ISIS released a propaganda video that features a boy who claims he is the American son of a U.S. soldier and moved to Syria with his mother two years ago.
The child, who speaks in fluent English with what sounds like an American accent, is identified only as Yousef, age 10. NBC News has not verified his name, his nationality or his whereabouts.
“My father’s an American soldier who fought the mujahideen in Iraq,” he says. “I didn’t know much about Islam except the name. When me and mom came to the Islamic State, we started learning the correct Islamic creed.”
The boy appears to be reading from a script at points. He said he lives in Raqqa, where the U.S. estimates 2,000 ISIS fighters are clinging to their stronghold as American-backed forces continue to make inroads.
The slickly produced seven-minute video, which was released Tuesday, interweaves shots of “Yousef” playing with his 7-year-old best friend in a deserted playground and loading an assault rifle with footage of ISIS fighters preparing for battle.
The youngster also mentions President Donald Trump and threatens the United States.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she could not confirm any details about the video but blasted ISIS for putting a child in front of the camera.
“Any child used in that capacity in an ISIS video regardless of what is being done is sick. It is sick and it is depraved, we have seen that time and time again from ISIS,” she said.
“We have seen ISIS as they have recruited children, as they have used them as human shields. We have seen ISIS use children the age of some of our own children here as suicide bombers, as homicide bombers. It is sick, it is depraved and it is another example of just how wrong and how evil ISIS is.”