I think this article from February 6, 2008 on Al Qaeda recruiting young boys, bears revisiting considering the NPR broadcast the other day (see April 15 post) on the increasing number of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Iraq – nearly 3 million – many of which are children.
The concern, of course, is that the IDCs (internally displaced children), exposed and hardened by war and facing violence and tragedy on a regular basis, are ripe for recruitment by Al Qaeda.
If you missed the article, the new propaganda tapes released by Al Qaeda to MultiNational Forces-Iraq show:
masked Iraqi children between ages of 6-14 being taught how to hold AK-47s, stop a car and carry out a kidnapping, break into a house and break into a courtyard and terrorize the individuals living there.
Footage aired for reporters showed an apparent training operation in which the boys are seen storming a house and holding guns to the heads of mock residents. Another tape showed a young boy wearing a suicide vest and posing with automatic weapons.
They also are shown being taught to use rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
I’m not going to directly post the video, mainly because I refuse to assist Al Qaeda with propagating it across the Internet. But here is a link to a blog that has the video posted on it. Indirect posting.
Check out the next section of the article:
The kidnapping ring that was broken last week had recorded 26 other kidnappings. Coalition forces did not know how many had ended in release, and how many in death.
Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told reporters that militants are kidnapping more and more Iraqi children, though he could not offer details or numbers.
“This is not only to recruit them, but also to demand ransom to fund the operations of Al Qaeda,” al-Askari said.