ISIS Training Up The Next Generation of Radical Islam
In an Associated Press news story release, we have learned how children are being given dolls and a sword to learn how to cut off a head. The children are all shown videos of beheadings and told by their Islamic State group (ISIS) mentors that they would be doing the same some day.
An ISIS video released last week showed a boy beheading a Syrian soldier, all while under the eye of an adult militant’s watch. Last month a video surfaced of 25 children shooting 25 Syrian soldiers in the head, after they were captured.
One 14-year-old boy named Yahya, who escaped from an ISIS training camp, stated that he couldn’t cut the head off right. He chopped several times and didn’t get the job done. He went on to say, “Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit. They told me it was the head of the infidels.”
This boy is from a Yazidi town in Iraq that ISIS overran last year, butchering older men and enslaving many of the women and girls. With the Yazidis, whom ISIS considers to be heretics that they are more than happy to slaughter, they are kidnapping the youth and erasing their past, replacing it with radicalism.
Yahya said were taken to Raqqa in Syria, the extremists’ de facto capital, where they boys aged 8 to 15 were put in the Farouq training camp. ISIS changed their names to Muslim Arabic names to replace their Kurdish names. They then forced them to convert to Islam from their older faith, re-educated them, and started the process to turn them into jihadi fighters.
Yahya escaped in early March when fighters left the camp to carry out an attack. The remaining guards slept and he and his 10-year-old brother slipped away. He tried to get a friend to come too, but he wouldn’t, saying that he liked Islam and was now a Muslim.
Sunni Muslim children in ISIS-held towns are also being indoctrinated. Radical Islamists are befriending children in the streets with gifts and toys. Militants show them videos on the street and hold outdoor events where they pass out soft drinks, candy and propaganda. They are using gifts, brainwashing and threats, to build up the next generation of ISIS soldiers.
In their mosques and schools, they are indoctrinating children with extremist views and turning them against their own parents. Boys are turned into suicide bombers and killers.
According to an anti-ISIS activist who fled Raqqa, they are telling adults, “We have given up on you, we care about the new generation.”
According to Yahya, he spent nearly five months in the camp, training eight to ten hours a day. Their training included exercises, weapons drills and Koranic studies. They repeatedly told him that Yazidis are “dirty” and should be killed. They taught him how to shoot someone from close range and the boys hit each other in some exercises.
Yahya had to punch his own little brother, knocking out a tooth. He stated, the trainer said if he didn’t do it, he would be shot. “They told us it would make us tougher,” Yahya said. “They beat us everywhere.”
ISIS claims to have hundreds of these type of camps. In videos from camps like these, boys can be seen practicing shoot and crawling under barbed wire. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented at least 1100 Syrian children under the age of 16 who have joined ISIS this year. At least 52 have been killed fighting. Eight of those were suicide bombers.
Yahya says he will never forget the videos of beheadings that he was forced to watch. “I was scared when I saw that,” he said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to behead someone like that. Even as an adult.”