Monday, February 01, 2016

The Voice of the Caliphate


Around December 1st 2015 a new radio station appeared on 90 FM in the in the remote Achin district of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. It called itself Sadai Khilafat Radio, the "Voice of the Caliphate" and broadcast ISIS (Daesh ) propaganda in Pashto, Dari, Farsi and Arabic. The station only managed to broadcast a hour of programming per day. In addition to the propaganda against both the Taliban and the Afghan government, they also aired interviews, and acappella music. More here and here.

The conservative theology of the group prohibits the use of instruments so they are unwilling to air recorded music and presumably to use production music. This choice must make the station a bit of a drab listen compared to any of the other 170 radio stations in Afghanistan. Their propaganda was mostly aimed at motivating young Afghani men to join Islamic State.With little television, and even less internet radio is the main source of information and entertainment in the country. More here and here.

Islamic State only announced the arrival of their Afghanistan franchise in January 2015. So their first radio station took almost an entire year to get running. By December 17th the Afghanistan's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced they had found the station but the governor of Nangarhar suggested that it was over the border in Pakistan. On December 31st a report appeared on VOA that the station was being successfully shut down. [SOURCE] It wasn't jammed or shut down and it also wasn't in Pakistan. On February 1st of 2016, a total of four U.S. drone strikes, hit the radio station killing 21 IS members, including the eight who operated the radio station. More here and here.