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    British Teens Lured by ISIL ‘Jihadi-Lite’ Images on Social Media

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    British teenagers are increasingly lured by "Jihadi-lite" images of the Islamic State militant group on social media that give them a false sense of security, Faith Matters, a non-profit organization, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — In the recent months, the number of Britons trying to travel to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State has surged, which has triggered a growing number of terrorism related arrests in the country.

    "They are being lulled into a false sense of security that ISIS is an Islamic State," Fiyaz Mughal, founder and director of Faith Matters, a non-profit organization, which aims to reduce extremism and intra-faith tensions, told Sputnik.

    A belief that the Islamic State is a "utopian vision of goodness" and that Islamic rules may change their lives for the better are among the main delusions imbedded by IS propaganda, according to Mughal.

    "These are values and views which in reality will have a wake-up call when young people get there, since this group is nihilistic, deeply destructive and led by a Rolex wearing ego-centric maniac."

    One of the most recent cases of Britons leaving for the Middle East that drew public attention is the escape of two teenagers from the town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire last week. They are believed to have travelled to Syria after boarding a plane at Manchester Airport bound for the Turkish city of Dalaman. Turkey is one of the gateways to Syria that would-be jihadists use to cross into the war-torn country.

    "Online videos and social media presence provides a Jihadi-lite and pop-idol type image to those young people who come across it. It reduces Jihadi culture to something that is 'cool' but behind the facade is a group looking for more foot-soldiers who will be used on the front-line and many of whom will probably die in any military assault."

    Therefore, censoring online activity, such as removing YouTube postings that are part of ISIL propaganda, is crucial for tackling the problem, Faith Matters' founder explained.

    In a bid to win over potential fighters, the Islamic State launched English-language news bulletins on its al-Bayan radio channel earlier this week. The news bulletin gives an overview of IS activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Radio broadcasts are in addition to an IS monthly magazine, Dabiq, printed in several languages including English.

    The IS is a Sunni fundamentalist extremist group that controls vast territories in Syria and Iraq. It is estimated that 600 British residents are currently fighting alongside the IS, according to the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence. In total, the group has attracted at least 20,000 members from over 40 countries around the globe.

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    Daesh, foreign recruits, teens, propaganda, Faith Matters, Iraq, Syria, United Kingdom
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