Center for Strategic Communication

By Chris Lundry

Artist’s conception of the ar Rahmah logo.

Once again, the Taliban has released comically inflated casualty reports from the conflict in Afghanistan. The latest post (which I accessed through Indonesian extremist site ar Rahmah) claims that 1114 ISAF “crusaders” were killed and 584 wounded in the period June 23 – July 21. The report also claims that 2970 Afghan “puppet” soldiers were killed and 1546 wounded, 915 military vehicles were destroyed, 4 helicopters downed, 2 drones downed, and one aircraft carrier-based plan downed. Clicking on the link above will get you the Indonesian language report, with a detailed breakdown by district. lists the number of ISAF deaths in June and July at 39 and 46, respectively, for an average of 43.

Unlike the previous report, this one has (as of yet) not garnered any doubtful comments. Some of the comments reflect a desire to see “infidels” out of Muslim lands, and cite Palestine. Another suggests that the US should send “Rambo.”

We’re not the only group tracking these exaggerations. Canadian group Taliban Propaganda Watch is doing so as well, listing the Taliban’s claims of Canadians killed.

On a thematically similar note, ar Rahmah recently posted an article “outing” false photographs (not for the squeamish) of the persecution of Muslim Rohingnyas in Burma (Myanmar). The Burmese persecution of Rohingnya has garnered a lot of attention in Indonesia, prompting official statements from the President and other officials.  Yet some of the photos that are circulating are from Thailand, Tibet, and even Congo.While acknowledging that Rohingnya are indeed persecuted, the report takes a conspiratorial turn:

If the person who spreads it is a Muslim, as a fellow Muslim and we will believe the photo. But it could be that the first to spread it is not a Muslim, there may be people who deliberately want to confuse the situation or even bring up the opinion that ‘the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar is a lie, as these photos are false.’

Another crusader plot, no doubt!