Isis video appears to show young boy dressed up as a fighter being forced to behead a teddy bear

A man can be heard off-camera shouting encouragement

Isis followers shared a video showing a toddler beheading a teddy bear
Isis followers shared a video showing a toddler beheading a teddy bear

A video is being circulated by Isis militants which appears to show a young child being encourage to behead a teddy bear in front of the group’s flag.

In footage, which experts have said shows “child abuse of the most wicked sort”, the boy is seen dressed up in the black clothes generally worn by Isis fighters.

Given a large, apparently sharp-bladed hunting knife, the pre-school-aged child is urged on by a man off-screen, who appears to be shouting “Takbir”, an Arabic term for the phrase usually translated as “God is great”.

Syrian social media users condemned the video over the weekend, saying it represented a “childhood destroyed”.

The low-quality video was not thought to have been released directly by Isis’s media arm, and its provenance could not be confirmed. It was shared by an apparently Isis-supporting Twitter account however, with the title “The son of one of the Mujahideen Part 2”.

Julie Lenarz, a director at the foreign policy think-tank Human Security Centre, tweeted stills from the video and wrote: “Video emerges of Isis foreign fighter's toddler beheading a teddy bear. Child abuse of the most wicked sort.”

Warning: Some viewers may find this footage distressing

Isis has a long history of using children in its propaganda, and it claims to run “schools of jihad” for where boys under the age of 10 are forced to watch images of beheadings and torture and use deadly weapons.

The UN has previously criticised Isis’s establishment of training camps “to recruit children into armed roles under the guise of education”.

It said the existence of such camps and the use of older children in military operations amounted to “a war crime”.

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