From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Federal Government has alerted Nigerians to be mindful of a newly launched mobile application developed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for propagating Jihad to children.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the mobile application, tagged ‘Huroof’ (Arabic alphabets or letters), is to be used by ISIS to teach children the Arabic alphabets with the aid of guns, military tanks and cannons.
A statement by Special Assistant to the minister, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, said “the application utilises colourful illustrations that attract and engage the attention of young children,” adding that Alhaji Mohammed urged members of the public, particularly parents, to be vigilant to prevent their children and wards from being indoctrinated.
The Department of State Service (DSS) recently arrested five persons allegedly connected to the creation of sleeper ISIS training cells in Kano State.
Kano State Director of DSS, Mr. Abdullahi Chiranchi, who described the arrest as a significant breakthrough at frustrating every possible move to make Kano training ground for ISIS, said those arrested were from Kogi State and were moving to Libya, Morocco and other places with ISIS presence. He, however, failed to disclose names of the arrested suspects.
ISIS targets children specifically, aiming to create a generation of loyal followers who are indoctrinated from an early age and, therefore, might be less likely to dissent. It’s an issue that worries experts like Winter.
ISIS targets children because it’s easier to recruit them than adult men, Raqqawi said. experts have said such regular exposure to violence normalizes in children’s minds.
“It’s very familiar to see a lot of children carrying a AK-47s,” Raqqawi said. “Sometimes the gun is taller than the kid.”