The Islamic State (ISIS) is using Nutella and kittens to convince Western women to join its movement, according to a report.
CNN's Carol Costello made the claim Wednesday morning during a segment.
"The recruitment of young women to its ranks has become increasingly important to [ISIS], and among the most highly sought-after targets: Western women," Costello said, TVNewser reports.
"While many have reported an unprecedented flow of jihadists joining the Islamic State from around the world, eager to bring about apocalypse, it seems Western women need a little extra encouragement.
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"How do you relay your message of jihad in a way Westerners understand? ISIS is talking online about jars of Nutella, pictures of kittens and emojis. They want people to believe their life on the battlefield isn't so different than yours. They actually eat Nutella, and I guess they have pet kittens."
Costello's guest, however, took a slightly different take on why she thinks women are joining the terror group.
"I think the thing to recognize is that women are not fighting for women's rights. The fight for ISIS is a fight for something else — it is the idea of a caliphate," gender and violence expert Nimmi Gowrinathan said, according to The Washington Post.
"It is a political fight, which goes a bit deeper than social media. That is what women are attracted to, because they feel safer, because they feel their identity is threatened."
A report last summer
in the Daily Mail said ISIS militants were posing for photos with jars of Nutella and kittens.
The Post report, however, casts doubt on the idea that ISIS uses these tools for recruiting purposes. ISIS expert Steven Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, confirmed to the Post that it's a normal thing for ISIS fighters to post such photos to their social media accounts.
"They do have a lot of downtime — they are swimming in the ocean, playing soccer, hiking, things like that," Stalinsky said. "Part of the downtime is documented. Just like in the West ... for their friends and families back home."
ISIS has used several recruiting methods as it strives to spread its jihadist message, including online videos and social media posts. The group reportedly plans to launch
a 24/7 news channel dedicated to spreading its message.
The group currently broadcasts on a radio station in Mosul, Iraq.
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U.S. and Iraqi forces are reportedly planning to launch an offensive
in the spring that will include up to 25,000 Iraqi troops to help take back Mosul from 1,000 to 2,000 ISIS fighters.
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