VIDEO: Teen Tells The Story of How She Was Brainwashed by The Islamic State Regime
Saying that she came to believe her “brothers and sisters in Islam” loved and cared for her more than her own family, a French teenager allowed CNN to film a counseling session as she tries to regain a sense of who she is, lost when she was recruited and radicalized online by Islamic terrorists.
Following the January terror attacks in Paris that targeted the headquarters of the satirical magazine, “Charlie Hebdo,” and a Jewish delicatessen leaving 17 dead and 22 injured, a woman directly involved in the befriended the teen on social media and lured her into a terrifying connection with radical Islamic elements.
The 15-year-old girl, who is not identified by name, is one of the youngest teens in the French “deradicalization” program that also involves close parole supervision in which she not only has counseling, but is required to report to police on a daily basis.
ISIS and other Islamic terror groups have increasingly invested in efforts to draw young, impressionable Western youth into their grip by giving them a sense of importance and mission, using connections through social media to convince the young people that they not only are loved and appreciated, but needed in the defense of their faith.
Although the anonymous teen’s sudden conversion to the Muslim faith was upsetting to her mother, who also agreed to be interviewed (but not filmed), it was seen as teenage rebellion, initially.
Eventually, however, ISIS influence drew the young girl farther and farther into its grasp, and when her daughter called her “an infidel,” the mother called in the authorities.
“They are really sneaky, because they know exactly how your family is going to react to the situation. They know that a family that is not Muslim, the parents are going to reject the hijab or halal food, that they are going to forbid you from going to the mosque. They tell you your parents are going to stop loving you.”
Laura Bouzar, a counselor with the program who is working with the teen and her mother, says the first step is to make the victim of the intense Islamic radicalization doubt what they have been brainwashed into believing.
“They think they know the truth. They are paranoid. ISIS is good; we are bad. Those who are right, those who are wrong. We are here to make them doubt – to make them think for themselves.”
The young brainwashing victim agrees, telling CNN that she not only refuses to have a cellphone, but that she will not “touch” a computer with internet access, because of the control that was exerted over her by her ISIS contacts on social media, saying, “I need to learn to think for myself.”
When asked what advice she would give other girls who might be susceptible to the grooming and recruitment methods, she said, “Please be careful on the internet – don’t speak with them. Don’t go to Syria. It is suicide. It is death.”