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Current Page: World | Wednesday, July 06, 2016
ISIS Using WhatsApp and Telegram to Sell Trafficked Girls to Pedophile Terrorists

ISIS Using WhatsApp and Telegram to Sell Trafficked Girls to Pedophile Terrorists

Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, Turkey, June 20, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Islamic State militants are using encrypted mobile apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to sell trafficked girls who are repeatedly raped and tortured by pedophile terrorists.

It's no secret that as many as 3,000 religious minority girls, especially Yazidis, who have been captured by IS (also knowns as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) are frequently bought and sold and raped by as many as eight different jihadis.

While many of the girls and women have been bought, sold and auctioned at sex slave markets inside the terror group's strongholds in Syria and Iraq, some militants appear to be using encrypted mobile apps and social media platforms in an attempt to sell girls trafficked as sex slaves.

A Yazidi activist shared with The Associated Press one particular Telegram posting in which the jihadi listed a 12-year-old virgin with an asking price of $12,500.

"Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old," the posting states. "Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon."

According to AP, numerous IS militants are taking to mobile apps to sell the religious minority women and girls as property. Postings have appeared on Telegram, WhatsApp and even Facebook.

One posting on WhatsApp lists a mother of a 3-year-old and 7-month-old baby at a price of $3,700. The ad, which included the mother's photo, states that "She wants her owner to sell her."

Earlier this month, it was reported that one German IS fighter named Abu Assad Almani tried to use Facebook to sell off a Yazidi sex slave. As the militant asked for about $8,000 for the woman, some of Almani's friends on the site tried to haggle the price.

"What makes her worth that price?" a Facebook friend of Almani's named Romeo Langhorne asked. "Does she have exceptional skill?"

A displaced girl from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, stands at Nowruz refugee camp in Qamishli, northeastern Syria on the border with Kurdistan, August 16, 2014. | (Photo: Reuters/Youssef Boudlal)

WhatsApp and Telegram, both owned by Facebook, use end-to-end encryption in order to preserve privacy and administrators for both apps cannot access private user content.

Although postings have appeared on WhatsApp and Facebook, AP reports that most of the postings it has obtained have been posted to Telegram. Telegram spokesman Markus Ra told AP that the organization frequently removes public channels that are used by IS.

"Telegram is extremely popular in the Middle East, among other regions," Ra said. "This, unfortunately, includes the more marginal elements and the broadest law-abiding masses alike."

WhatsApp spokesman Matt Steinfeld told AP that the company does not tolerate the app being used to sell people.

"We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and disable accounts when provided with evidence of activity that violates our terms," Steinfeld said. "We encourage people to use our reporting tools if they encounter this type of behavior."

Additionally, AP reports that IS is documenting their sex slaves in databases that include photos of the women and girls and the names of their so-called "owners."

Yazidi refugee women stand behind a banner as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, Turkey, on June 20, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Umit Bektas)

The point of the databases is to prevent the women from being able to escape through IS checkpoints.

Although many families of captured IS sex slaves pay smugglers to help rescue their enslaved family members, the founder of the German-Iraqi aid group Luftbrucke Irak, Mirza Danai, told AP that it has become increasingly difficult for sex slaves to escape over the last few months.

"They register every slave, every person under their owner, and therefore if she escapes, every Daesh control or checkpoint, or security force they know that this girl ... has escaped from this owner," Danai explained.

AP reports that as IS continues to lose territory and the revenue for militants dries up, those who are caught aiding the religious minority women in their quest to escape are killed.

According to Kurdish figures, recent IS crackdowns against smugglers have reduced the number of IS sex slaves who are able to escape from 134 per month to about 39 in the last six weeks.

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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