How ISIS is using kids to further its cause

isischildA small child, dressed in military fatigues, gazes into the camera. His curly hair is pulled back from his face with a piece of black fabric emblazoned with the infamous logo of the Islamic State.

“Go kill the kuffar (non-believer) over there!” the 5-year-old boy says, his childlike voice standing in stark contrast to the scenes that have just played out.

This clip appears at the end of a grisly video that ISIS militants released this week. It shows several executions and threatens the UK and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The young boy — identified by family members in London as the son of a British woman who traveled to ISIS-controlled territory — is the latest child the group has used in its propaganda campaigns.

Not the first, and certainly not the last

The extremist group has long been using kids in its propaganda machine, featuring young boys in videos and photos that are pushed out to the world on social media. Some depict brutal executions, like the clip released this week, while others show a stylized version of life for kids under ISIS rule.

Last year, ISIS released a video showing a young boy shooting alleged Russian spies. In August, an ISIS affiliated Twitter account shared a video claiming to show the toddler son of a fighter “beheading” a teddy bear.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 4.53.34 PM

Screengrab of the video of a child “beheading” his teddy bear, posted to a Twitter account associated with ISIS.

Sunday Dare, the Londoner who identified the boy in the latest video as his grandson, told the UK’s Channel 4 News that he believes the militant group are using the child as a “shield.”

The last time he saw his grandson, whose name is Isa, was more than two years ago before his mother, Khadijah Dare, took him to Syria.

“They are just using a small boy. He doesn’t know anything,” Dare said. “He’s a small boy.”

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