At first, Mr. Khalifa stated, the audio was recorded in knowledgeable studio, with partitions made of foam to soak up ambient sound. They used the software program Magix Samplitude to edit the sound, and the completed productions have been broadcast via a transportable satellite tv for pc dish.
But that every one modified with American airstrikes in late 2014, Mr. Khalifa stated. They needed to relocate to city facilities beginning with Raqqa, transferring from home to accommodate, conscious that the proximity to civilians helped shield them.
As the Islamic State’s territory shrank, the media crew was pushed out of Raqqa, however remained energetic, carrying the satellite tv for pc dish with them, he stated. They anxious that the dish may give them away, however they continued transmitting nonetheless. In the remaining weeks earlier than his seize, Mr. Khalifa estimated, there have been at the very least 20 media operatives in the group’s final pocket in Syria, which has since been lowered to a tiny patch of land.
“Guys I knew agreed to work out of their homes,” he stated. “They still took the risk.”
By the time he was apprehended final month, Mr. Khalifa stated he had stopped working for the media unit and had picked up a Kalashnikov rifle to defend the Islamic State. Officials with the Syrian Democratic Forces stated he had tried to assault their place. Mr. Khalifa stated he had approached a villa, coming into from beneath whereas troopers have been on an higher ground.
After a protracted gunfight, he stated, he was bleeding and alone. The movies he had narrated have been full of bravado, his voice representing a bunch that had vowed by no means to surrender. But after greater than six defiant years in the battle zone, Mr. Khalifa stated, he did one thing that he by no means thought doable.
“I was exhausted. My ammo was gone,” he stated. “They kept calling on me to surrender, and so I threw down my weapon.”