIS video disseminated online Monday praised President Obama and called for joint U.S. action with the terrorist group against Russian intervention in Syria.

The five-minute video also called for designating Obama as the caliph, or ruler, of ISIS.

ISIS supporters on Twitter were quick to denounce the video as a forgery.

The production appears to be a foreign intelligence operation using disinformation to fuel anti-U.S. sentiment in the Middle East, where propaganda alleging U.S. support for ISIS is widespread.

The video in both Arabic and English was removed from YouTube after it was disseminated through Twitter. However, screen captures from the video were posted online, including its title, "A Message to Obama."

ISIS video
Screenshot from YouTube 2

The 5-minute, 35-second film shows a group of masked fighters dressed in camouflage battle gear carrying a black ISIS flag. The upper right-hand corner of the video bears the logo of the Al-Hayat Media Center, the official ISIS media outlet known for producing non-Arabic propaganda.

According to excerpts of the video provided to the Washington Free Beacon, a masked fighter addresses Obama and called him "one of the greatest leaders of Islam."

"George Bush brought the spark of jihad to Iraq," the narrator states, adding that Obama is "a great man who contributed a lot to our cause" by "raising jihad to a new level."

The ISIS fighter then notes Obama’s role in the ouster of tyrannical regimes, including Libya under Moammar Gadhafi, and asserts that jihadists "receive weapons from you, O Obama."

The fighter goes on to say the arms supplied to ISIS were "pointed against your enemies" and that many fighters were "trained there in Turkey and Jordan but instead pledged "allegiance to the Islamic State after arriving in [the Levant]."

"We owe you so much, Obama. And that is why we're going to proclaim you our caliph," he stated, adding that the United States and ISIS should joint together to battle "Russian Crusaders."

As the video ends the fighters pledge allegiance to their Arabic name for Obama: Abu-Malia Barack Ibn-Hussein al-Obama al-Amriki," the last name meaning "the American."

A day after the video appeared, several ISIS supporters on Twitter denied the authenticity of the video.

For example, user Al-Muntada Lil-Nashr (@xdewqa5c) stated, "The production is forged and does not belong to the Caliphate State. Those supporters who have disseminated it are to delete it -- A Message to Barack Obama. #Al-Hayat Media Center."

A second ISIS supporter, sent a Tweet that criticized the poster read, @abuhamzah_dawla: "Hahahahahaha You think you could fool us with this? We have special sources belonging to the State. We know the forged from the real. It may be well-staged, but clearly forged."

A third posting by a pro-ISIS supporter said of the video: "There is no production by this name. This production is forged."

Reports alleging U.S. backing for the terrorist group have surfaced throughout the Middle East, including in Iran and Iraq.

Last month, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of "direct and indirect support" for terrorist groups, including ISIS.

The comments followed a meeting between Khamenei and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a former KGB intelligence officer.

The KGB and its successors, the SVR foreign intelligence service and the FSB federal security service, are known to engage in strategic disinformation campaigns.

Iraqi fighters said earlier this month that they had viewed videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters delivery weapons to ISIS terrorists, the Washington Post reported Dec. 1.

"It is not in doubt," Mustafa Saadi told the Post, asserting that a friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to ISIS positions.

Saadi stated that ISIS is "almost finished" and weak. "If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days," he said.

The widespread belief in U.S. support for ISIS in the region highlights the failure of U.S. efforts to counteract disinformation and propaganda in its war against the group.

The State Department runs a strategic communications unit that has sought to counter ISIS propaganda and recruitment efforts.

A CIA spokesman and a spokesman for the U.S. military command in Iraq had no immediate comment.

Published under: ISIS