Islamic State (IS) militants are reportedly targeting boys as young as 16 to join its ranks as fighters. In a video captured by VICE Media, a boy appearing no older than 12 shouted threats at Americans, promising to destroy the United States.
"I swear to Allah we will divide America in two. And we'll destroy the enemies of the religion of them all, all who fight the Islamic State. We promise car bombs and explosives,” the boy said.
IS spokesman Abu Mosa has also spoken out against the United States in a video. "We will humiliate [the Americans] everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
The terrorist organization has expanded its influence to children, though they are too young to fight. A photo of a 7-year-old holding a severed head recently circulated the internet, prompting international outrage. The child is the son of IS terrorist Khaled Sharrouf. He captioned the photo, “That’s my boy.”
John Kerry responded that the image was "one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed. That child should be in school; that child should be out learning about the future; that child should be playing with other kids, not holding a severed head and out in the field of combat."
One Mosul man said his son was recruited by IS, despite the family’s pleas not to join. "I don't know what they told him. Last week, my son came home and told me that he his leaving home and joining the Islamic State. We have heard nothing from him. My wife and I begged him not to do it, but he didn't listen. He packed and left. My son dreamed of becoming a computer engineer. Now he's just a terrorist."
Publication date: August 14, 2014