US Refuses To Bomb Islamic State’s ‘Media Centers’ Over Possible Civilian Casualties
US intelligence services have mapped Islamic State’s media installations producing terrorist propaganda for the internet, yet none of them have been bombed out for fear of collateral damage and the need for intelligence to monitor the jihadists’ operations.
The terrorists’ media centers, which edit and compile video and written material for propaganda over the web are located in residential areas in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The whereabouts of such installations are well known and thoroughly mapped out after a months-long clandestine intelligence program, The Washington Times reports, citing anonymous sources.
“Obviously, if we know where they’re producing the propaganda, we should be doing everything we can to destroy their facilities,” William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar and former State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism, told The Washington Times.
But the Obama administration has not rushed to target these facilities with airstrikes or Hellfire missiles fired from drones. The explanation offered is not hard to plumb: innocent civilians in neighboring buildings might die as a result of an airstrike. Yet The Washington Times also mentions another declared reason for keeping the terrorists’ “propaganda bullhorn” in operation.
The White House expects US intelligence to keep Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) public relations operations under scrutiny “to learn how the Islamic State and its media enterprises operate,” The Washington Times said.