SHAFAQNA – Muslim leader and officials in the UK have warned this Tuesday that radicals have increasingly used social media to indoctrinate vulnerable British youth.
A UK-based anti-extremist think tank, Quilliam, published a report Monday warning that ISIS and groups likes AL Qaida have made launched new aggressive online recruitment campaigns, looking to lure in more young people to their twisted ideology.
Such news come as the UK authorities have confirmed they are looking for three schoolgirls suspected of having travelled to Syria to join ISIS.
The three friends, two aged 15 and one 16, left their east London homes last week and caught a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul without telling their families.
The Quilliam Foundation said there had been a concerted effort from ISIS militants to use websites like Twitter, Ask.fm and Facebook to groom young girls into believing they have a moral duty and obligation to join the militant group.
Haras Rafiq, managing director for the Quilliam Foundation told reporters on Tuesday,
“When they [young girls] are online, they are being targeted with messages of empowerment… ‘Come and do your bit… Reject Western values — you’ll never get what you want there'”.
It has been estimated so far that 600 British nationals have left the UK to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Rafiq said girls targeted by Islamic State recruiters were being misled by the promise of adventure and excitement abroad.
A manifesto attributed to an-all female branch of ISIS and translated into English by the think tank said girls may marry at nine, the “most pure” will be wed by 17 and all women should consider motherhood the purpose of their existence.