Forget Zero Dark Thirty; ISIS Launches "The Clanging Of Swords" Propaganda Movie

Tyler Durden's picture

Aerial shots, slow-motion explosions, scenes filmed through a rifle’s crosshairs... As France24 reports, you might think this is footage from a new summer blockbuster, but you would be wrong. It is, in fact, a new propaganda video produced by Sunni jihadists from the armed group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The extremely violent hour-long film was published online just days before ISIS launched a massive offensive in northern Iraq. The film is called “The Clanging of the Swords IV" because it is part of a series much like other Hollywood blockbusters. Given their funding (via stealing Iraq's central bank's cash), and we pre-suppose from the ISIS annual report that they get generous tax breaks on the production, we await "The Clanging of the Swords V" next summer.


Via France24,

The film is called “The Clanging of the Swords IV”. The Roman numeral is there because, much like with Hollywood blockbusters, the film is part of a series. This one was first published on Internet forums heavily frequented by ISIS members, and was then reposted on the group’s official Twitter account on May 17, 2014.
The opening sequence pans in on a map of the fictitious geographic zone that the ISIS fighters call the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, which encompasses Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq. This is followed by footage from a drone flying over Fallujah, an Iraqi city that ISIS has controlled since early 2014. Then, a rocket launch is heard, as if to mark the start of the “action”. (The full-length, original video can be viewed here).

A message for the Iraqi army

The three videos that came before “The Clanging of the Swords IV” primarily consisted of footage filmed by ISIS during its fighting in Syria. However, on May 17, the organisation aired this action-oriented montage of scenes filmed in Iraq, which includes real footage of, for instance, official Iraqi vehicles being machine-gunned full of holes, the execution of Iraqi soldiers and the destruction of tanks. This footage came as a warning, three weeks before the start of the ISIS offensive on the cities of Mosul, Tikrit, and Kirkuk.

On an Iraqi road, fighters shoot at vehicles that Iraqi officials are allegedly riding in.

The film, which includes many graphic images, has been taken off YouTube multiple times, but is each time uploaded anew by different users. It is hard to say how often it has been viewed and whether it has impacted the morale of Iraqi soldiers. Some Twitter online commenters predicted that “this video will cause 10 to 15% of [Iraqi] soldiers to desert.” And indeed, many Iraqi soldiers did not fight back when the jihadists arrived, opting instead to take off their uniforms and disappear into the crowds of fleeing civilians – even though in northern Iraq, soldiers outnumbered jihadists ten to one.

A tank explodes on a mine, as ISIS fighters cheer.


When reality looks like fiction

In this video, ISIS fighters shy away from the face-to-camera statements normally made by jihadist groups, instead focusing on action and combat. A CNN journalist even noticed similarities between certain parts of the montage and scenes from the US film “Zero Dark Thirty” on the search for Osama Bin Laden.

Even though the production style is reminiscent of Hollywood blockbusters, ISIS insists that everything depicted is real. To this end, the names of fighters appear on the screen when they come into view, as well as the names of fighters who died in combat. In the same way, the film points out the locations of much of the footage.
The cruelty of ISIS’s execution scenarios are chilling. At the 38 minute mark, men accused of having worked for the United States are filmed digging their own graves.


ISIS and Sunni civilians

By selecting these particular pieces of footage, ISIS aims to show that they are primarily attacking officers of the Iraqi army and those who collaborated with the United States or with the Iraqi government, which is controlled by the country’s Shiite majority. At the 27 minute mark, ISIS soldiers, dressed up in Iraqi army uniforms, film themselves standing at a fake army roadblock they’ve set up on a road in Iraq. The passenger of one cars, who believes he is addressing soldiers, informs them that he is a high-level Iraqi bureaucrat. He is promptly executed.

By focusing their propaganda on these targets, ISIS is letting Sunni civilians in northern Iraq know that they will be spared by the fighting. It is crucial for the jihadists to convince the residents of Sunni cities not to flee, because having them around allows the jihadists to conceal themselves behind a veritable human shield. However, these videos do not mention the fate that could befall civilians in the region’s Shiite areas.

Following an astounding advance in the Sunni north, columns of ISIS fighters are allegedly less than 100 km away from Baghdad. This jihadist group, which is about ten thousand strong, aims to create a huge Sunni caliphate in the region.

An ISIS operation by ngiht.

*  *  *

It seems The US State Department has been made redundant since ISIS provides its own YouTube evidence of horrific violence.
Forgiven the somewhat comedic angle to this but it is simply incredible to us that this is occurring and markets everywhere are just ignoring it.


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StacksOnStacks's picture

Not the "clanging of swords" I was expecting.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



it is simply incredible to us that this is occurring and markets everywhere are just ignoring it.

Normalcy Bias.

gh0atrider's picture

So does anyone find it interesting how "ISIS" has as much time to produce videos and Twitter feeds as they do launch asymmetric warfare?  Plus the fact their "execution" photos have been digitally altered?

SpanishGoop's picture

Just using the "beheaded" filter in Photoshop.

gh0atrider's picture

Can you do my camel in sepia (and take out the blue screen)?  It looks better with the AK...

SafelyGraze's picture

weird thing is -- the storyboards for this movie were on the hallway walls a year ago at the DC studio

some guy in a grey suit was pitching the plot line to a bunch of people wearing black suits


0b1knob's picture

< Le choc des e'pe'es.

< Le merde frappe le ventilateur.

max2205's picture

Man, don't cross dicks, I mean swords, I mean beams. Never cross beams, ok?

