By Dave Bryan

LOS ANGELES ( — The Islamic State group’s release of an online magazine is one of the key weapons in the terrorist organization’s campaign to win over recruits and argue for its legitimacy, an expert said Thursday.

ISIS’ magazine titled Dabiq features photographs of the group’s fighters on foot, tanks and on horseback. The magazine also includes pictures young children who have allegedly shot and killed young enemies of ISIS.

“Myself and everyone I know in the counterterrorism community are very concerned about magazines like Dabiq and the ability of ISIS to reach so many people,” Ryan Mauro said via Skype.

Mauro is a national security analyst with The Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is exposing the dangers of Islamic extremism. It has posted nine editions of Dabiq in an effort to expose its tactics.

“What you see is a very detailed ideology. They are very effective at arguing that their tactics are right and a lot of people are buying into it, and you can’t stop it from spreading because it spread online,” Mauro said.

The magazine is now also including articles that aim to show off what it believes is the softer side of ISIS, recruiting doctors, providing medical care and keeping tabs on the number of medical procedures provided by two ISIS-controlled hospitals.

As KCAL9 Political Reporter Dave Bryan reports, it’s part of an attempted ISIS makeover.

“It’s very common for me to see pictures online of ISIS members with kittens or giving first-aid to other people and one of the main functions of this magazine is to argue that their state is legitimate. It’s not just a chaotic environment that they seize with arms. That this is a real government with working infrastructure,” Mauro said.

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