The Islamic State terrorist group has released a disturbing propaganda image of a newborn baby sleeping beside a gun, a hand grenade, and an ISIS birth certificate.
The image, which is believed to be authentic, was re-posted to Twitter on earlier this week by an anti-ISIS activist in Syria with the warning: 'This child will be risk to you not just to us."
"By showing the birth certificate, and the fact that the group are indoctrinating babies, I think ISIS are indicating they will be around for a long time," a terrorism expert at the Australian National University told Daily Mail Australia.
"It's an interesting signal of life within the caliphate. Obviously by posting opposition to the Islamic State from within their borders the activist is operating with great risk," the terrorism expert added.
The Islamic State, which has overtaken large parts of Iraq and Syria in an attempt to establish a caliphate, often exploits children as part of their propaganda strategy.
In September, ISIS released a sickening image of a baby dressed as a fighter lying on an Islamic state flag beside grenades and large guns.
A month earlier, Australian terrorist leader Khaled Sharrouf posted a Twitter image of his seven-year-old son gripping the severed head of a Syrian soldier, with the accompanying caption 'that's my boy!'
Most recently, the group released a video showing young boys participating in executions carried out by the jihadists. In the video, the children lead eight Syrian men before handing out knives for fighters to behead the captives.
Other images and videos published by ISIS show hundreds of young boys participating in ISIS "training camps," where they are taught to use lethal weapons in preparation to become the next generation of jihadis.
Additionally, a CNN report from September shared the story of a 13-year-old boy who escaped one of these camps, and said that he witnessed militants carry out beheadings, stonings and a crucifixion.
"They used to bring young [kids] to the camp to lash them," the boy said. "When we go to the mosque, they order us to come the next day at a specific time and place to [watch] heads cut off, lashings or stonings. We saw a young man who did not fast for Ramadan, so they crucified him for three days, and we saw a woman being stoned [to death] because she committed adultery."
Charlie Winter, a researcher for the anti-radicalization think tank the Quilliam Foundation, says the group continues to release footage including children to show how powerful its image and indoctrination are to the world.
"It plays into the whole pseudo state image they are trying to promote," Winter told Newsweek. "They are saying they have an administration. They are trying to show that the Islamic State is going to be around for a while."
According to the Daily Mail, Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis recently announced an $18 million initiative to battle extremist propaganda in Australia.
The operation, which is expected to launch in July, will employ a team of technology experts to assess the impact of extremist propaganda. In addition, the government will employ the help of platforms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook, to counter extremist messages.