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ISIS brutality, videos recruiting new terrorists

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ISIS terrorists have raced across vast stretches of Syria and Iraq to declare a caliphate or Islamic State. (Source: CNN) ISIS terrorists have raced across vast stretches of Syria and Iraq to declare a caliphate or Islamic State. (Source: CNN)
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BAGHDAD (CNN) - New evidence is surfacing that shows the brutal tactics ISIS is using to recruit new members.

Within a week of taking over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, ISIS began distributing flash drives and DVDs on the streets and after prayers at the mosques. They are short clips with no narration.

In one video they are distributing the woman’s voice says, to intimidate people, a man’s hand is seen hacked off.

Other distributed videos show executions. But despite the horror, ISIS continues to gather recruits, capitalizing on desperation and anger.

"My concern is just to protect Mosul. My family suffered a lot of because of the security vacuum from the central government," a young man and ISIS fighter from Mosul says.

Believing that ISIS can save his city from what he perceives as being the Iraq’s sectarian army, ISIS has also been reaching out to former al-Qaida members some who broke ties with the organization. ISIS is trying to lure them back in.

And other individuals who have specific skills are sought through a campaign of threats and intimidation

Ayman, who was reached via Skype in Turkey, was a media activist in Aleppo when ISIS approached him in December.

"The group leader came to us and asked us to join them for their media office,” he said. "They were trying to get professional people to work with them."

He refused twice, and then was briefly kidnapped and was lucky enough to be released with a warning never to return.

He answers as to why so many people are joining the brutal group.

"They were finding or creating the revenge way. If you join us you can revenge for your beloved people,” he said.

On an international scale, their campaign is even more formidable with slick videos specifically geared toward western extremists.

"So the Islamic State, because of it, is a lot more appealing ideologically and logistically. Politically it's a lot more powerful than it ever has, than it ever was before. And because of that it is more attractive to people. People want to go and fight for something that is successful. And Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, they all give the, the idea that it is very successful," said Charlie Cooper, an analyst with the The Quillam Foundation.

Its success for now cemented and arguably creating an unparalleled magnet for western jihadis centering around ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"They're really channeling the power that a cult of personality can have. This Islamic State is, is now where people are being decapitated and crucified and having their hands cut off for, for crimes. This is a utopia for certain extremists," Cooper said.

And an unbearable nightmare for Syrians and Iraqis living under their rule.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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