"... but also a strong undercurrent of oppositional, postmodern cool. CVE [Countering Violent Extremism] practitioners can’t possibly hope to challenge the glamor, energy, and sheer badassery of violent jihad as an ideal, still less the wider emotional resonance of the warrior ethos on which it draws. But they can reasonably hope to subvert ISIS’s claim to embody that ideal.... The bigger challenge—as Alberto Fernandez, the former coordinator of the U.S. State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, noted when I interviewed him earlier this year—is how to create a counter-narrative that is not merely negative but boldly affirmative, offering a vision that is just as exhilarating and seductive as that of jihadists. 'The positive narrative,' he said, 'is always more powerful, especially if it involves dressing in black like a ninja, having a cool flag, being on television, and fighting for your people.' The problem for CVE is that in an ironic age in which few 'grand narratives' remain, no one—except perhaps for the jihadists and their supporters—really knows what that narrative is anymore."
From "The Challenge of Jihadi Cool/ISIS’s countercultural appeal is real. And it must be taken seriously" by Simon Cottee in The Atlantic.
At the link, an ISIS fan is quoted blogging: "The bottom line... is that the Islamic State is the classic scifi underdog battling a seemingly all powerful Evil Empire America against impossible odds—and in the very best scifi tradition—they are winning."