This Extraordinarily Disturbing Detail In ISIS' Latest Video Shouldn't Be Surprising
ISIS released another "Jihadi John"-esque propaganda video on Monday featuring the execution of five hostages who claim to be British spies. In addition, the 10.5 minute-long video features two English-speaking ISIS members. Even aside from the execution itself, the video is utterly gruesome: ISIS uses the familiarity of the English language to deconstruct the correlation between familiarity and comfort in the Western world. The scare tactic is reminiscent of the original "Jihadi John" videos, but it's not the most disturbingcomponent . Arguably, the group's involvement of an incredibly young child in the end of the video is the most shocking.
An unnamed masked man with a British accent, who has been featured in at least five of ISIS's videos, became a staple in ISIS propaganda about a year ago. The world dubbed him "Jihadi John" and he was soon identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a man who was born in Kuwait but grew up in London. In November, Emwazi was killed in a drone strike conducted by the United States. Now, another British militant, who has yet to be identified, has seemingly taken his place and is addressing Britain's Prime Minister directly — all with the help of a young boy who has yet to learn how to pronounce words correctly.
The new video released Monday, which appears to be professionally filmed and edited, begins by presenting the testaments of five hostages in documentary film style, transitioning between profile shots and extreme close-ups of their moving mouths and cuffed wrists. In Arabic, each hostage confesses to having spied for Great Britain against the Islamic State. The masked man, or new "Jihadi John," oversees the hostages and delivers a combative address in English before shooting each of them.
This is a message to David Cameron. Oh slave of the White House, oh mule of the Jews. How strange it is that we find ourselves today hearing an insignificant leader like you challenge the might of the Islamic State. ... Only an imbecile would dare to anger a people who love death the way that you love your life. Oh British Government. Oh people of Britain. Know that today, your citizenship is under our feet. And that the Islamic State, our country, is here to stay, and we will continue to wage jihad, break borders and one day, invade your land, where we will rule by the Sharia.
Amidst the resonating sound of gunshots, a young boy donning a black ISIS headband and military suit speaks in an echoing voice and points.
We will kill kuffar [infidels] over there.
His words are barely comprehensible because he speaks with the proficiency of a toddler. He is one.
Gut-wrenchingly, this isn't the first time ISIS has used children to get its point across via media. In July, the group released a video that showed a young boy beheading a Syrian soldier, posing menacingly with the blade afterwards. ISIS released an even earlier video in February 2014 that displays a troop of young children dressed in camouflage. Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project, which tracks global terrorism, explained ISIS's tactic in a statement to the New York Post.
ISIS is emphasizing its child recruits because it obviously makes for good footage but also to emphasize this is a generational struggle. You can kill off the current leaders and fighters, but their kids will fight on. It makes it harder to celebrate ISIS’ losses if you know their manpower will be replenished with brainwashed children.
He added that most of the children belong to Islamic State fighters who have pledged their lives to the group.