ISIL’s powerful propaganda team is now turning to apps to promote its message to children. The terrorist group has reportedly released an app to teach kids Arabic that is riddled with jihadist themes.
The app—called Huroof—has games and songs to learn the Arabic alphabet. Screenshots obtained from the Long War Journal show how children using the app are immediately taught militaristic vocabulary, with words like “gun,” “tank,” and “ammunition.”
The so-called Islamic State announced the release of the app on what seems to be their favorite messaging app—Telegram. Despite efforts from the Berlin-based startup to shut down ISIL-related channels last year, Telegram is still clearly being used to distribute ISIL propaganda. And this isn’t ISIL’s first app. Last year, the group made headlines for launching an app for Google’s Android that distributed disturbing footage of beheadings and spreading key messages.
But Huroof is thought to be the first to specifically target children. In the press release for the app—yes, ISIL issues press releases—the terror group said it “teaches the cubs the alphabet letters.” (ISIL refers to the children in its ranks as “cubs” and adult militants as “lions.”)
ISIL is by no means the only jihadist group in the app business. The Taliban released an Android app last month, called Alemarah, which reportedly featured official Taliban statements and videos. The app briefly appeared on Google Play before being taken down.