The 13-year-old girl’s explanation for why she had decided to leave her happy family in London to fly East and join ISIS was frighteningly naive:
“She told me, ‘Well, I was looking at photos online and I thought I was going to go live in the Islamic Disneyworld,'” quotes Yasmin Green, head of research and development at Jigsaw, the think-tank spun out of Google earlier this year.
“It’s so incredible because what you and I see in the media, nothing would support the impression that this is an ‘Islamic Disneyworld,'” Green says. “But this is what this 13-year-old thought she was signing up for.”
The militant group has become adept at radicalizing people through digital propaganda like what the child found online. Ultimately, authorities only prevented her from joining the Islamic State’s jihadist group because they pulled her off the plane before it took off. Green met the girl during Jigsaw’s extensive research into ISIS’s online recruiting narratives and how people get sucked into them.
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Image courtesy of Reuters