A new report out of Turkey states that the Islamic barbaric group ISIS, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has kidnapped up to 500 children in Iraq, and could be planning to use them for suicide attacks.
The plight of the children, who were allegedly taken from the Anbar and Diyala provinces, is raising concerns among officials.
“Daesh (ISIS) has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq, and Syria,” Farhan Mohamme of the Anbar Providential Council told the Turkish Publication Anadolu Agency.
Lieutenant General Kasim Al-Saidi, the police chief of Diyala, told the publication that another hundred children were seized from his jurisdiction.
“Daesh has recruited about 100 children under the age of 16,” he stated.
Al-Saidi said that he feared what what could become of those who were taken.
“They are going to brainwash these kids into being suicide bombers,” he lamented.
Officials state that they are concerned that male children in regions controlled by ISIS could continue to be recruited to serve the Islamic organization. They note that hundreds of young boys have been used to fight against pushbacks from Iraqi security forces.
As previously reported, ISIS fighters released a video in February of the terrorist organization training small children to fight for Allah. The nine-minute video showed young boys wearing fatigues and black bandanas with the ISIS insignia lined up in rows for their training. They mimicked exercises performed by their instructor and chanted back responses, including “Allah Ahkbar”, meaning “Allah is the greatest.”
According to reports, the video was filmed at the Al Farouq Institute for Cubs in Raqqa, and is stated to represent the “next generation” of ISIS fighters. In addition to performing exercises, children recited verses from the Koran and bowed to the ground in prayer with their instructor, who sat adjacent to a pair of guns.
Other videos and images released online have demonstrated that the Islamic group is grooming children to fight jihad. Vice News released a documentary last August that, in one hour-long segment, focused on ISIS’ recruitment of children.
“What do you want to be? A jihadist or to execute a martyrdom operation?” Abdullah Al-Belgian of Belgium asks his young son Abdullah in the video. “A jihadist,” he answers.
“Who do you fight with?” filmmaker Medyan Dairieh asks another child featured in the documentary. “The Islamic State,” the boy answers. “Where are you going after Ramadan?” Dairieh inquires. “To the camp … to have training,” the child replies. “What are you going to do after?” Dairieh asks. “Fight the Russians [and] Americans. The infidels,” the boy states.
Adult members of the group state that they are raising up the children to defeat America and to build the Islamic State for Allah.
“For us, we believe that this generation of children is the generation of the caliphate (Islamic State),” explains one man being interviewed at the Euphrates River. “Allah willing, this generation will fight infidels and apostates, the Americans and all their allies.”