In Brief

How the militant group uses gaming and film tactics in their quest to appeal and appall

A recent, wearyingly grim clip from Islamic State shows six armed children sweeping a castle in search of bound hostages. One by one, they enter the ruin, their movement tracked by multiple cameras. When, at last, each boy finds a target, cringing in the shadows, he lines up a shot and, following a theatrical pause, squeezes the trigger. The footage invites many questions. Who are these children? Who are the men they kill? What perverted doctrine could ever defend such cruelty? How large was the production team?

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