The Islamic State (IS) has become notorious for violent, brutal actions and the presentation of these actions in social and mainstream media. Excessive violence creates a spectacle for the news media. However, IS propaganda also emphasizes its role in state building and its engagement in social and welfare work. This twofold propaganda enables the mobilization of different audiences, but it also sends conflicting messages about the organization. In this article, we study the e-magazine Dabiq, emphasizing its methods of gaining support and attempting to recruit Western participants to violent jihadism. We use theories of social movement and subculture to reveal some of the underlying tensions in IS’s communicative strategies. The analysis first identifies how IS frames its propaganda, attempting to mobilize widespread support. Then, it highlights another dimension of IS’s rhetoric: provocations, the creation of sensationalist spectacles of violence and links to excitement seeking, stardom, and popular culture. We conclude that combining general anti-Western rhetoric and religious imagery with extraordinary depictions of violence has been both a strength and flaw in the organization’s propaganda.