No one living in a normal society would ever imagine that a child is a terrorist in training. Maybe that's what makes the ISIS poster child that has been getting a great deal of attention in the UK such a shock. A 6-year-old boy who is being called, "Jihad Junior" is getting a great deal of press lately for his Muslim extremist behavior, and his appearance in an ISIS video on Sunday. His mother, Grace Dare, wasn't even brought up in Islam. She is a convert to Islam from the Catholic religion.
Dare is 22-years-old and is thought to be a Jihad bride who is married to Swedish Islamic fighter Abu Bakr. Her son was suspected of being the child in ISIS propaganda videos, and then that suspicion was recently confirmed by Dare's father, Henry. He is a British taxicab driver who told the Telegraph that, "I was surprised when I saw the picture. It's definitely him. Of course, I'm worried, but there's nothing I can do now. I'm not angry - I would never have expected it. I just hope someone is trying to bring them back."
When her son Isa was 4-years-old, Dare posted a picture of him on her Twitter account smiling and holding an AK-47. He has been featured in an ISIS propaganda video telling Jihadists to, "Kill the Kuffar" (unbelievers).
Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the video is, "desperate stuff," put out by a group that is, "losing" territory" and "increasingly losing anybody's sympathy."
Jihad Junior is only one of many children who have been featured in ISIS videos. The videos often show them being trained with guns. There has been at least one instance of a child in Jihad training holding a severed head, or being encouraged to kick a severed head. There are over 30 children in 12 UK families that have been suspected of radicalization and brought before a UK court.
Dare's parents are originally from Nigeria. They are said to be devout Catholics who even sent their only child, Grace, to Catholic schools. She grew up in Lewisham, England, which is just south of London. She is thought to have been radicalized when she became a teenager while spending time on-line.
The reason that ISIS is training children to be Jihad fighters is because of a mindset similar to Hitler's, who once said, "He alone who owns the youth gains the future." Part of the psychological warfare aspect is to attempt to convince the world that they are a capable radical group and that they have a multi-generational war focus. Not only do they get media attention for their ideology, but they can also use it as a way to try to inspire other extremist parents to hand over their children to their Jihadist training camps.
In addition, children and teens are much easier to indoctrinate than adults. So children are taught specific skills in Caliphate training camps. When ISIS curriculum is placed in schools, it focuses on training boys in military skills such as combat, creating explosives, sniper training, and spying with the intent of informing ISIS about those who are not conforming to their practices.
Girls are given an oppressive training focused on fulfilling their Jihadist husband's needs, having lots of children for the purpose of parenting the next generation of Jihadist fighters, and running the household.