Islamic State's (ISIS) Dabiq English-language magazine has been central to its propaganda war for Western Muslims. This study analyses Dabiq, using Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) Inspire for comparative purposes, to explore how its narratives are strategically designed to appeal to and radicalise its audiences. It examines how strategically designed in-group, Other, crisis and solution constructs are variously interplayed via value-, dichotomy- and crisis-reinforcing narratives to coax audiences into making rational- and/or identity-choice decisions. It explores how these narratives provide its readers with a “competitive system of meaning” in order to shape their perceptions and polarise their support. This analysis then analyses a range of different strategies and levers that are used in Dabiq to boost the appeal of its messaging. It concludes by outlining lessons for counterterrorism strategic communications drawn from the preceding analysis.
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