The Threat Knowledge Group has produced a special report on how the Islamic terrorist organization ISIS is militarizing kids. ONE: That is morally reprehensible! TWO: Another reason to give pause to bringing Muslim kids into the USA as refugees.
Rising Threat: The Islamic State’s Militarization of Children
By Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka, Katharine C. Gorka & Claire Herzog
Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka serves as the Vice President and Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University where he provided courses and lectures on Irregular Warfare. Before that, he was Associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at National Defense University. He is also Associate Fellow with SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University, a regular instructor with the Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg and for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Dr. Gorka served as an adviser to the Department of Defense in the renewal of its Irregular Warfare Joint Operating Concept and is the author of the New York Times besteller, Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Dr. Gorka is the Chairman of the Threat Knowledge Group.
Katharine C. Gorka is the President of the Threat Knowledge Group as well as the Council on Global Security. From 2009 to 2014 she served as the Executive Director of the Westminster Institute, based in McLean, Virginia. A recognized expert in the field of democratic transition in post-dictatorial nations, Katharine spent nearly two decades working in Central Europe. She was the regional head of the USAID-funded Democracy Network program, run by the National Forum Foundation. Gorka is the co-editor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism and the author of the White Paper, The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and an article in The Journal of International Security Affairs, The war between Al Qaeda and ISIS–and what it means for America.
Claire Herzog is a counterterrorism and national security researcher and program manager at the Threat Knowledge Group. Ms. Herzog has worked with the War Studies Department at King’s College London, where her efforts focused on extreme event preparedness and the radicalization of terrorists. Prior to that, she interned with Congressman Peter King’s office, where she prepared briefs covering topics ranging from Boko Haram and the ongoing threat from al Qaeda to the effects of Hurricane Sandy and Operation Fast and Furious. She is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Peace, War and Defense with a minor in History.
I n the opening scene of American Sniper, a sniper on the roof of a building is providing cover for a U.S. Marine convoy during the 2003 Iraq War. One of the snipers spots a woman and child exiting a building. The woman hands what looks like a grenade to the child, who starts running at the convoy. The sniper has to make a split-second decision without knowing for certain that it is, in fact, a grenade: shoot the young boy or risk letting the convoy get blown up. He shoots the child, and the undetonated grenade falls to the ground. The sniper made the right decision, but he had endured a nearly impossible moment. Not only did he very nearly make the wrong call, exposing his fellow warfighters to deadly force, but he will now have to live with the knowledge that he killed a child, even if it was the right and necessary decision.
These are the new contours of the battle against the Islamic State. A growing body of evidence makes clear that the Islamic State (IS) is actively exploiting children on the battlefield in order to gain the upper hand against stronger and better armed adversaries. Most recently, on August 20th, 54 people were killed and 66 injured at a wedding in Turkey, and the alleged perpetrator was a 12 to 14-year-old boy wearing a suicide vest. Five days later, the Islamic State released a video (right) [Blog Editor: To view video go to TKG post] of five young boys dressed in desert camouflage executing at point-blank range five Kurdish fighters.
The rate at which the Islamic State is recruiting, training, and exploiting children presents a new set of challenges for U.S. warfighters and law enforcement. Not only do we risk over-looking the threat posed by children, assuming their innocence, but we also run the risk of moral injury and increased rates of PTSD to those who must confront this threat. This paper looks at how the Islamic State is militarizing children in order to better prepare the United States to face this new and rising threat.
