A video footage showed gunmen executing 200 children who were forced to line down in a line with their faces down on the ground. While it is still unclear which group the perpetrators belong to, several reports have alleged that ISIS/ISIL were behind this horrific massacre.
Since last summer, ISIS has released a series of execution videos that showed their killings of prisoners by beheading, drowning in a cage, burning alive, crucifying, and strapping to bombs. While the majority of the executions were targeted at men and women, the killings occasionally included children.
According to an earlier report, ISIS was reported to systematically behead "infidels," who were not Muslims, including women and children. Besides executing civilians, the Islamic terrorists have been training children to become suicide bombers and fighters. In a recent report by Al Jazeera, children as young as five were trained to use grenades and other forms of weapons.
Since ISIS declared their "caliphate," the international communities, including United States, Jordan, United Kingdom, Russia, have conducted airstrike campaign that has seen the jihadists lose some territory but also make new gains. In late October, U.S. President Obama had authorized the first sustained deployment less than 50 special force troops to Syria, reversing a longstanding refusal to put US boots on the ground.
Under the Islamic States' control, the citizens in Syria and Iraq faced arbitrary executions and punishments. According to female victims who were rescued or escaped from ISIS captivity, women and girls were sold and raped by the militants, who justified their actions by citing a Koran passage that Muslim men were allowed to rape unbelievers.
While the international communities have increased military efforts, ISIS have continued to reach youths with their extremists messages through the internet. Their reach and agility in social media outstrips that of the American government.
Earlier this year, Obama told an auditorium full of community activists, religious leaders, and law enforcement officials - some of them skeptical about his messages - that "We need to find new ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion, and we especially need to do it online," according to New York Times.
At that three-day meeting held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, who said the attacks in her city, including the Charlie Hebdo shootings, had prompted her to ask herself, "What did we not do to prevent that?"
Hans Bonte, the mayor of Vilvoorde, Belgium, said that his city of 42,000 had been beset by Islamic State recruitment efforts and that 28 young people had gone to Iraq and Syria. He said another 40, including some under-age girls, were preparing to depart or "marked as potential leavers," the Times reported.
"We are facing a global problem, but we have to act locally," Bonte said.