Nothing inspires confidence in a rogue fighting force like a good propaganda film. ISIS typically shows their soldiers carrying out executions, or engaged in fierce combat. This latest video, though, has captured some of the more intense training exercises. But it wasn’t released by ISIS, and the reason is all-too clear.
The footage portrays the trainees in a different light. There’s a good bit of bumbling. The leapfrog footage is especially entertaining.
“Several videos were reportedly sized by U.S. military in Afghanistan earlier this month,” The Daily Mail notes, “and the army has since released a four-minute compilation of ‘bloopers’.”
Some of the footage appears to have been shot inside a mosque in Afghanistan. While ISIS troops are known for their strict uniform code, or their coordinated training regime, some of these men appear clad in camouflage uniforms. The exercises look like a comical version of basic training.
The men are even play fighting, showing off stylized martial arts moves and boxing. While their punches aren’t connecting, the men seem capable of putting on a show. Then one of the men tries to use his knees, and the demonstration seems to fall apart a bit.
Even their attempts at push-ups go awry. They can’t get the spacing on the floor correct, and that results in the men knocking heads. What is meant to be a flashy demonstration of their strength and coordination ends up revealing their ineptitude.
Even their masks are the wrong size. Whoever cut the holes had the same issue with coordination that is on display throughout the video.
The video even features pratfalls on mountain trails.
“Afghanistan’s ISIS affiliate is known as ISIS-Khorasan province, after an ancient name for the region that includes Pakistan,” Stars and Stripes reports.
The video does highlight one new twist that is alarming. “Daesh terrorists are always trying to hide in people’s houses, mosques and religious places, which are not being targeted by our security forces,” Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, acting Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, said.
If they are going farther underground, as the video suggests, they’ll be much harder to target. Yet the video offers some comic relief. It seems hard to take this lot seriously.