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Boy In ISIS Propaganda Video Claims To Be An American Soldier’s Son
ISIS, the global terrorist organization that once held huge swaths of Iraq and Syria and is now fighting to defend what little remains of its failed caliphate, has released a propaganda video featuring a child who claims to be the son of a U.S. soldier, NBC News reports.
Speaking in fluent but accented English, the boy in the seven-minute video talks directly at the camera and, at one point, appears equipped with a flak vest and assault rifle. He identifies himself only as Yousef, age 10. NBC was not able to verify the boy’s name, nationality, or whereabouts.
“My father’s an American soldier who fought the mujahideen in Iraq,” he says. “I didn’t know much about Islam except the name. When me and mom came to the Islamic State, we started learning the correct Islamic creed.”
As NBC notes, Yousef — who is not the first child to be featured in an ISIS propaganda video — appears to be reading from a script. He claims to be living in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where U.S.-backed forces are currently engaged in a pitched battle with an estimated 2,000 ISIS militants holed up in the group’s last major stronghold.
Yousef mentions President Donald Trump and issues a warning to the United States: “Get ready, for the fighting has just begun.”
A portion of the video focuses on Yousef’s life in Raqqa, including his playdates with another boy whom he identifies as his 7-year-old best friend. One clips shows the duo exploring the rubbled remains of a bombed-out building.
U.S. officials roundly denounced the video. “We have seen ISIS as they have recruited children, as they have used them as human shields,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told NBC. “We have seen ISIS use children the age of some of our own children here as suicide bombers, as homicide bombers.”
If Yousef is in fact in Raqqa, his chances of survival rank among the lowest in the world. Syria, which has been embroiled in a bloody civil war since 2011, is currently rated the world’s deadliest conflict zone. And the consensus among foreign policy experts is that it is only a matter of time before Raqqa falls.
“ISIS wants the world to believe that life in Raqqa is stable and that it can protect the people it proclaims to represent,” Laith Alkhouri of security firm Flashpoint told NBC. “The fact is, life in Raqqa is dangerous and brutal, and ISIS’s control over there is diminishing by the day.”
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"