Young boys are right this very moment training to be Islamic State jihadis. In a recent video released by the terrorist organization, the children are referred to as “cub fighters.” They appear dressed in camouflage and wearing headbands with the Islamic State flag.
At the Islamic State’s Faruq Institute for Cubs, boys learn about religion (sorry, Mr. President), memorizing sections of the Quran and Hadith, Islam’s holy books. According to the video, this institute is located in the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, Syria.
In the beginning, the boys line up and perform actions or shout responses as directed by their leader. Partway through, they in a circle while the leader speaks about what this generation will do, alluding to reclaiming Jerusalem and liberating Rome.
Near the end, the boys wash their hands and face with water from a spigot before performing prayers.
The term “cub” appears to emphasize that these mere pups will grow up to become bloodthirsty warriors, says Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who adds:
ISIS is trying to mobilize everyone that they can control to fight the war that they are waging. It shows the brutality of ISIS leadership.
There have been numerous reports of the “integral” role of child soldiers in Islamic State ranks. The organization released a video purportedly showing a child executioner killing two Russian spies in January. Western powers could wind up fighting these soldiers for years to come, according to an article in Foreign Policy.
Although the U.S. leads the coalition currently fighting the Islamic State, there is ambiguity about the exact scope and length of the operation.
This report, by Erica Wenig, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.