ISIS has posted a picture of a 13-year-old Belgian Muslim boy armed with an assault rifle and ready for action in Syria.
The young jihadist was identified as Younes Abaaoud. Keeping it all in the family, he traveled to Syria with his big brother, 27-year-old Abdelhamid, whom his father said was brainwashed to become a real man and become member of the ISIS, which has become the new international symbol of fear.
Brainwashed? Maybe, but the father reportedly once was jailed in Australia for plotting terror. He set a sterling example for his child but apparently was not so happy that the 13-year-old opted for orthodox jihadism.
It is not clear if Younes is actually fighting with the ISIS or simply serving as a model for other 13-year-old radical Muslims.
Belgium leads Europe in the number of citizens per capita who have joined ISIS, which Brussels estimates has snared approximately 200 Belgians among 2,000 Europeans.
The United States “boasts” around 100 ISIS fighters.
ISIS has released a 55-minute video featuring an English-speaking terrorist with an accent that indicates he might be from the United States.
“Clearly ISIS had a calculated step to be able to put this guy on camera,” Frank Cilluffo, a security analyst at George Washington University, told CNN. “Why? Because he seems American. The message is aimed at a Western audience.”
A linguistics professor told The Intercept that the man probably is not a native English speaker but his accent indicates he may be from Minnesota, North Dakota, or even Canada.