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Al-Qaeda Affiliate Recruits Kids With Cartoons

July 21, 2011

An Al-Qaeda affiliate is apparently planning to use a cartoon film to recruit children to the terror network.

The film allegedly shows young boys dressed in battle fatigues and taking part in raids, killings and terror plots.

News of the animated film was announced by a group called Abu al-Laith al-Yemen on the Arabic-language al-Shamouk jihadist website.

The Quilliam Foundation, which brings together former jihadists now hoping to stamp out extremism, said the group appears to be affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Noman Benotman, an analyst at the London-based Quilliam Foundation, said the plan could backfire.

"Families will be angry that al-Qaeda is directing this at their children," he said.

Benotman said Abu al-Laith al-Yemen is close to finishing the film and plans to distribute it through websites and DVDs.

It's not the first time a terror organization has used multimedia to bring in potential recruits.

A Yemen-based extremist group recently released an online women's magazine with makeup and chastity tips.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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