The As-Sahab Foundation for Islamic Media Publication
: السحاب, "The Clouds"), is the media production house of Al-Qaeda
, used to relay the organization's views to the world
Its first production under the name, was believed to have been in 2001 with the involvement of Adam Yahiye Gadahn.
As-Sahab "produces documentary-quality films, iPod files and cellphone video." In 2007, it released 97 original videos, a sixfold increase from 2005.
The organization uses modern technology
to produce its video
statements. In addition to being released in Arabic, some published videos come with English
or other language subtitles
More recently, the release of the "5 years after tribute", The Manhattan Raid demonstrated a standard comparing favorably with the production quality obtained by major television networks some 10 years ago. Video and audio are (depending on the source material, much of which is decades old) usually crisp, and subtitles are by and large free of grammatical and spelling errors and sometimes explain Islam-specific concepts. It is unknown whether this indicates a general increase in capability or a tapping of additional resources to produce what seems to be a kind of "special release" video.
An August 2007 study by an independent researcher has revealed that As-Sahab may be using a technology similar to greenscreen (Chroma key) to accomplish back-drop effects.
U.S. and British intelligence officials believe it to be run by former Orange County California resident Adam Gadahn, who left America to join al Qaeda in Pakistan, as first reported by ABC News last year. Although, since his alleged death in February 2008 it has been reported that the media production of these messages has gone down hill.
In 2005 a CBC programme based on a documenaty originally produced in Japan by NHK Television and was updated by the Discovery Times Channel, was released called Media Jihad - As-Sahab Foundation which traces the origins of As-Sahab.
Method of delivery
Previously al Qaeda preferred to deliver its videos via a dead drop
method using couriers. However, the method of delivery was changed in January 2005 after the Damadola airstrike
on an al Qaeda meeting near Damadola
. The current method of delivery, which appears to be handled by As Sahab, is an internet
delivery of video or audio materials.
2007 Osama bin Laden video
On September 6
, Osama bin Laden
was posted at a banner advertisement
on an Islamic militant website
where As-Sahab posts messages. In the image, the man purported to be bin Laden had a beard
which appears to have been dyed
. Al-Sahab said that bin Laden will release a new video ahead of the sixth anniversary
of the 2001 attacks which will be the first new images in three years.
As Sahab videos