The 21st Century Phenomenon





On 02/06/2008 the USA Army in Iraq released a videotape that was found in Baghdad in 12/2007 in a raid of US and Iraqi army on an alleged Al Qaeda hideout.

The short footage shows around 20 young boys in the ages of 11-14 with pistols, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades practice mock kidnapping of cars and cyclists, taking over a one store building and posing in sinister black facemasks to announce the slaughter of their hostages.

Although the footage is shocking it raises the question who or where the parents of these children are. In Iraq there are many thousands of forsaken children, many of them lost their families in the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq.  It is also possible that the parents are encouraging their children to go through that kind of training as it is very common in the Middle East.

Already in the Iranian Iraqi war in the years 1979-88 Iran recruited hundreds of thousands of young teenagers, who were given a symbolic key to haven and sent in large numbers, in hoards , to clear mine fields for the Iranian army. The number of casulties was staggering. 

In Pakistan’s Madrassas (Islamic Schools), as well as in other Islamic schools all over the world and especially in the Middle East, children in age of 8 years are already brainwashed about their duty to stand for Islam and protect Islam from its enemies through Jihad and self-sacrifice.

In Afghanistan, about a year ago, a 16 year boy became a local hero after he beheaded a man considered to be a government agent. 


In the Palestinian territories all the factions mobilize, each summer, thousands of children of the same age to summer camps in which a coherent part is basic military-like training, which includes the use of light weapons or taking over a car of ‘Jewish settlers’. Very often the closing ceremony of those summer camps includes a symbolic taking over of a military Israeli outpost or an Israeli settlement and the killing of the Israelis. So is the case with thousands of Young Shiite children in Hizbullah summer camps in Lebanon.

TV channels and many Muslim web sites in the Middle East interview regularly children who express their admiration to the “Shahids” (Suicide bombers and other casulties of war against non Muslims) and express their desire to be “Shahids” too.

The only comment that can be made on the Al Qaeda’s boy warriors footage, or what ever organization they belong to, is – Welcome to the Middle East.


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