The Taliban shunned television and even photography when they ruled Afghanistan, but in the years since they were toppled from power they have embraced the power of video propaganda.
Their film of the handover of US prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, who was exchanged for five Taliban held in Guantanamo Bay, was the Islamist force's latest powerful media strike against the troops they have also been fighting by more conventional means for more than a decade.
When they won US and Afghan approval last year to open an office in Qatar as a possible base for peace talks, they put a plaque and flag up outside their diplomatic-zone villa that made it look like nearby embassies.
That scuttled the process, but dramatic pictures of men in black turbans giving a press conference like members of a government-in-exile were already bouncing around the internet. The year before that, a video of a huge truck bomb at Salerno base in Khost province upended Nato reports of a relatively minor attack.
The Taliban website Voice of Jihad features dozens of attack videos, along with news reports and analysis in five languages, including English. The website is fast and almost never goes down - a far cry from the days before 2001 when owning a television was a criminal offence.
Michael Semple, a Harvard University fellow and Taliban expert, said: "This [propaganda] is an investment which they have been making over the past decade. It's a strategic choice to invest in building it up.
"The Taliban are trying to convince their own people and Western publics and the Afghan population that they are about to win the war. On the ground they have nothing else to support this."
The shooting of the Bergdahl release video is amateurish, as is the editing. But still the footage is gripping, an extraordinary glimpse into the heart of the elite, secretive special forces and the murky world of prisoner swaps and hostage negotiations.
"The main message they are putting out is we are strong and serious enough that the greatest army in the world has to deal with us," said Semple.
- Bergdahl's hometown has abruptly cancelled for a welcomehome celebration, citing security concerns over the prospect of a big crowd. His release has fired a debate over whether he should be treated as a hero or a deserter.
Additional reporting by Associated Press