A new generation of ISIS militants is being born. This next phase of terror, however, features radical recruitment camps called “schools,” where children are “re-educated” and turned into jihadi fighters.
In these educational institutions, young children learn how to kill, execute suicide bomb missions and behead dolls with swords, the Associated Press reports.
A training camp in Sanliurfa, Turkey, revealed the gruesome terror that has sought to build the succession of the extremist group. The teachings began with a preaching the future, as children watched videos of beheadings that they were told they would someday perform. (RELATED: Explained In Two Minutes: The Insane Rise Of ISIS [VIDEO])
Militant leaders told adults that they have given up on them and have instead devoted their attention to the new generation, the youth.
Human Rights Watch interviewed children who fought alongside ISIS said that militants have recruited children as young as 14 in support roles.
The terrorists bribe children into recruitment with “free education,” where children are deluged with an extremist doctrine and even turned against their own parents. Other strategies of subornment include befriending children with toys and holding outdoor events with soft drinks, candy and propaganda.
The deceit of tempting attractions only masks the true horror of the training camps.
ISIS videos of some of the camps encapsulate the brutal training of shouting slogans, crawling under barbed wire and practicing shooting while training leaders hit trainees’ unmoved heads with poles, as a measure of “endurance training.”
“They are planting extremism and terrorism in young people’s minds,” Abu Hafs Naqshabandi, a Syrian sheikh in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa, said. Naqshabandi runs religion classes for refugees to counter ISIS ideology. “I am terribly worried about future generations.”
The exploitation of children in ISIS propaganda has escalated to new levels as the extremist group released the first video of an ISIS child soldier beheading a Syrian captive last week. Previous videos have shown minors executing captives with firearms.
The first documented child slayings emerged at the beginning of this year. The footage revealed smiling children assisting adult jihadists in beheadings in Hama. A few months later, crowds gathered to watch 25 boys line up to shoot dead 25 Assad-regime soldiers in front of the ancient Roman theater in Palmyra.
The most recent video identifies the boy only as a “cub of the Caliphate,” the name dubbed for children whom they churn into fighters for the “caliphate.”
Under the watch of an older militant, the boy cuts off the head of the soldier believed to be a captain in Bashar al-Assad’s army.
Researchers of a London-based counter extremism think-tank called the Quillam Foundation said that the latest video sets a precedent of the compounding brutality that is to come.
“They have been instrumentalising children living inside the ‘Islamic State’ in military and political roles,” Charlie Winter, a researcher of the Foundation said.
As the world becomes desensitized to the groups’ beheading videos, casting children into their propaganda revives attention to the group.
“ISIS is trying to assert itself and the power it has over people living in its territories,” Winter said.