In fact, MI5 chief Jonathan Evans said people as young as 15 are being recruited by the group for terror-related activities, The Guardian reported Monday.
An expert on Islamist extremism, Evans called the targeting of children by terrorists a worrying development.
"As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country," Evans told the newspaper. "They are radicalizing, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism."
Evans said for the past five years the control and inspiration for attacking the United Kingdom came from al-Qaida's core leadership in Pakistan, often using young British citizens to carry out attacks.
"But worryingly, we have more recently seen similar processes emerging elsewhere," he said in The Guardian. "For instance, there is no doubt now that al-Qaida in Iraq aspires to promote terrorist activities outside Iraq."