ISIS Tries Recruiting With Grand Theft Auto

Sunni militant group uses video game to attract young members
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2014 5:30 PM CDT

A new ISIS recruitment video mixes music and message with clips from an unexpected source: a modified version of the video game Grand Theft Auto, reports Forbes. The video shows GTA clips of a man shooting up army vehicles and riddling a police officer with bullets, while the text tells viewers that ISIS fighters "do the things you do in games, in real life on the battlefield." The video doesn't say whether ISIS has created a version of the game for training purposes as well, but a source tells Egyptian media that the video will "raise the morale of the Mujahideen, and the training of children and young teenagers to fight the West."

"It’s ironic that they are using Western games to demonstrate their wrongly guided hatred" toward the West, an editor at a gaming and entertainment website tells Al Arabiya. Yet he says the video could be an effective recruiting tool while inspiring "wrong" anti-video-game sentiment in the media. Meanwhile, convicted terrorist Shahid Butt tells Sky News that violent video games have already aided ISIS recruitment by creating "dehumanized" children: "To go and fight in Syria is as easy as going on holiday to Disneyland," he says. "Because you’ve made it easy!" But ISIS may not be the West's biggest terrorist concern: Another Syrian group, called Khorasan, is led by a top al-Qaeda operative and focuses on plots using hidden explosives, officials tell the New York Times. (More ISIS stories.)

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