Isis releases app for children to 'learn Arabic alphabet' using jihadist songs and cartoons of weapons

The app features cartoons of rockets, ammunition and swords alongside flowers and balloons

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 12 May 2016 09:53 BST
Isis released the 'Huroof' app for children on 10 May 2016
Isis released the 'Huroof' app for children on 10 May 2016

Isis has reportedly created an app to help children learn Arabic – using jihadist songs and pictures of tanks, guns and rockets.

Promoted by the terrorist group’s “Library of Zeal” department, it promises to “teach the cubs the letters of the alphabet”.

The so-called Islamic State refers to its fighters as “lions” and to the children in its territories as “cubs of the caliphate”, releasing photos showing them being trained as child soldiers and being indoctrinated with its ideology.

The Huroof app takes a softer tone, presented in bright colours with cartoons of flowers, balloons and stars – with the black flag of jihad fluttering in the background.

Writing in the Long War Journal, analyst Caleb Weiss said the app includes a jihadist nasheed (Islamic song) to learn the alphabet and games using “militaristic vocabulary”.

The Arabic letter “ba” is shown with a picture of a gun, “dal” with a tank, “ta” with a bullet, “sad” with a rocket and “sin” with a sword, among other weapons.

The app was publicised on Isis messaging channels and file-sharing websites on Tuesday and appeared to be available only on Android devices.

Families fleeing Isis territory in Iraq and Syria have described militants attempting to “brainwash” their children with their violent ideology.

Isis is known to use young boys as fighters and suicide bombers, as well as featuring children including a four-year-old British boy as executioners in its gory propaganda videos.

It has released footage of training camps for what it calls the “Cubs of the Caliphate” and parents have parents have previously reported their children being sent home with Caucasian dolls dressed in orange jumpsuits to behead as “homework”.

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