Small Wars Journal

Is a Child of ISIS Just a Child? Or a Time Bomb?

Is a Child of ISIS Just a Child? Or a Time Bomb? By Vivian Yee – New York Times

Many of them were barely school age when their parents took them to the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Thousands of others were born there.

The children of the group’s followers are the most vulnerable of the Islamic State’s human leftovers — the remainders of the more than 40,000 foreign fighters and their families who came from 80 countries to help build the caliphate. Many are now detained in camps and prisons across eastern Syria, Iraq and Libya.

“What have these kids done?” said Fabrizio Carboni, a Red Cross official, after witnessing the misery surrounding him on a recent visit to Al Hol camp in Syria. “Nothing.”

Yet even when it comes to the children, the foreign governments whose citizens are marooned in the camps and prisons have struggled with what to do with them.

The Islamic State, researchers say, employed children as scouts, spies, cooks and bomb-planters, and sometimes as fighters and suicide bombers. Propaganda videos showed young children beheading and shooting prisoners.

Some have had years of ISIS indoctrination and, in the case of older boys, military training…

Read on.