Stop Feeding the Troll: The Case for an ISIS Propaganda Blackout – Adam Johnson

The London Express (5/22/15) unsubtly juxtaposed ISIS militants with an atomic explosion.

This past weekend, several media outlets ran a story about how ISIS is seeking a nuclear weapon:

ISIS Claims It Could Buy Its First Nuclear Weapon From Pakistan Within a Year

International Business Times

ISIS to Smuggle Its First Nuclear Weapon From Pakistan, Mulls Attack on US: Report

—Economic Times

ISIS Boasts It ‘Could Buy First Nuclear Weapon in Less Than 12 Months’

Daily Mirror

John Cantlie Claims ‘Infinitely’ Greater Threat of Nuclear Attack on US

—The Telegraph

These “reports” are based entirely on a throwaway line from hostage-cum-ISIS spokesperson John Cantlie in an “op-ed” in the  ISIS magazine Dabiq a few days ago. As IBTreported:

“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” [Cantile] continues. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region.”

It admits that such a scenario is “far-fetched” but warns: “It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.”

This “hypothetical operation” was a “far-fetched” scenario—but the meme, naturally, soon spread to popular right-wing media:

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