ISIS’s propaganda arm, Al-Hayat Media Center, publishes the fifth edition of the group’s weekly magazine, retitled Dabiq and expanded to 50 pages from eight. The magazine includes an editorial explaining the changes in layout, saying it has decided to focus on the concepts of monotheism, receiving knowledge, pilgrimage, holy war and Islamic society:
After a review of some of the comments received on the first issues of Islamic State News and Islamic State Report, AlHayat Media Center decided to carry on the effort – in sha’allah – into a periodical magazine focusing on issues of tawhid, manhaj, hijrah, jihad, jama’ah.
The name of the new magazine refers to the area of Dabiq in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which the group says will be the site of an apocalyptic battle between Islam and the Western ‘crusaders’:
[…] Allah’s messenger said, ‘The Hour will not be established until the Romans land at al-Amaq or Dabiq … then an army from al-Madinah of the best people on the earth at that time will leave for them.’
The lead story focuses on ISIS’s declaration of the new Islamic Caliphate on the first day of Ramadan, including excerpts of speeches by the group’s leaders. Speech by Al-Baghdadi:
O Muslims everywhere, glad tidings to you and expect good. Raise your heads high, for today – by Allah’s grace – you have a state and Khilafah, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership … Therefore, rush O Muslims to your state. Rush, because Syria is not for the Syrians, and Iraq is not for the Iraqis. The earth is Allah’s.
It reports on what it says are efforts by ISIS to build relations with tribal assemblies in Aleppo as part of efforts to establish the caliphate. Other sections include graphic photos of what it says are government atrocities in Nineveh including execution of Sunnis as the Iraqi security forces retreated from ISIS’s advance on Mosul. The second part of the magazine focuses on a lengthy analysis of the concept of imamah (Islamic leadership). The news section focuses on successful ISIS military campaigns and what it says are conversions to the group’s ideology in territories it has captured in Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar.
The magazine’s back page expounds further on the apocalyptic events to take place in Dabiq, including a hadith stating that the caliphate will conquer Constantinople (Istanbul), before returning to Sham (the Levant) and defeating the devil in battle.