The Use of Children in Conflict
The use of children in war is not an innovation of the 21st century. Rather, it dates back hundreds of years to when children acted as squires and drummer boys on the battle-fields of Europe and as powder monkeys on British Royal Navy ships.1 The past seven-ty-five years have seen a proliferation of child soldiers: as Hitler Youth in Germany, as members of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda toting AK-47s, and planting land-mines for Colombia’s FARC. The Council on Foreign Relations has reported that there are approximately 300,000 child combatants worldwide and that forty percent of the world’s armed organizations feature children in their ranks.2
This issue does not exclusively beleaguer the nations where such conflicts occur; rather, it is one the United States has directly confronted time and again, especially since 9/11. The first U.S. soldier killed in combat in the War on Terror, Sergeant 1st Class Nathan Chapman, was shot in 2002 by a 14-year old sniper.3 Three teens, ages 13 to 15, were captured while fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2003 and sent to Guantanamo Bay.4 In 2006, Shiite militias in Iraq urged children to throw rocks and gasoline bombs at American convoys to provoke U.S. retaliation.5
The Historical Role of Children in Terrorism
While the exploitation of children for military purposes has a long history, in the past 25 years its prevalence has grown, particularly in terrorist operations. For example, in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators were am-bushed by Somali men, women and “children armed with automatic weapons and rock-et-propelled grenades.”6 According to Ambassador Robert Oakley, women and children were not only used as shields but were themselves firing weapons.
The conflict in the Palestinian territories has seen the rise of the cult of martyrdom among youth, one which continues to be perpetuated: recently Hamas in Palestine put on a play in which a Muslim girl stabs an Israeli and is then “martyred” by Israeli soldiers. The children appearing in the play ranged from four to eight years old.7 In Nigeria, one out of five Boko Haram suicide attacks have been conducted by children, and 75% of those children used by Boko Haram are girls.8
But even within this growing trend of the exploitation of children for military purposes, the Islamic State stands out for the manner and degree to which it is recruiting, training and deploying children. Unlike many of the child soldiers seen in Africa—in Uganda, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo—who were utilized as untrained cannon fodder, the Islamic State is investing significant resources, time, and effort to groom an “unquestioning and ideologically pure” Islamist army for the future.9 They do not simply strap a suicide vest to a child and send them to blow up an Iraqi military target. They actively recruit them, psychologically and ideologically indoctrinate them, teach them how to fight and use weapons, and then put them in the ranks alongside men twice their age. These are not “mindless drones,” but willing and able jihadi equivalents of the Hitler Youth.
While terrorist organizations have regularly relied on children in different supporting roles, one can see a dramatic difference from al Qaeda to ISIS. Osama bin Laden’s Declaration of Jihad on Americans, dated September 2, 1996, encouraged the participation of young men in jihad:
“There is nothing strange about this: Muhammad’s companions were young men. And the young men of today are the successor of the early ones.”10
However, this position was later contradicted by the al Qaeda Training Manual discovered in 2000, which states:
"The requirements of military work are numerous, and a minor cannot perform them. The nature of hard and continuous work in dangerous conditions requires a great deal of psychological, mental, and intellectual fitness, which are not usually found in a minor.”11
This did not stop al Qaeda from using abducted children to retrieve weapons from the battlefield, get through checkpoints, and act as suicide bombers; but, they did not as a rule recruit and specifically train child fighters. The Islamic State, however, has developed a complete system for grooming, recruiting and training minors as jihadists.
ISIS’s Use of Children: Reasoning
The eighth issue of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine, features an article titled “The Lions of Tomorrow.” Although brief, it introduces the Cubs of the Caliphate and explains their importance to the Islamic State:
The Islamic State has taken it upon itself to fulfill the Ummah’s duty to-wards this generation in preparing it to face the crusaders and their allies in defense of Islam and to raise high the word of Allah in every land. It has established institutes for these ashbal (lion cubs) to train and hone their military skills, and to teach them the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is these young lions to whom the Islamic State recently handed over two agents caught spying for Russian Intelligence and an agent caught spying for the Israeli Mossad, to be executed and displayed as an example to anyone else thinking of infiltrating the mujahidin.12
The ISIS magazine, Dabiq, features an article entitled "The Lions of Tomorrow" about the special role of youth in ISIS
ISIS is using the teachings of Mohammed to justify exploiting its children inside the Caliphate to become the jihadis of tomorrow.
