Speed Reads

s is for sword

ISIS has a cheery phone app to indoctrinate children about tanks and guns

The Islamic State lost about a quarter of its territory in 2016, but in the areas the terrorist organization retains, indoctrination starts early. ISIS runs a number of schools and has developed its own curriculum, including a colorful app to teach very young children their letters while introducing them to weapons of war. Instead of "A is for apple," the app explains that "B is for Bunduqiyya (gun)," "D is for Dababa (tank)," and "S is for sayf (sword)."

"There's a need to physically and mentally prepare children to be the 'next generation'" of militants, terrorism expert Mia Bloom of Georgia State University explained to Foreign Policy. "It exposes the children to violence in a routine and daily fashion so it ceases to be shocking and normalizes violence."

Bloom's research has uncovered some 35 ISIS textbooks for download, covering subjects like math and English — with an extremist twist. One math book has watermarks of weapons in the background of addition problems, while an English text intersperses sentences like "He drank two cups of tea" with "He has got a lot of dynamite."