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ISIS Diaries: New channel chronicles daily life in the Caliphate

If you aren’t inspired to go fight alongside the Islamic State, perhaps hearing their personal accounts will make you change your mind. That’s what the newest ISIS-linked Telegram Messenger account is hoping. “Diary of a Mujahid,” is a new channel showcasing “inspiring narratives” from ISIS fighters in English, directed toward recruiting others abroad to join. “May this channel be a source of guidance, enlightenment, inspiration and motivation,” the account manager posted upon its launch last week, followed by daily posts from individuals sharing their experiences, pushing back on the notion that life under the Caliphate is anything less than utopian. The Telegram Messenger app has been the Islamic State’s go-to messaging platform for communication and propaganda. Several ISIS accounts frequently post updates showing everyday life under the Caliphate, the sunrises, the supermarkets, the food, the good life as well as the battles, martyrs and public punishments. Their main goal stays consistent—to have subscribers join. The first diary post is a first-person journal-style account entitled, “first encounter with a fighter jet,” by Ali Foutawi, in which the Jihadi writes about his personal experiences in April of this year during an attack on their base. Foutawi writes that he was startled from sleep but got up, prayed in traditional Islamic fashion and began preparing for the attack while taking care of the other “brothers” and young child who was on their base. When the threat passes, he writes: “I went off to bed hoping the jet wouldn't return while I was asleep and even if it did then going to bed in this world and waking up in paradise is something I'd love.” An entry from a female jihadi who signs off as “A sister from another mother,” describes the day her only son was kidnapped from school by the forces of the “Kuffar,” (a derogatory term for non-Muslims) who demanded information on the whereabouts of her Mujahid fighter husband in exchange for the child. The woman writes about her conflicting feelings, and how after praying she told the “Kuffar” that she will give her child as a sacrifice for her religion. Last month, The Foreign Desk reported on ISIS’ use of Telegram Messenger, a popular messaging app offering end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages, in an effort to continue spreading its propaganda online and to deliver its recruitment message. For over a year now, many of the terror organization’s online social media accounts have been removed, and while many new accounts have replaced them, ISIS has constantly been looking to leverage the latest tech advances and social media platform innovations to sustain these pages. Telegram boasts 60 million active monthly users and over 12 billion messages sent daily and differs from other similar messaging apps with cross device synchronization and the ability to transfer large files up to 1.5GB in size.    
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