As part of the routine intelligence gathering for this blog, I regularly check the website JustPaste.it, which allows individuals to post files without any registration required. The result is that the website is quite popular with Daesh for posting daily updates, including its latest propaganda photos.
Daesh’s propaganda photos generally depict them winning on the battlefield, helping the people, and enforcing their own brand of law and order among the people.
But in their January 31 posting, Daesh took a different tack: photographs of flowers and trees.
According to Google Translate, Daesh is showing nature photos of the Fattaih area of the Libyan city of Derna. Daesh was in control of the city for the most part from October 2014 to June 2015, when a coalition of Libyan militias managed to expel them. Nonetheless the city is continuing to battle Daesh attacks.
What the trees and flowers are meant to symbolize I am not sure. Even the Libyan edition of the Dubai-based television channel Al Aan TV was wondering on its Twitter what was the significance of nature shots.
There are some other idyllic photos of parks in Daesh-controlled territory, like this image of a park in their capital of Raqqa. And I previously reported on photos of them tending to a palm tree. But presumably that was meant to project an image that they are helping the people with public works projects.
So why did Daesh show off trees and flowers? Maybe they just like nature.