ISIS issues propaganda magazine in Russian

Al-Rahman corps and the Islamic Union for Recruiting the Levant carry their weapons as they pose for a picture during a military training in Marj Al-Ashari, eastern Ghouta of Damascus, May 22, 2015. (Reuters / Mohammed Badra)
Islamic State has issued the first edition of a propaganda magazine in the Russian language. Appealing to the would-be terrorists, the publication features a "brief history" of the militant group and calls for readers to support it.

Titled "Istok" which can be translated both as "outflow" or "origin," the magazine has been allegedly issued by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) media wing Al Hayat, Vocativ reported.

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Proclaiming itself to be an "information and analytical magazine of Islamic State," the two-dozen page publication features stories on Russian jihadis in Syria and Iraq. Saying that the magazine's contributors "have been fighting in the Caucasus against Russian tyrants," the story adds that the militants experienced difficulties at that time, but then were "very happy" to find out IS had been proclaimed.

Featuring verses from the Quran, the "brief history" of Islamic State (which according to the publication dates back to 2003), and a list of "ill-founded statements from caliphate opponents," the magazine also has a number of photographs of heavily armed bearded men with IS black flags, not all of whom are hiding their faces.

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The first publication finishes with calls for its readers to travel to Iraq and Syria to establish an IS caliphate, and "help and support" the militant group's leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

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In April, Iraq and Syria, where IS had been advancing its offensive, were named a global training ground for extremists by experts. They warned the UN Security Council that some 22,000 foreign fighters from around 100 countries had gone to the area to join various radical groups.

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At the same time, the EU Commissioner for Justice announced that between 5,000 and 6,000 Europeans have traveled to Syria to fight in IS militants ranks, although "the figures are strongly under-estimated," EU officials said, stressing that foreign fighters are hard to keep track of.

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Last year, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding all member states to make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with extremists or support them. Although the resolution was adopted in the wake of IS’ rise, it targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world.