IS ‘brainwashing’ children to attack Europe
London, Dec 20 (IANS) The Islamic State group is providing children apps to access violent jihadi websites and offering rewards, if young recruits say they were willing to attack monuments in Europe.
The attempt to “create a new generation of terrorists”, according to British military and security officials, comes amid evidence of the IS’s bid to recruit children in the West to carry out attacks in Europe and America, the Independent reported on Tuesday.
The terror group has set up kiosks in the areas it controls in Iraq and Syria where children can use apps to read the group’s online magazine Rumiyah, as well as a website that teaches them Arabic.
The terror group has been increasing the use of child fighters in a battle for survival in Iraq and Syria. Pictures of guns and tanks abound in the childrens’ Arabic learning website along with those of landmarks in Europe and America.
Col. John Dorrian of the US-led coalition against the IS said: “What they do is despicable. They are willing to use children to carry out suicide attacks. Their apocalyptic vision is of damaging society everywhere they have gained control.”
“The targets are places like the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower,” he said.
The Internet is the common avenue for indoctrination in both the West and the Middle-East for the young, said security sources. The British government has disclosed that 50 young people were prevented from leaving the country to go to Syria in the last 12 months.
A dozen suspects, all teenagers, are reported to have been detained in Belgium last week for allegedly plotting to attack Christmas shoppers.
There has been a sharp rise in the numbers of children on the frontline — up to 50,000 according to estimates — in the wake of the heavy losses the Islamic State has suffered in Iraq and Syria.
The vast majority of children recruited by the terror group are Syrians and Iraqis. There are also around 50 from Britain, along with smaller numbers from France, Australia.