What made a single Xtian mother turn her 4 year old son into ‘Jihadi Junior’
- Isa Dare has spent all but first months of his life in the self-styled caliphate
- He is first British youngster – about 50 have been taken to ISIS strongholds of northern Syria and Iraq – to be used in one of their propaganda films
- His single-parent mother left Britain with him in 2012 and headed for Syria
- Grace rejected her Christian upbringing and converted to Islam aged 18
- Her transformation was attributed to her Muslim boyfriend at the time
- She turned into fanatical jihadist Khadijah due to Lewisham Islamic Centre
- Also went out to Syria to meet her future husband, Abdul Ghameed Abbas
The chilling words are delivered in a barely discernible English accent. ‘We will kill the kuffar [non-believers],’ warns the tiny figure in the latest Islamic State execution video.
Behind the military-style fatigues and black bandana, we now know, is Isa Dare, four, from South London.
Isa, whose name means Jesus in Arabic, appears in the final seconds of the ten-minute film in which the so-called new Jihadi John (step forward prime suspect Siddhartha Dhar, a former bouncy castle salesman from East London) presides over the murder of five ‘spies’.
Each victim is then shot in the back of the head after being forced to kneel in the desert.
But it is the fleeting presence of Isa Dare in front of the camera that haunts our thoughts.
Unlike his cowardly adult masters, his face is not hidden. He is the first British youngster — around 50 have been taken to the Islamic State strongholds of northern Syria and Iraq — to be used in one of the terror regime’s propaganda films.
Could there be a more perverse irony than a little boy called ‘Jesus’ being paraded to the world in such bloodthirsty circumstances?
Isa Dare has spent all but the first months of his life in the self-styled caliphate. His single-parent mother left the country with him in 2012 and headed for Syria.
The headline writers have nicknamed him Jihadi Junior. His background, though, does not fit the stereotype of recent similar cases. This is apparent from even a cursory visit to his maternal grandmother’s home on the outskirts of Central London where, until their departure from Britain three years ago, Isa and mum Khadijah, 24, also used to live.
There are net curtains and silk flowers in the window of the Thirties end-of-terrace in Forest Hill and a Union Jack flag in a flower pot in the garden. Indeed, not so long ago, the journey from suburbia to Syria would have seemed as unthinkable for Khadijah Dare. For she is the daughter of devout Christians, not Muslims, who emigrated from Nigeria in the Eighties. She was Christened Grace, not Khadijah.
Grace was a pupil at Sydenham School, a girls’ school founded in 1917. A class yearbook, compiled by her and her friends when she was 16, includes a testimonial from a teacher which reads: ‘You’re a confident young woman ready to make your mark on the world.’
Her former charge would go on to study psychology and media studies at Lewisham College.
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