(Daily Beast) — ISIS is deploying children as fighters and on suicide missions at far greater rates than previously estimated, according to a new report published in the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point’s CTC Sentinel.
At least 89 boys died fighting in the name of ISIS from January 2015 to January 2016, according to the report’s authors, three terrorism researchers from Georgia State University. The researchers analyzed photographs published alongside eulogies and found that some of the children were younger than 12 years old.
The terrorism researchers cataloged the images, obtained largely from Twitter obituaries and ISIS’s official Telegram channel, based on 24 variables including nationality, location of death, and the facial expression in the photos used to publicize the child soldiers’ missions. The researchers then went through each photo and determined which pre-set age category—8 to 12, 12 to 16, or 16 to 18—the child fell into.