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IS launches alphabet app for children

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Huroof features educatiol games and songs ‘littered with jihadist terminology’

London, May 12: Islamic State has launched an app that helps children learn Arabic with the aid of guns, tanks and cannon.

Huroof - "letters", in Arabic - gives a step-by-step guide to the alphabet and offers games and Islamic songs "littered with jihadist terminology" to help users memorise words, reports Caleb Weiss at the Long War Jourl.

While clearly marketed towards children, the branding of stars, balloons and flowers masks military themes and "tank", "gun", "cannon", "bullet" and "rocket" are among the vocabulary taught.

"The alphabet app is not the Islamic State's first mobile application. However, it is the first to be directed exclusively to children," says Weiss.

Other apps have been used as a means of distributing propaganda after the terror group encountered difficulties using mainstream internet services. "The jihadist group has also produced several videos from many of its proclaimed provinces showing children being trained for jihad or being indoctrited at Islamic State-ran schools. Other videos have shown children being involved in beheadings and executions of prisoners held by the Islamic State," says Weiss. Encrypted messaging service Telegram, a favourite of the terror group, has said it is taking action to block IS users. The news comes just days after the militants reportedly executed a seven-year-old boy by firing squad after he was heard swearing during a game of football with his friends.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, IS killed at least 3,000 people, including women and children, in the 12 months after it declared a caliphate in June 2014.

Last month, the Taliban in Afghanistan launched an app called Alemarah in a bid to reach a wider digital audience with its propaganda videos.

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