On Friday, a number of jihadist-linked Twitter accounts began tweeting links to khilafalive.info, a Web site which claims to be an "official website for the supporters of the Islamic State Caliphate." A selection of video and radio channels were hosted on the site, some playing Islamic State propaganda videos and others jihadi nasheeds (a type of Islamic vocal music). Users were able to "chat" with fellow viewers.
Notably, two of the channels claimed they would soon be broadcasting "directly" from the Islamic State. On Twitter, speculation grew that the extremist organization had launched a television channel aimed at international viewers, in keeping with the group's aspirations of acting less like an insurgency and more like a state.
Talk of an "Islamic State TV channel" has been around for a few days. Vocativ reports that the launch of the channel had been teased by a video released on jihadist forums. The Islamic State has already set up a number of regional broadcasters, including the FM radio station Al-Bayan in Mosul, Iraq and a satellite TV station called Tawheed that operates from Libya. A Web site that broadcast channels 24/7 around the world appeared to be a step up in ambition.
Exactly who was behind khilafalive.info wasn't clear, however. J.M. Berger, an analyst who follows jihadist movements online, said that the Web site had been live for some time, yet no official Islamic State outlets had announced it nor commented on it. "My best guess is this is a fanboy effort," Berger said, suggesting that the site had been set up by informal supporters of the Islamic State without any official capacity.
Web site registration records offer little clue, only showing that the domain was registered through an Australian company. On Friday afternoon, many of the videos appeared to have stopped working; later the entire site was inaccessible.