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Islamic State targets Australian teens: The victims of IS social media campaign

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By Bennet Nichol

Islamic State is targeting Australia’s impressionable teen population with large-scale social media campaigns designed to lure teens into the violent cult’s circles.

As of April 2015, 21 Australians have traveled to the Middle East, and have been killed carrying out terrorist attacks.

The Islamic State uses these 21 deaths in order to lever more support from impressionable Australian youths, presenting them as martyrs.

A report from The Daily Telegraph presents data that outlines Islamic State is targeting young men and women, with an average age of 23, with some victims as young as 15.

Jake Bilardi, an 18-year-old Melbourne teenager was killed in March this year, after being convinced to commit a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Professor Jocelyn Brewer told news.com.au that teenagers were particularly vulnerable to radicalisation campaigns and propaganda, like that spread by Islamic State.

“Their brain isn’t fully wired up, it can’t assess information, threats and risks in the same way an adult brain can,” Professor Brewer said.

“…they aren’t able to assess risks, or how real the risk is, they are very immediate and impulsive.”

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