A child shown at the end of the latest Islamic State propaganda video has been identified as the son of a South London woman of Nigerian parentage who converted to Islam and left for Syria several years ago, according to her father.
According to the UK-based Guardian newspaper, Henry Dare, also known as Sunday, said that he recognised the child from the film as Isa, one of the sons of his daughter Khadijah, who has also been used as a figurehead by ISIS.
Isa has been previously used for propaganda purposes when a posting on social media account linked to his mother showed him holding an AK-47 rifle.
Speaking to Channel 4 News from his home in South-east London, Dare said: “I can’t disown him. He’s my grandson. I know him very well.” There is no independent verification of his claim.
The child appeared at the end of the 11-minute video that surfaced on Sunday. He was wearing military fatigues and warned in English: “We are going to go kill the kafir (non-believers) over there.”
The video apparently showed the murder of five men and was fronted by a masked man with a British sounding accent, saying that he had a “message for Cameron” and threatened attacks in the UK.
The video was a warning to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who recently joined the coalition against ISIS.
Dare accused ISIS of “just using a small boy”. He added: “He doesn’t know anything. He’s a small boy. They are just using him as a shield.”
When asked whether he had spoken to his grandson on the phone, Dare said: “Well, he doesn’t like it over there,” referring to where he is believed to be, in an ISIS-held area of Syria.
Khadijah Dare, who grew up in Lewisham, was born to Nigerian Christian parents, but converted to Islam as a teenager before leaving for Syria.
In 2014, she posted a photograph on her personal Twitter account of her then four-year-old son Isa, meaning Jesus in Arabic, smiling with an AK-47 rifle.
Videos in which she talks about her new life in Syria, practises firing a Kalashnikov or appears with her young son and jihadi husband, have been in the frontline of the propaganda war.
“Alhamdulillah [praise to God], I couldn’t find anyone in the UK who was willing to sacrifice their life in this world for the life in the hereafter. I prayed and Allah ruled that I came here to marry Abu Bakr,” she said from Syria, after her marriage to a Swedish fighter.
Either her account, or those linked to her, are known for posting pro-ISIS messages on various social media sites encouraging other young women to make the journey to the war zone and she is one of the first known western women to have travelled to Syria.
Her father said he had recently spoken to his daughter, who was christened Grace before she converted to Islam, “weeks ago, when she called me. I keep on ignoring her calls because she has brought shame to our family and to herself,” he said.
Khadijah Dare comes from a devout Christian household. In 1987, her family moved to Britain from Nigeria. Her mother, Victoria Dare, said in an interview with the BBC last year that her daughter was someone who had previously been zealous in practising her Christian faith.
“She loved church. She was the one who was dragging me: ‘Mum I found a good church again’.”
At college in London, she studied media studies, film studies, psychology and sociology, and enjoyed watching football on television. But her life turned, her parents said, when her behaviour began to change – the then teenager one day announced she had converted to Islam and changed her name.
Just before Grace turned 18, she came home and made an announcement, according to her mother. “She just said: ‘I’m now a Muslim,” her mother recalled and said she reacted by saying: “Muslim? What for? What happened?”