CheapBastard's picture

<< “this video will cause 10 to 15% of [Iraqi] soldiers to desert"...30% to pee in their pants ... and 99% to have PTSD before they even fire a gun .... >>

Buck Johnson's picture

It's because there is major money backing these guys and the Sunni's are backing their brethren also along with Saudi Arabia.

kito's picture


hedgeless are you now saying there are "markets"?


and perhaps you have "non stories that are blown into zh headlines" bias? the middle east has been a festering violent sectarian hellhole longer than there have been markets. why is this new? or why is this news? 

thamnosma's picture

You're an idiot if you don't think this is news.

what&#039;s that smell's picture

a terrorist organization that publishes a 400 page annual report and releases a blockbuster movie just in time for their summer offensive?

really? really? really?

the sheer stupidity is colossal.

what's next? a new york times editorial jihad against global warming, obamacare, gun control, and apple pie?

gargantuan idiocy beyond our wildest dreams.


StychoKiller's picture

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Eat yer heart out, CNN!

CrashisOptimistic's picture

There is talk of ISIS having oil wells in syria and are selling around sanctions.  That's where the funding comes from, long before any banks were taken.

crazzziecanuck's picture

I suspect sympathetic sleazy Saudi sociopaths more.

Sometimes I wish I could be wrong because often I feel like I'm ganging up on them.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Their funding comes from primarily gulf state private donors. Isis does have a stronghold in Raqqa in Syria and they do indeed get some funds for it but The oil is crudely extracted and more than a few times tankers have been incinerated by the noble SAF. So it is not efficient, dangerous and an environmental nightmare.  They ( as well as the others ) resort to banditry, kidnapping, wildcat checkpoints - essentially organized crime. Their production is a pittance of what it was and some areas have just shut down because of damage being done to arable land and animals. That being the case, bastard dress wearing bronze age assholes in the gulf states are where the primary cash comes from and incidentally the saudi funded learning centers and mosques all over the world is how the ideology is spread.

tony wilson's picture

Their funding comes from primarily gulf state private donors.

nice name canuck shit lump.

funding is the jewish royal hous of saud,qatar,us tax payers and helmand heroin monies.

this is a french,british,cia and mossad run operation training in centcom jordan incirlik turkey not private you fucking tool total government.

Renewable Life's picture

Are you people being serious?? These fucking guys are taking over cities, blitzkrieg style! 5 million people in the 4 cities they "captured" last week, they are looting the banks, police stations, government buildings, and fucking individual homes of rich and prominent citizens in those areas!!

The number I read was they stole 450 million USD and other currencies in the first 5 days they were in Mosul! That doesn't count the billions in military equipment, which in that part of the world, is more valuable then gold, silver, or oil!! American taxpayers dumped 3 trillion in equipment and cash into that shithole in the last 12 years to "passify" it! The British another 1 trillion, you think these bitchez are gonna have funding problems with that floating around???

JuliaS's picture

The state department is to release an official response titled: "Swooshing of golf clubs V".

rubiconsolutions's picture

A lot of boys have sword fights. They just don't release full length feature films of the goings on.

firstdivision's picture

When is McCain heading over for his photo-op with them?

Squid Viscous's picture

at least this one is non-fiction, zero-dark-thirty not so much...

PaperWillBurn's picture

Is it "man love thursday" already

Stoploss's picture

My balls clang when i walk..

Does that count?

Quinvarius's picture

That is how they will find you.

gh0atrider's picture

gh0atrider's balls are virtually empty.

813kml's picture

Your BitBalls are as virtual as BTC.

gh0atrider's picture only takes one spermtoshi to reach the queen.

IridiumRebel's picture

Meh....we get propaganda every freakin night on the Alphabet Nets. I doubt they can outdo the slobbering and cajoling over Dear Leader like MSDNC and the like...

Rainman's picture

I have every confidence Oblameo's force of 300 advisors will straighten this mess out. 

kowalli's picture

mission accomplished

SpanishGoop's picture

Trained by the CIA or Steven Spielberg ?


ENTP's picture

CIA trained them, Spielberg shot the footage of them in action.

knukles's picture

Where's Stanley Kubrick when we need him?

22winmag's picture

Kubrick's faking of the moon landings would be hard to beat.

Piranhanoia's picture

These guys have studios just as big and well funded as hollywood.  They can make anything with green screen.   The chemical weapons plant could have been CG, Everything could be fake.   As we know it that is.

813kml's picture

Don't let George Lucas put his hands on the sequel, his dialog would suck even more in Arabic.

ENTP's picture

You saying lines such as "I don't like sand, its rough and course and it gets everywhere"......aren't perfect for Clanging of the Swords - Episode V:  The Shiite Strike Back 

kowalli's picture

both - its new type of war of 21 century- small wars with high numbers of video records

SpanishGoop's picture

Soon in a theatre near you "Small Wars - the return of mohammed".


ebworthen's picture

A Sunni Islamic state, not an Islamic state.

That would be like saying a Christian state in Ireland without specifying Catholic or Protestant.

nmewn's picture

"What difference does it make!"

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Is there a sequel planned?    I'm thinkin Bruce Willis is called out of retirement in order to kill Sheik Urbooty.   Have your people call my people.

SpanishGoop's picture

Soon to be followed by crowdfunding and popup adds on fartbook.



JuliaS's picture

"The Nobel Peace Prize must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of democratically elected leaders."

- Thomas Hussein Jefferson

navy62802's picture

Multi-cam uniforms, lasers on their rifles and night vision. This has a distinctly different feel than the ragtag insurgency that the American military faced in Iraq previously. These guys are well-equipped, thanks to the US government.

Iocosus's picture

Million dollar question: where are they receiving their financing from?