There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of children who live under ISIS control.
We might not know exactly how many children there are, but we do know that ISIS’ children have proven to be effective weapons and warriors in the battles waged by their elders.
While they learn the deadly art of warfare, the children are also schooled in the three Rs—readin’, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. ISIS runs a network of schools that the children attend. A Foreign Affairs piece by Mia Bloom attests to two schools that cater to English-speaking students.
Some of the children are local, but many of them are foreigners, that is, not born and bred in Syria, Iraq or Yemen. The kids come from all over the world and the schools are set up to teach them in their native languages. They come from all over including China and Kazakhstan, from Belgium and Germany and England and the US.
They even come from Israel.
An Israeli-Arab family—father, mother and three young children—were just arrested and will stand trial for joining ISIS. They were transferred back to Israel where they will face the consequences of their action. The family left Israel with their Israeli passports. The most damaging aspect of their betrayal is that ISIS’ forgers now can study valid Israeli passports.
The children of ISIS have been featured in PBS specials, The New York Times, ABC, CNN, FOX News and other media outlets. The story engages our curiosity and rewards it with a macabre twist. Descriptions, photos and videos show children who are smaller than the guns they are holding. In the West we believe the coverage to be newsworthy—but, like much else, it plays right into the hands of ISIS. Each special we watch is another piece of ISIS propaganda and mesmerizes potential recruits.
ISIS figured it out without our help. Children play a very large role in their own propaganda and recruiting materials. They also play central roles in ISIS activity. Highly trained kids are referred to by ISIS elders as their “cubs.” These “cubs” are the crème de la crème of ISIS.
The indoctrination process begins before they make their way to Syria or Iraq. For most kids, those who join ISIS as a family group, it is often learned at the family dinner table. Those kids who join on their own learn to love ISIS through their computer screens. Once in Syria and Iraq, once they are safely ensconced in the Islamic State, the children undergo rigorous training that ultimately desensitizes them to horror.
They view videos of executions and beheadings. They are told of the terrible behavior violations that lead to the executions. And then they are then brought to witness public executions. In almost all videos of public executions and beheadings you see children pushing and shoving to make their way up to the front and be in the best position to view the spectacle.
The next stage for children is to participate in executions. Again, there are dozens of videos available for us to view in which children are part of the execution squads. One very famous video highlighted a child from England. The kids help the executioners, often giving them the knives used for beheadings.
The indoctrination of these children transforms young kids into killing machines—robots with no sense of remorse or morality. They are young and impressionable and their moral compass has been eclipsed by an education steeped in murder.
The children of ISIS are obedient and malleable.
And here’s the tie-in to the upcoming US election for president. Many of these children can and will be sent back to their original homes or to Western countries that have opened their doors to refugees.
They may look like kids, but they are highly trained killers. Europe and Russia will be the destination of most of these ISIS missions. But so is the United States. And so is Israel. They are all destination targets. Child assassins sounds like a theme out of a fantasy adventure movie.
Children are part of the ISIS plan. They have been given an active and effective role in ISIS’s strategy and terror play book.
Don’t be fooled by innocent looking young faces. Their bodies are clothed in suicide vests. Their little hands are grasping AK-47s. Their hearts are the hearts of stone cold murderers.