French recruit in latest IS propaganda video

French recruit in latest IS propaganda video

A French Islamic State fighter painted a rosy picture of life under the group's so-called caliphate in a video released Saturday, the latest example of the jihadists' campaign to glorify their exploits and draw in foreign recruits.

The IS group said the narrative of former army trainer and businessman believed to be aged in his sixties - whom it named as Abu Suhayb al-Faransi - was the first episode of a new "series" of propaganda videos, according to the US-based SITE monitoring network.

Videos like Faransi's, distributed via social media, have helped IS lure hundreds of supporters from Western countries to the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

Faransi, sporting a henna-dyed beard, military fatigues and tinted glasses, is shown speaking in the 15-minute video about his conversion to Islam and pursuit of jihad.

Faransi recalled IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's announcement in June that the fighters were establishing a "caliphate" straddling large chunks of Iraq and Syria.

"From then on, I told myself there was no doubt, I had to join," the Frenchman said. Some Western recruits have voiced their disenchantment with IS after arriving in the country, and the video posted Saturday sees the group attempting to portray a different narrative.

"When I entered the land of the caliphate, I saw that there were different things, institutions, cleanliness, engineers, doctors, sensible people, people who left Europe, who left other lands from across the world to knowingly come fight jihad completely honestly," the man said.

IS seized nearly a third of Iraq virtually unopposed nine months ago, beheading and crucifying civilians and opponents in public and distributing videos of the violence online.

The group has managed to hold on to large parts of the territory despite a US-backed counter-offensive and an Iranian-aided effort to fight the group.

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