The Islamic State justifies their use of child fighters, by saying,
“And just as the children of the Sahabah stained their swords with the blood of yesterday’s taghut (idolator)…so too will the children of the Khilafah stain their bullets with the blood of today’s tawaghit (idolaters).”13
ISIS has and is continuing to prime its children inside the Caliphate to become the jihadis of tomorrow, and they are using the teachings of Mohammed to justify these actions.
ISIS’s Use of Children: By the Numbers
Children are being recruited or abducted by the Islamic State at alarming rates. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS targeted schools and mosques to recruit 400 children in 2015 alone.14 In addition to those recruited, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq estimated in June 2015 that ISIS had abducted between 800 and 900 children between nine and fifteen years old.15 Of grave concern are the estimated 700,000 refugee children out of school at the end of September 2015 as a result of the Syrian Civil War. That is a large and vulnerable population that the Islamic State is likely tapping into, providing services and education that the children otherwise would not receive and in turn recruiting countless more Lion Cubs. One expert estimated that the Caliphate has at least 1,500 children in its ranks.16
From January 2015 to January 2016, 89 children were eulogized. In the last six months, ISIS propaganda has featured at least twelve child executioners and one child participating in a public execution.17 By using children as soldiers, suicide bombers, and executioners, the Islamic State is scoring a major win in the propaganda wars. According to one group of analysts, ISIS is able to “gain the psychological upper hand against their opponents because their videos of children performing brutal acts break increasing global fear of the ‘caliphate’.”18
ISIS’s exploitation of children is on the rise. On April 29, ISIS’s media wing, al-Hayat, released a French-language video chant calling for revenge against the “crusader” coalition for the massacres and destruction caused by allied airstrikes. Unlike previous videos, however, the soldiers singing this nasheed were children—the Lion Cubs of the Caliphate. This is not the first time al-Hayat has included child soldiers in their videos, but this video, which makes children both the voices and the faces of the Islamic State, is one of the most significant depictions of children in ISIS media. As images of children training with handguns, Kalashnikovs, and RPG launchers fill the screen, they sing, “Beware, your end is already planned. Our warriors are everywhere, ready to sacrifice themselves. Beware, our orphans are growing. They feed their thirst for revenge in rage.”19
The Islamic State’s Indoctrination Operations
Since its declaration of the caliphate on June 29, 2014, the Islamic State has employed children in many different roles, ranging from recruiters to spies, guards to frontline soldiers, suicide bombers to executioners. In order to raise devoted and obedient Cubs, ISIS has turned much of its focus to the education of children. They run as many as 24 schools in Raqqa and many in Mosul, where ISIS abolished its education system the day they entered the city, in addition to at least eight schools and religious seminaries in faraway Nangarhar, Afghanistan.20 According to the PBS Frontline documentary “ISIS in Afghanistan,” the Islamic State is educating and training all local children in one Afghan village from the age of three so that “each generation will learn and teach in turn” the ways of jihad and ISIS’s brand of Islam.21 By June 2014, ISIS had, by one count, 22 sharia institutes in Aleppo alone. These religious schools are paired with physical training camps, where children are taught fighting and weapons skills. Some were even made to decapitate blond-haired dolls as practice for real life executions.22 The Islamic State is not only using these schools to recruit fighters, but also as a means of investing in children so that their “radical message endures beyond the group itself.”23
As summarized in the Washington Institute’s report, “Inside the Caliphate’s Classroom,” the Islamic State finished its “intimidation campaign” in 2013 and made bureaucratic reforms in 2014 that paved the way for the “indoctrination campaign” taking place right now.24 As part of this campaign, ISIS has written or re-written dozens of textbooks on varying topics: English, history, physics, mathematics, faith, physical activity, and Islamic law, among others. While some of the book covers are quite ordinary, others feature jihadi-oriented images. For example, one shows an image of a decapitated Statue of Liberty with an ISIS flag replacing her head.
