Its first production under the name was believed to have been in 2001 with the involvement of Adam Yahiye Gadahn.
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.
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 in 1998.
In 2005 a CBC programme based on a documentary 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, Pakistan. 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, 2007, Osama bin Laden's image 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 that appeared to have been dyed. Al-Sahab said that bin Laden would release a new video ahead of the 6th anniversary of the 2001 attacks, which would be the first new images in 3 years.
- Kohlmann, Evan (May 18, 2008). "Where's the beef? Mystery grows surrounding whereabouts of Adam Gadahn". Counterterrorism Blog. Archived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Whitlock, Craig (2008-06-24). "Al-Qaeda's Growing Online Offensive". Washington Post.
- http://www.hackerfactor.com/papers/bh-usa-07-krawetz-wp.pdf (p. 25)
- ABC News. "American Al Qaeda Unmasked?". ABC News. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Media Jihad - As Sahab Foundation". Islamic Awakening Forums. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Osama bin Laden will release a new video Archived October 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.