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Ibrahim Iqbal: The Bradford school boy who lost his way

It seems like the relentless manipulation of Daesh has no limit. And the danger for families has come to light this week after 15-year-old Ibrahim Iqbal, the school boy who was taken to Syria by his mum, posted a series of updates on Facebook pledging allegiance to Daesh.

Ibrahim is believed to have fled to Syria with 10 members of his family, including his mother and four siblings last year.

In the chilling photos, the Bradford born schoolboy is posing with an AK47, he also shockingly posted: “It is obligatory for every Muslim to come to the khilafah and pledge your allegiance to [commander of the faithful] Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.”

In another post, Ibrahim Iqbal paid tribute to his brother and uncle who are believed to have been killed fighting for the terrorist group. The irony here is that his tribute confirms the fate of those who chose to join Daesh. Often in the most brutal of ways, death is almost a certainty for those who leave home to fight for the terrorist organisation. This tragic reality is a contradiction to what Ibrahim calls an obligation for Muslims and the life that awaits in the so-called khilafah.

Last year, Ibrahim’s father, Akhtar, who did not travel with the rest of the family, made a heartbreaking appeal to his wife and children to return to the UK. Iqbal said: “If you watch this video, please ring me, please contact me. I love you, all of you. Please, please come back home so we can live a normal life.”

The loss of childhood and tearing the family apart is the tragic reality families face under Daesh. This has to stop.

Another disturbing video has since emerged featuring a young girl in a niqab singing a chilling song while she beheads a doll with a kitchen knife. The sickening footage sees the girl waving the knife at the camera, later proudly holding the head of the toy doll in the same style Daesh fighters adopt. We cannot allow them to be brainwashed and have their innocence and childhood stolen. We cannot stand by and watch our children become killers

The threat of radicalisation is real and has increased massively over the past few years. At FAST, we have witnessed how the lives of some families have been torn apart by this threat. We have previously talked about spotting the signs of radicalisation early, as well as the ways we are able to support families going through the trauma of losing a family member to the terrorist group.