Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Militant Islamist fighters held a parade in Syria's northern Raqqa province to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE ALSO SEE: GF2EA99110K01 - RTR3WJAI
Photograph by Stringer/Reuters
By Don Reisinger
May 11, 2016

The Islamic State is well known for its technology savvy, and now it’s bringing it to a new group: children.

The Islamic State, or ISIS or ISIL, has developed a mobile application called Huroof that’s designed specifically to teach children the Arabic alphabet, according to the Long War Journal, a blog that reports on the “Global War on Terror.” The app was reportedly released by ISIS’s “Office of Zeal,” and will work on Android devices, though it isn’t available for download through the Google (GOOGL) Play marketplace.

The Long War Journal posted several images of the app, which is brightly colored and includes the look and feel one would expect from any child’s app. However, the report claims that the app is “littered with jihadist terminology,” teaches children words like “tank,” “gun,” and “rocket,” and even depicts images of weaponry around the app.

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This is by no means the first app developed by ISIS, but it’s the first to focus on children. In December, Ghost Security Group, a hacking collective, discovered that ISIS had been distributing an application that offered propaganda-laced news and videos. That app was also running on Android and includes graphic depictions of executions and battlefield victories, according to the hacking collective.

Indeed, ISIS, one of the most prominent militant groups in the world, has used technology to great effect. The company has used social media to spread propaganda, encrypted messaging apps, like Telegram, to communicate, and launched many websites. Hackers, including the collective Anonymous, have launched campaigns against ISIS that they claim, have removed thousands of social media accounts and taken down countless websites.

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.

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According to The Guardian, which earlier reported on the app, the Office of Zeal issued a press release promoting the app on Tuesday. The press release included screenshots to the app, as well as a link to download the program from file-sharing websites. The press release says that the app “teaches the cubs the alphabet letters,” according to The Guardian. ISIS uses the term “cubs” for children and “lions” for its adult militants.

The app comes after ISIS has released a slew of videos of the last several months showing its “cubs” engaging in militant behavior, including beheadings, according to the Long War Journal.

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