Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

'Entente cordiale', but at what cost on the road to Brexit?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bye-EU Tapestry is not to all tastes

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Maverick Mélenchon: French far-left launches its own web TV

Read more

FOCUS

Rise of sandstorms plagues Middle East

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Superjumbo travel: Discussing the future of the A380

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Fighting unemployment: Millions of Indians face layoffs amid shrinking job market

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Deneuve vs. #MeToo: Exploring feminism 'à la française'

Read more

ENCORE!

Meryl Streep on gender equality: 'Something has cracked wide open'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Trump's presidency, one year in: 365 days of outrageous tweets and blunders

Read more

In 'unprecedented' hiatus, IS media offline for a day

© AFP/File | The Islamic State group usually posts more than a dozen messages a day on messenger application Telegram but its channels went mysteriously quiet between Wednesday and Thursday, in what analysts said was an "unprecedented" silence

BEIRUT (AFP) - 

The Islamic State group's online propaganda channels went mysteriously quiet for more than a full day between Wednesday and Thursday, in what analysts said was an "unprecedented" silence.

IS, which uses messaging application Telegram to broadcast daily updates on military operations and claims of attacks, published nothing between 0900 GMT on Wednesday and 1001 GMT on Thursday.

Charlie Winter, senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, called the silence "unprecedented."

"The deceleration in the production of IS media has been particularly profound over the last couple of weeks," said Winter.

"But there were no 24-hour periods when it was completely silent," he told AFP.

IS's Telegram channels usually post more than a dozen messages each day, ranging from multilingual radio broadcasts on battlefield achievements to pictures of civilian life in the group's self-styled "caliphate."

On Wednesday, however, the group posted in a brief 30-minute window, skipping its usual "daily broadcast" entirely.

It then went dark until Thursday, breaking its silence with a four-minute radio segment on operations in eastern Syria and Iraq, only in Arabic.

In 2017, IS has lost control of Mosul and Raqa, its two main hubs in Iraq and Syria respectively, and in recent days was ousted from the last towns it held in each country.

A US-led coalition backing offensives against IS in both countries has specifically targeted jihadists involved in media output -- which could partly explain the drop-off, said Winter.

"IS media infrastructure has taken a real battering over the last few months and because of that, something is changing," he said.

IS could be physically relocating relevant offices or members, added Winter, but it may also be laying out a new media strategy to match its own shift from a territorially based organisation to a covert insurgency.

"It feels and looks like it's gone underground," he said.

© 2017 AFP