"ISIS is recruiting more children to carry out massacres" PBS NewsHour 3/3/2016
aka "Child Murders"
SUMMARY: A new report found there were three times as many suicide attacks in the Middle East committed by children this year compared to last. Experts blame Islamic State propaganda that glorifies martyrdom for indoctrinating orphaned and disaffected children to extremist views. Hari Sreenivasan talks to Mia Bloom of Georgia State University for more on the changing face of Islamic terrorism.
HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour): A new report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point chronicles the increasing use of Children as fighters for the so-called Islamic State.
The report’s authors, based at Georgia State University in Atlanta, documented the Islamic State’s own propaganda, which praises deceased young fighters as martyrs. It shows how the group uses children and youth in suicide operations. They found three times as many Suicide attacks involving young people in January of this year than last year.
For more on the study’s findings and what they mean, we’re joined by one of the report’s authors, professor Mia Bloom.
Problem Bloom, unfortunately, child soldiers aren’t anything new. So, how is ISIS using them differently?
MIA BLOOM, Georgia State University: So, we started our study with a baseline looking at the literature on child soldiers, looking at biographies and autobiographies of people who had been child soldiers, in order to get a sense of what we thought we might expect.
And so we expected that children would be used when they ran out of adults or when they couldn’t find adults, or that children would be used against civilian targets. And we didn’t find either of those. Instead, what we found was that children in ISIS are used alongside the adults, not instead, and, in fact, only 3 percent of the time were children used against civilian targets; 61 percent of the time, they were going after what we would call hard targets, military, police, militias, and the army.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So they’re doing just what the grownups do.
MIA BLOOM: They’re doing exactly what the grownups do, and, in fact, we found considerably more suicide bombers than anyone expected.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And you said — you actually break it down; 39 percent are driving basically car bombs?
MIA BLOOM: Thirty-nine percent were car bombs. These were vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, so it’s a VBIED.
But many of the children were also wearing what we would call a suicide belt, which is an individual IED that is attached to them, so they were part of these marauding raids, these inghimasi, so they would go into the target, shoot and then blow up the IED or the suicide belt at the end of the operation.