In order to raise devoted and obedient Cubs, ISIS has turned much of its focus to the education of children.
The physical activity textbook is covered with images of soldiers training with weapons. Finally, a textbook on Mohammed’s teaching depicts gun-wielding soldiers serving un-der the Islamic State flag.25
These textbooks are “the instruments of a systematic indoctrination strategy,” used to justify Islamic State beliefs and teachings “in a style and forum through which children in all societies today are molded into adults.”26 ISIS’s apocalyptic and violent narrative of Islam pervades even the most innocent of teachings. For example, the Arabic literature textbook features out lines of guns at the bot-tom of each chapter.27 In their more explicitly violent books, such as on physical prepared-ness, the Islamic State includes a diagram showing how to assemble and use a variety of weapons.28 Through these teachings, ISIS has created and validated their worldview among its supporters, while simultaneously invalidating any contrary narratives or viewpoints.
However, the current youth population being raised in the Islamic State is not the only group we have to worry about. According to a report from the Quilliam Foundation published in March 2016, there are currently 31,000 pregnant women living within the Caliphate. These women were largely recruited as “baby factories,” not only to populate the new state, but also to create the next generation of jihadis born and raised exclusively within the Islamic State, predisposed to violence and terror.29 Even once the Islamic State is defeated, this new generation may haunt us. Unlike children who were brought to ISIS territory by their parents or who chose to travel there themselves, the children born within the Islamic State know nothing but what ISIS teaches them and believe that “violence is a way of life.”30 This will render any sort of de-radicalization program very difficult and guarantee a continued jihadi threat much past the Islamic State’s demise.
Precedents in the History of Islam
Although the Islamic State’s extensive exploitation of children is unique in today’s world, there are other precedents for this in Islamic history. For example, ISIS at least partially mirrors the Mamluks of Egypt—soldiers enslaved by the Muslim Egyptian army in their youth. After being purchased, each boy was, “cut off from his land of origin, his country is [now] Egypt; his father the master who purchased him; and his brothers: his companions in arms.”31 This sounds eerily similar to what ISIS is doing with the children who willingly travel to the Caliphate: they are made to burn their passports and accept the Caliphate as their nation, abandon their families if they do not support the Islamic State, and accept their fellow soldiers as their brothers. The 14th century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun even ascribes the success and wealth of the early Islamic empire to the Mamluks:
“Thus one group of Mamluks follows another and generation succeeds generation and Islam rejoices in the wealth…which is acquired by eons of them and the boughs of the kingdom are luxuriant with the freshness and verdure of youth.”32
Today ISIS has taken and created a class of highly indoctrinated child warriors similar to the Mamluks.
More recently, Saddam Hussein also exploited children for military purposes. His Youth Vanguard movement recruited children as young as twelve to receive military training and placed them into military units to be used during the Iran-Iraq War.33 More important than the Youth Vanguard, though, were the Ashbal Saddam, or Saddam Lion Cubs. The Ashbal Saddam recruited boys ages ten to fifteen and sent them to military camps for indoctrination and military training for as much as fourteen hours a day.34
These boys were not simply cannon fodder but rather were seen as the future of the regime, similar to the Islamic State’s vision of a future population of "pure" jihadists. After toppling Saddam’s regime in Iraq in 2003, the transitional government initiated a de-Ba’athification process that left “over 100,000 Iraqis unemployed, angry, and armed.”35 Many of these former Ba’athist officers and officials ended up joining the Islamic State, often at the highest levels, bringing with them knowledge, lessons, and skills from Saddam’s reign.36 The training and use of children in battle and in carrying out acts of terrorism is one way that the legacy of Saddam Hussein runs through the veins of ISIS.
Many former Ba’athist officers and officials ended up joining the Islamic State, often at the highest levels, bringing with them knowledge, lessons, and skills from Saddam’s reign.
