Islamic State using kittens to lure jihadists to fight

By Tom Whitehead

A top terrorism prosecutor has warned Isis is using kittens to lure jihadists online.
A top terrorism prosecutor has warned Isis is using kittens to lure jihadists online.

Islamic State is using the internet cat craze to lure potential jihadists and spread messages of hate online, America's top terrorism prosecutor has warned.

US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said fanatics from Islamic State in Iraq and Levant knew "kittens sell" and used them in images of fighters online.

They are also using pictures of Nutella and showing jihadists handing out sweets to children in "soft focus" images to suggest a peaceful life under the barbaric regime.

Even Nutella has been used in Isis's propaganda machine.
Even Nutella has been used in Isis's propaganda machine.

But Mr Carlin revealed that Hollywood film directors and advertising gurus are the latest weapon in the fight in countering Isis' slick propaganda machine and warped messages.

Experts from the film world, Madison Avenue advertising firms and Silicon Valley have been asked to create the best way of combating such messages and provide and alternative view.

That could mean public information films or online campaigns and adverts.

Mr Carlin, who is the most senior national security prosecutor in America, said there was a contrast between Isis' gruesome beheading videos and their recruitment videos.

"The recruitment videos, for instance, there is one that shows a young, charismatic terrorist filmed in soft lens literally handing out cotton candy to children.

"And that's its image of what life will be like in the caliphate.

Isis has seized on the internet cat craze.
Isis has seized on the internet cat craze.

"Another one, because they know if there is one thing about the internet it is that kittens sell, shows a terrorist with a kitten in one hand and an AK47 in another hand. That is the vision of how they try to get someone on the hook."

Mr Carlin was in the UK to meet his British national security counterparts and discuss ways of combating the spread of the Isis message.

He echoed concerns that the terror group has switched its focus from the battlefield in Syria and Iraq to radicalising vulnerable young people in their bedrooms over the internet and urging them to carry out attacks in their home countries.

"We have an obligation to stop our citizens from going to commit those atrocities. And we need to figure out a way to stop these people getting radicalised, (the notion of ) no passport no travel required, this call to kill where you live," he said.

"What we have done in the US is convened a group of Hollywood executives, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue advertising executive and civil society and walked through what we saw as the threats.

A jihadist with a jar of the popular chocolate spread.
A jihadist with a jar of the popular chocolate spread.

"We really called upon them to apply the same ingenuity that they used to create this method of communication in the first instance and to sell other products on it and figure out how to combat this message and how to do it in the social media echo chambers that it reaches."

He added: "To be clear we are not working with them to design the content. We called upon them to help and we described the threat.

"We asked them on their own 'can you work with others, like you have done in other spaces where you have done non profit campaigns to see what will be an effective way to keep people from going down those paths?'"

"Like they have done with anti-gang and anti-smoking initiatives in the past."

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 May 2017 23:58:56 Processing Time: 469ms