France released a video on Wednesday in an effort to discourage young people from joining the Islamic State group and other organizations like it. The video, titled “Ils te disent ...” (“They tell you ...”), aims to discredit the various claims made by recruiters working for jihadist groups like ISIS.
The two-minute video, which was published on the French government’s official social media channels with a hashtag #StopDJihadisme begins with images of militants on social media and an invitation to join them. The video goes on to show more jihadist propaganda while contrasting them with what the French government deems to be the reality. The government also launched a website to steer would-be jihadists away from joining militant groups in the Middle East.
“We will broadcast this video widely on social networks in order to reach the maximum number of young people vulnerable to these calls. We hope it will shock them,” Christian Gravel, head of the French government's communication department, told Agence France-Presse.
“Recruiters deceive people by promising them a future or an ideal cause to defend, where people encounter barbarism and death,” according to a description of the video on YouTube.
“They told you: ‘Sacrifice yourself by our side for a just cause,’” a message, in French, in the video says. “In reality, you'll find hell on earth and you'll die alone, far from home.”
The messages in the video are accompanied by clips of dead people, and their bodies being dragged and dumped. The video also shows images of women and children suffering in conflict-ridden regions.
— Gouvernement (@gouvernementFR) January 28, 2015
Another message reads: “They tell you: Come and start a family with one of our heroes,” followed by the government’s message saying: “You’ll bring your children up in the midst of war and in terror.”
The latest video appeared a week after France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that the government would create 2,680 jobs in counter-terrorism and invest about $492 million in the interior and justice ministries over the next three years. The announcement came in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris earlier this month, which killed 17 people.
“The number of radicals in the country is constantly growing. French intelligence needs to conduct surveillance on over 3,000 radical Islamists,” Valls had said last week. “In particular, 450 people who have previously participated in fighting in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, and at the moment are taking part in sending volunteers to Syria and Iraq - they account for about 1,300 people.”
Here is the anti-jihadist video. Viewers are advised to view at their own discretion as some of the imagery is graphic.