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ISIS targeting children with new mobile app; App teaches Arabic alphabet with military themes

The Islamic State (IS or also known as ISIS) has recently launched its very first mobile application targeted exclusively at children, teaching them Arabic letters and words, including jihadist terminology.

According to the The Guardian, the terrorist group's propaganda outlet "Library of Zeal" released on Tuesday, May 10 a mobile application called Huroof, which translates to alphabet or letters in Arabic, through the Islamic State Telegram channels and other file sharing websites. The militant group provided a downloadable link as well as screenshots of the app during the launch.

(Apple)The Apple App Store icon is shown in this screen capture.

Huroof's design is clearly intended for children, whom ISIS refers to as "cubs" (while the group refers to their adult militant members as "lions"). The app is full of colorful illustrations of stars, flowers and balloons, as well as images of a tank, gun, cannon, bullet, and rocket where the children or the "cubs" are taught its Arabic words.

"The app has games for memorizing and how to write the Arabic letters in addition to including a nasheed (a cappella Islamic songs) designed to help teach the alphabet. The lyrics in the nasheed are littered with jihadist terminology, while other games within the app also include militaristic vocabulary with more common, basic words," reported Caleb Weiss from the Long War Journal. Weiss also noticed that the app is limited to Android devices only.

"ISIS's use of technology has helped it attract more militants around the world. With its latest mobile app, ISIS is apparently now trying to get young children invested in its mission long before they've grown to adulthood," Fortune reported.

Huroof is only one of the latest undertakings where ISIS utilized technology to their advantage. The Ghost Security Group, a group of hackers, reportedly discovered in December 2015 an Android-based application spreading propaganda news and videos about ISIS. The hacking group also claimed to have shut down more than a hundred thousand terrorist online accounts.

Meanwhile, the messaging app Telegram announced in November last year that they blocked ISIS-related channels after users flagged the company concerning the militant group's use of Telegram's public channels.

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