Posted by: infideltaskforce | March 20, 2015

Children with assault rifles attend Islamic State school

This still from a video by al-Azzam Media, an arm of Islamic State's online presence, shows Indonesian children in training to join IS forces.

A dozen young Indonesian children have been filmed wielding assault rifles at a school for jihad as the so-called Islamic State tries to attract new recruits among the world’s largest population of Muslims.

The video, uploaded recently to Islamic State’s specialist Indonesian and Malaysian language recruitment website, al-Azzam Media, depicts young Indonesian-speaking boys learning Arabic and training in weapons and martial arts. They say they are not afraid to face “the enemies of God” and pledge to ensure that Islamic law is implemented and to become “mujahideen”, or holy warriors.

Some of the children appear to be 10 years old or less.

Indonesian based anti-terror expert Sidney Jones says she believes the school is in IS-controlled territory, most likely in Syria, and the children’s parents have travelled there to fight. “We know the school has been going for a while,” said Ms Jones from the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

“We don’t know exactly where it is, but we know that families have been going from Indonesia at least since March 2014 . . . and they’re almost certainly joined by Malaysian kids too.”

While Indonesia’s counter-terrorism police say only about 135 people had travelled to fight with IS, there was a long waiting list as the militant group vetted applications.

Ms Jones said one of the attractions for poor but radical Indonesian families was an offer of free schooling for their children. “This is part and parcel we think of the effort to build up the Malaysian-Indonesian component of [IS],” she said.

A specialist Indonesian and Malaysian brigade within IS, known as Katibah Nusantara, has been set up to make people from South-East Asia feel more at home in Syria and Iraq. That unit has been blooded in battle against Kurdish fighters, Ms Jones said, and “it’s thought . . . they are coming into their own”.

The Indonesian communications ministry blocked the video and requested that YouTube remove it.

The core membership of Jemaah Islamiyah, the group that undertook a number of bombings in Indonesia between 2002 and 2009 including the deadly Bali bombings, were trained and blooded during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.


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