Cairo- The video that featured a group of children who shot captives in Iraq; the arrest of a child who was trying to implement a suicide bombing operation with an explosive belt; and the bloody suicide attack implemented by another child in a wedding party south of turkey have raised many questions on ISIS’s recruitment of children.
Egyptian experts in extremist groups’ affairs see that ISIS’s exploitation of children in its terrorist attacks drops the last fake mask of the organization, and suggests that the organization’s adoption of this new trend perhaps aims at saving expenditures and avoiding the loss of its experienced members.
On another hand, experts say that ISIS used children to fuel its wars by indoctrinating its bloody ideology in their young minds, as part of the so-called “schools of Caliphate” by training children on three levels: intellectual, combatant, and psychological.
Observers also see that the extremist organization is ongoing with its illegitimate practices, and uses children to implement its operation aiming at urging the International Coalition to decrease its strikes. ISIS previously released a video that features a group of children wearing army customs and explosive belts, who were threatening the countries participating in the International Coalition.
Opinion of the House of Fatwa
The Egyptian House of Fatwa has said that ISIS dependence on children in its operations is a consequence of the International Coalition’s strikes, which have killed thousands of the extremist militants. This gap led the organization to recruit its juvenile members to compensate its losses.
Dr. Ibrahim Najm, consultant of the Egyptian Mufti noted that children’s recruitment is ISIS mean to prepare a new generation of powerful militants who will be the future of the alleged Caliphate.
Najm adds that the organization indoctrinates extremist ideologies in minds of children from an early age, teaches them draconian approaches, implements execution operations infront of them, and provides them with weapons to play; those children are the terrorists of the future and they will be more aggressive given that they haven’t been disturbed with secular values and communities of unbelievers, according to the organization.
ISIS’s main strategic and visual goal is to wash children’s brains through lessons it provides, which starts with their clothes and ends by teaching them specific verses from Quran on how to kill unbelievers.
Children Terrorist Nurture
Experts divide schools of “Caliphate Cubs” in three levels, which are:
1. Intellectual- religious training: children should be trained on radical intellect, including readiness to implement suicide operations.
2. Practical-combatant training: children should undergo hard physical training and receive lessons on weapon usage.
3. Psychological training: children should be taken to public squares to participate in slaughtering captures of ISIS, aiming at enhancing their belonging to the organization.
Observers have also pointed that ISIS goes far in its brainwash strategy and teaches children how to spy on their parents and to kill them, which will lead to the growth of a serious generation of Takfirees.
Dr. Mohammad Ahmad al-Dish, professor of Islamic culture in Al Azhar considered that ISIS’s recruitment of young children exports an offending image on Islam to the West.
Ahmad al-Dish added that the extremist group is likely using social media websites to communicate with youth and attract them toward extremism. The professor sees that children in our communities should be immunized against these extremist intellects and to learn about the right image about Islam.
Reports and Numbers
Reports have revealed that ISIS has kidnapped 800 to 900 children from Mosul in 2015, aiming at providing them with religious and military training. The terrorist organization has recruited those children by force; the exact number of children captured is unknown, but statistics show that their number is regularly growing.
Dr. Hamed Mustafa Mekkawi, professor at Al Azhar revealed that children recruited in ISIS troops are obliged to attend all the draconian practices of the organization like decapitation and stones casting at women.
Concerning the confrontation on ISIS, Mekkawi said that a campaign should be launched on social media websites to highlight the dangers surrounding children like sexual assaults and killing; and to urge from their consequences on the communities’ future.
He also said that concerned parties should intervene to free children from the environments where they can be exploited, and to return them to their normal life to participate in normal activities under the supervision of psychologist experts.