Tech Against Terrorism

Ghuwayran Prison Break: A Propaganda Victory for Islamic State?

March 02, 2022 Tech Against Terrorism Season 2 Episode 3
Tech Against Terrorism
Ghuwayran Prison Break: A Propaganda Victory for Islamic State?
Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss Islamic State’s large-scale attack on Ghuwayran prison in north-eastern Syria to break out jailed IS fighters, focusing on the extent to which the event translated into a propaganda victory for the group. 

During the episode, we uncover how the prison break played out both online and offline, the reaction from online IS supporter networks, and the effect of these kinds of operations on IS recruitment efforts. We also touch on the death of the group's leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, following a US raid in northern Syria, and unpack the muted response from online supporters. 

Join Anne Craanen as she speaks to Mina Al-Lami who heads up the Jihadist Media Team at BBC Monitoring. Mina is a native Arabic speaker and has spent the past 15 years tracking and analysing jihadist activity, messaging and platforms.

Anne is also joined by Dr. Vera Mironova who is a renowned conflict journalist having reported from the front line of the fight against IS. She is also an academic, scholar, producer, speaker, research fellow and policy consultant, as well as an award-winning writer having authored "From Freedom Fighters to Jihadists: Human Resources of Non State Armed Groups.

We also hear from Deeba Shadnia who’s an Open-source Intelligence Analyst at Tech Against Terrorism, specialising in tracking how violent Islamists and the violent far-right exploit online spaces. 

To find out more about Tech Against Terrorism and our work, visit or follow us on Twitter @techvsterrorism, where you can find resources on this topic. 

You can learn more about the work BBC Monitoring does here.

If you want to know more about Vera Mironova’s work, you can find her website here