Yemeni children imitate Islamic State terrorists, lock 10-year-old in cage and set him on fire

Yemeni children imitate Islamic State terrorists, lock 10-year-old in cage and set him on fire

One might call it the twenty-first-century version of “Cops and Robbers” or “Cowboys and Indians” —childhood RPGs that are frowned upon nowadays because they supposedly lead to violence as adults.

This “game,” however, in which a group of young boys locked a peer in a cage in imitation of the sentence the Islamic State’s carried out on a captive Jordanian pilot, didn’t just go through the motions of make-believe violence. The 10-year-old was actually doused with accelerant and set afire, and the injuries he sustained were real and devastating.

As reported by Gulf News (via the Daily Mail):

As many as seven boys are believed to have attacked the as-yet unnamed victim in Al Dahthath village in the country’s northern Ibb province.

The defenceless child was then locked in a wooden cage and had petrol poured over his body before being set alight. Thankfully a group of locals spotted the attack and managed to save the boy’s life, although he was still left with horrific burn injuries on his legs.


During the attack, the boys are said to have assumed different terrorist roles, with the ‘leader’ sitting in a chair and giving orders to his friends.

Villagers heard the commotion and managed to rush the injured child to a local hospital, where he was treated for burns to one of his legs:

burned child

The children involved are understood to have been inspired by the gruesome videos of the pilot’s execution made by the militants and shared via mobile phone apps such as WhatsApp.

Sadly, this incident is not an isolated occurrence. The Daily Mail notes that several weeks ago a video emerged showing a group of young Yemenis reenacting the execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya. This time, a combination of 10-year-olds and teenagers were involved.

The grainy mobile phone footage was reportedly filmed somewhere on the Gulf coast in Yemen.

It shows five young boys, possibly aged around 10-years-old, wearing only trousers, being led to a beach by five teenage boys.

The teenage boys are fully dressed and their faces are covered by scarfs to imitate the masked murderers from the sickening Islamic State execution video.

On the way to the beach, the older boys each pick up a stick, mimicking the collecting of knives by the executioners in the beheading video of 21 Syrian soldiers released in November 2014.

Lined up on the beach, the young boys are forced to their knees and stare down at the sand whilst they await their mock execution. Each boy appears deep in character, honed from studying the terror group’s depraved videos.

Nor is this to say that all of these actions are imitative or childhood games. A recently released video shows that the Islamic State has been training “cub fighters,” children so young their voices haven’t yet changed.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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