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New ISIS Video Features Boy Claiming to Be American

US is investigating
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2017 11:23 AM CDT

A new ISIS propaganda video features alarming footage: a small boy, who claims to be an American, promising "the fighting has just begun"—and appearing to train to join the fight himself. The 10-year-old, who speaks fluent English but appears to be reading from a script, claims to have moved to Syria with his mother two years ago and says his father is "an American soldier who fought the mujahideen in Iraq." He identifies himself only as Yousef. US authorities are investigating the video, but have so far not identified the boy or verified whether he is, in fact, American, NBC News reports. "My message to Trump, the puppet of the Jews: Allah promised us victory, promised you defeat," Yousef says at one point, per the Daily Beast. "This battle is not gonna end in Raqqa or Mosul. It’s gonna end in you lands."

A State Department spokesperson calls the seven-minute video, which shows Yousef and another child walking through parts of Raqqa nearly leveled by bombs, "depraved," and notes that ISIS has recruited children in the past—even using them as suicide bombers or human shields. But analysts say this is the first time a supposedly American child was used in a propaganda video, though, as Newsweek reports, a British child has been featured in previous videos, including one showing him shooting a kalashnikov. The boy's "story doesn't match up with anyone else that we have in our database of American ISIS travelers," says one former US intelligence official. "It's possible it's a new unknown case, and it's entirely possible ISIS is distorting the truth for the propaganda benefits." (More ISIS stories.)

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