VICE News. “Syria: Al-Qaeda’s New Home.” January 22, 2014. https://news.vice.com/video/syria-al-qaeda-39-s-new-home.
This video recorded events in early-2014 Syria, and chronicles changing identities in the Levant from peaceful protests to militants in Osama Bin Laden’s Brigade. These armed groups have been using digital multimedia to recruit “near” volunteers from MENA and “far” volunteers from around the world. The groups have funding from Sunni groups in Saudi Arabia, greasing their war machine. The terrorists relish being on international terror lists, as it gives them a sense of recognition. Also, the war has radicalized the Syrian people, as more of them flocked to the Syrian Free Army after Bashir’s crackdowns on protestors. A good microcosm of this radicalization can be observed in Hassan Abu Ali, interviewed in this video. The actions of the conflict transformed him from a politically unaware fifteen year old into a seventeen year old militant. This video also records a changing gender perception in the urban warfare of Syria as women fight in combat, such as the Um Omar’s female volunteers, who “proved that [they] can fight alongside [their] jihadist brothers.” Also, several foreign fighters explain their motives for joining the militants, citing governmental “crimes” and “to protect their honor and to protect their women.” Furthermore, al Qaeda has the support of locals by providing social services and education, giving them soft power. The Syrian Civil War radicalizes and attracts the disenfranchised, including the youth, women, and disenchanted foreigners. In Fourth Generation Warfare, there is a new power conversion through electronic mass media mobilization.