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The man portrayed as the father of the 15-year-old suicide bomber in the ISIS video released last month bizarrely tried to defend sending his son off in a white, armor-plated Toyota SUV which he is shown instructing the boy to drive and detonate the explosives inside.
"I encouraged him to do the martyrdom-seeking operation. I told him that he will draw close to Paradise. They call it 'brainwashing'. Indeed, yes it is brainwashing. But why? It is due to the Book and the Sunnah [traditions of the Prophet Muhammad], praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. It is washing the brain from what is polytheist. That is the brainwashing," the father said.
The ISIS video ends with the SUV driving down a gravel road in Dabiq -- site of what ISIS believes will be the Armageddon showdown with "Crusader" forces from the West -- and an orange fireball mushrooming up from the horizon minutes later.
Last month ISIS released the latest of its many propaganda videos featuring child fighters, this time showing a purported 15-year-old suicide car bomber -- a horrifying, but typical example of the youngsters who Western researchers say are increasingly used by the Syria-based terrorist group.
"It is the road to victory and Paradise, Allah willing. Let me just do the operation, because if I stay longer I might sin and the sins will increase," the teenage bomber said in the 22-minute ISIS video, in which he spoke atop a hill overlooking Dabiq, Syria. "I know my opponents are apostates who left Allah and His Messenger and became loyal to America."
In early February, an ISIS video showed a boy appearing to cut the head off a man identified as belonging to an anti-ISIS group in Iraq and Syria. Just over a year before that, another video appeared to show a young boy executing two "spies" by shooting them in the head. In May 2015, the seven-year-old son of an alleged Australian jihadist was shown on social media smiling while holding the head of a Syrian soldier -- an image that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said was "really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed."