Recent instances of youth radicalised by ISIS propaganda

A 14-year-old Austrian boy who downloaded bomb-making plans to his Playstation video game console was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to a two-year jail term. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
A 14-year-old Austrian boy who downloaded bomb-making plans to his Playstation video game console was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to a two-year jail term. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SINGAPORE - The trend of young individuals who become radicalised online and leave their comfortable lives to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has become a growing concern for security agencies globally.

Foreign fighters have contributed significantly to the terrorist group's ranks in recent years. A UN report seen by the BBC in April said that there are now some 22,000 foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria. Their numbers have soared 71 per cent between mid-2014 to March this year. Many new recruits are teens.

Here are some recent cases in which teenagers and young people were radicalised by ISIS:

1. Where and when: Austria on May 26, 2015

A 14-year-old Austrian boy who downloaded bomb-making plans to his Playstation video game console was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to a two-year jail term. The teen was accused of trying to bomb a Vienna train station and had allegedly been in contact with ISIS recruiters as well as Al-Qaeda supporters. He had planned to carry out the attack before travelling to Syria to join ISIS, but was arrested in October 2014.

2. Where and when: Canada on May 19, 2015

Canadian authorities announced that 10 would-be militants were arrested over the weekend of May 16-17 at a Montreal airport as they waited to board a flight to Turkey. There, the teens planned to cross the border to neighbouring Syria, where they hoped to join ISIS. The youngest in the group were only 15 years old, while their friends were no older than 18.

3. Where and when: Australia on April 18, 2015

Australian police arrested five teenagers in Melbourne linked to an alleged attack plan inspired by ISIS. One of them, Sevdet Besim, 18, was charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act on Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance which falls on April 25 and commemorates fallen Australian and New Zealand troops. A 14-year-old boy in Britain was also arrested on the same day in connection with the planned attack.

4. Where and when: South Africa on April 5, 2015

A 15-year-old South African girl was pulled from a flight moments before leaving the country to join ISIS. Like the Canadian youths arrested in Montreal, the unnamed girl was also headed for Turkey, where she allegedly planned to cross into Syria.

5. Where and when: Britain on Feb 17, 2015

Close schoolfriends Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, were reported missing by their families and later seen on closed-circuit television in Istanbul just before they left for Syria. They were believed to have married ISIS fighters during their time in Syria, but are now on the run from their militant husbands.

6. Where and when: Malaysia on Oct 4, 2014

University student Syamimi Faiqah, 20, left Malaysia and was believed to have headed for Syria via Turkey, Malaysian police said. The authorities believe that she planned to marry an ISIS fighter who used to play for a boyband.