al-Hayat Media Center

al-Hayat Media Center
FounderIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The al-Hayat Media Center is the media wing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[1] It was established in mid-2014 by ISIL, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French.[2][3]

In July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith about Armageddon.[4] Al-Hayat also began publishing other digital magazines, including the Turkish language Konstantiniyye, the Ottoman word for Istanbul,[5][6] and the French language Dar al-Islam.[7] By late 2016, these magazines had apparently all been discontinued, with Al-Hayat's material being consolidated into a new magazine called Rumiyah (Arabic for Rome).[8]

On 29 June 2014 it released The End of Sykes-Picot, a reference to the 1916 accord that European states used to divide up the region after World War I and in which it calls for destruction of the border between Iraq and Syria.[9][10] The subject of the video is the ISIL fighter Abu Safiyya.[11]

In February 2015 British journalist John Cantlie appeared in a propaganda video from al-Hayat walking around ruins and interviewing locals in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo.[12] On 18 February it released a nasheed in French called Extend your Hand to Pledge Allegiance (French: Tends ta main pour l'allégeance),[13] which begin with speech by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and it is urged to make the hijra and join ISIS.[14]

In April 2016 it released a video featuring a large group of underage ISIS recruits singing in French wearing suicide belts and other weapons during military training.[15] It was titled "Blood for Blood" (French: Sang pour Sang).[16]

It has been responsible for the release of a 52 second trailer for The Flames of War, a video series called Mujatweets[17] and a nashid (Islamic chant) in French named «Ma vengeance» where it praised the Brussels bombing and both Paris attacks.[18] At the same time it released another video titled Kill Them Wherever You Find Them (French: et tuez-les où que vous les rencontriez) showing the Paris attackers threatening future violence.[19] Four Belges, three Frenchs and two Iraquis appeared in the video doing executions alternated with Paris attacks scenes.[20] Those nine terrorist were Abdelhamid Abaaoud (Abu Umar Al-Baljiki), Chakib Akrouh (Abu Mujahid al-Baljiki), Brahim Abdeslam (Abul-Qaqe Al-Baljiki); the kamikazes at Bataclan, Samy Amimour (Abu Qital al-Faransi), Ismaël Omar Mostefaï (Abu Rayyan al-Faransi) and Foued Mohamed-Aggad (Abu Fuad al-Faransi); and the kamikaze at Stade de France, Bilal Hadfi (Dhu-l-Qarnayn al-Faransi) and the Iraqis Ali al-Iraqi and Ukashah Al-Iraqi.[21]

On 31 December 2017 it spreaded via Telegram O' Disbelievers of the World (French: Mécréants de l'humanité) which shows an apocalyptic view of the war between ISIS and the unbelief.[22] The video shows Donald Trump, Bashar al-Assad, Putin, Netanyahu and Emmanuel Macron.[23] It features an opening monologue from spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani,[24] and the song is sang by Jean-Michel Clain.[25]

On 26 January 2018 it released a nasheed called Answer the Call where supporters were urged to carry out gruesome terror attacks in Western countries.[26]

On March 21, 2019, the U.S. Department of State officially deemed al-Hayat an alias of ISIL, and thus a Foreign Terrorist Organization.[27]


  1. ^ Barbash, Fred (September 17, 2014). "Islamic State's response to Obama: 'Fighting has just begun: Coming soon'". Washington Post (Morning Mix). Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Gertz, Bill (13 June 2014). "New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  3. ^ "ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him". MEMRI (5782). 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  4. ^ Ryan, Michael W. S. (1 August 2014). "Dabiq: What Islamic State's New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine". The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  5. ^ Akkoc, Raziye; Loveluck, Louisa (12 October 2015). "Ankara bombings: Islamic State is main suspect, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ Hunter, Isabel (22 July 2015). "Suruc bombings: Turkish President accused of not doing enough to help Kurds fight Isis threat across its border in Syria". Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Jihadists Release First Issue of Pro-IS French Magazine "Dar al-Islam"". SITE Intelligence Group. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  8. ^ Gambhir, Harleen (December 2016). "The Virtual Caliphate: ISIS'S Information Warfare" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 7 February 2017. As of late 2016, Rumiyah has apparently supplanted other internationally oriented publications, as al-Hayat has ceased publishing them Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Meuse, Alison (11 November 2014). "How The Islamic State Wages Its Propaganda War". NPR. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Video: Islamic state media branch releases 'The end of Sykes-Picot'". Belfast Telegraph. INM Website. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  11. ^ McGrath, Timothy (1 July 2014). "Watch this English-speaking ISIL fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict". Public Radio International. OZY Media News. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  12. ^ Hayden, Sally (9 February 2015). "British Hostage John Cantlie 'Reports' from Aleppo In Latest Islamic State Propaganda Video". Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  13. ^ "L'Etat islamique publie une chanson en français : «crie de tout ton cœur vengeance»". Valeurs actuelles (in French). 18 February 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Nouvelle vidéo de l'Etat islamique d'un chant islamique en français : « Emigre vers ta terre »". MEMRI (in French). 19 May 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  15. ^ "VIDEO: ISIS child jihadists sing in French - 'Your blood will flow'". JPost. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  16. ^ "ISIS Music Video in French Featuring Children: Your Roads will be Rigged by Mines, our Swords are Sharpened to Slice Necks". MEMRI TV. 29 April 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  17. ^ Backer, Olivia (12 July 2014). "ISIS Has a Really Slick and Sophisticated Media Department". Vice News. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Le nouveau chant en français de l'EI « Ma vengeance » justifie le terrorisme en Europe et fait l'éloge des attentats de Paris et de Bruxelles". Memri (in French). 7 July 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  19. ^ Levine, Jon (25 January 2016). "ISIS Has Released a New Video Showing the Paris Attackers in Other Atrocities". Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Daesh publie une vidéo des auteurs des attentats de Paris". BFM TV. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Attentats de Paris: Daech diffuse une photo des 9 terroristes". L'Express (in French). 20 January 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Un vidéoclip macabre de l'EI en français présente la vision apocalyptique de la guerre éternelle de l'EI contre l'incroyance". MEMRI (in French). 8 January 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  23. ^ "(Video) al Hayat Media Center Islamic State Nasheed: O DISBELIEVERS OF THE WORLD - 31 December 2017 (featuring Trump, Assad, Putin, Netanyahu, & Macron)". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Warning Graphic: New ISIS Video Targets World Leaders". Clarion Project. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  25. ^ Veysset, Pascale (27 January 2019). "Daech : la propagande continue". TV5Monde (in French). Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  26. ^ "(Video) Al-Hayat Media Islamic State release new Nasheed; Answer the Call (with English subtitles calling on Muslims to conduct domestic attacks and join Islamic State)". Tracking Terrorism. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Amendments to the Terrorist Designations of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria". United States Department of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.