Counter-Terrorism: Suffer The Children For God

Archives

June 2,2008: Al Qaeda has adapted the African and Asian practice of recruiting "child soldiers." This system consists of kidnapping young (8-10 years old) male children and turning them into soldiers. This is largely possible because of the availability of cheap assault rifles (mostly AK-47s). These ten pound weapons require little maintenance, and are easy to use. Thus you can easily turn a kid into an effective killer. Those that refuse or prove incapable, are simply killed. The children are ignorant and easily indoctrinated. A dozen adults can control several hundred kids in this way. The child soldiers are inept and undisciplined, and usually flee when faced by trained soldiers. But if well led and disciplined soldiers are not present (very common in many parts of the world) the system works.

Al Qaeda is looking for suicide bombers, not gunmen, and has found that young tribal kids (10-14 years old) in Pakistan will believe some pretty strange stuff. For example, al Qaeda recruiters have been able to convince kids from madrasses (religious schools) that they can carry out a suicide attack that will not kill them. The recruiter alludes to some kind of magic, and the kid falls for it.

Meanwhile, Afghan police have caught some of these kids, who are brought over from Pakistan to carry out their attacks. There have also been some attacks using these kids, and these have usually been sloppy and ineffective. It's also been noted that sometimes the kids figure out that they're being fed lies, and try to get away (sometimes successfully).

Al Qaeda has been using child suicide bombers in Iraq as well, which has gotten a lot more publicity. Not that this hurts al Qaeda, which has, for the last few years, been one of the most hated and despised groups in the Moslem world.

 


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close