ISIS Youth Supporters in the United States
The Islamic State has not limited its recruitment or use of children to within its borders. The United States is experiencing a deadly combination of increased levels of youth recruitment and training in Islamic State-held territory paired with high numbers of youth radicalized by ISIS on U.S. soil. Both internationally and domestically, ISIS is targeting a much younger audience through social media platforms, the utilization of popular hashtags, and their own apps, such as Library of Zeal’s “Alphabet” app. The vocabulary and images used throughout the app include tanks, guns, rockets, and specifically jihadist terminology.
ISIS Youth Problem- Arrests by Age
ISIS Supporters in US- Ages 15-25
Since March 2014, 110 ISIS supporters have been interdicted in the U.S. Of those, nearly 60 percent were between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. Even more concerning, 41 of those interdictions were potential or attempted domestic attackers, with 54 percent of those domestic attackers falling between 15 and 25 years of age.
A prime example of this is Justin Sullivan, a 19-year old from Morganton, N.C., arrested on June 19, 2015. Shortly before his 20th birthday, Sullivan allegedly robbed and murdered a neighbor for money to buy an assault rifle, tried to hire someone to murder his parents, and plotted a massacre inspired by ISIS. He is the first American ISIS supporter to face the death penalty.37 As a domestic plotter, Justin Sullivan represents a third of the sup-porters ages 15 to 25.
Representing nearly 57 percent of that age group, three Colorado girls, ages 15, 16, and 17, attempted to travel to the Islamic State in October 2014, but were stopped at the Frankfurt airport. Unbeknownst to their families, the three girls were sharing militant recruitment videos, one of which featured Anwar al-Awlaki, following and interacting with online jihadists, and tweeting their support for jihad and the Islamic State thousands of times. Their attempted trip to join ISIS has been called a significant case study, as “the process they underwent—from use of social media, radicalization, recruitment online, even through the actual travel route to join the Islamic State—all follow the exact same pattern shared by several hundred Westerners.”38
On August 28, 2015, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin of Manassas, Virginia, was sentenced to more than eleven years in prison followed by a lifetime supervised release and monitoring of his internet activities for providing material support to ISIS.39 Using the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness, Amin instructed his followers to use Bitcoin to send money to ISIS and facilitated supporters seeking to travel to the Islamic State. He tweeted more than 7,000 times to more than 4,000 followers, espousing his pro-ISIS beliefs to many other vulnerable individuals. These ISIS convictions provide a snapshot of the current domestic situation that law enforcement can study to better understand and prepare for future cases.
Threat to Our Warfighters
The engagement of child soldiers both abroad and domestically in support of or inspired by the Islamic State will greatly challenge American warfighters and law enforcement officers. Abroad, our warfighters face strategic limitations when facing insurgencies and terrorist organizations in the form of our rules of engagement. Generally, American ROE “give American soldiers the option of
using force only in the face of a ‘hostile act’ or ‘hostile intent,’ or when an enemy fighter has been ‘positively identified.’”40 Once the enemy is engaged, ROE dictate which, how, and where weapons can be used, and indicate the command chain that can authorize the use of each weapon. The self-imposed U.S. rules of engagement are so stringent and restrictive, going far beyond the requirements of the law of armed conflict, that they often tie the hands of American warfighters engaged in perilous situations. Furthermore, “American forces play by the rules while our enemies exploit those same rules” to their advantage and our detriment, which has resulted in unnecessary deaths of both American soldiers and local civilian populations.41
The constraints imposed by our ROE are magnified when facing child combatants. Our rules state that children are civilians, not combatants, and we are mandated to avoid any attack where civilians are present. In America’s airstrike campaign against ISIS, it is re-ported that the Obama Administration has repeatedly made the decision to leave known military targets intact so as to avoid any civilian casualties.42 The Islamic State not only flagrantly disregards the laws of war—using child soldiers, killing civilians, and enslaving enemies—but they also “launch international propaganda campaigns when our pains-taking targeting proves to be the least bit imprecise.”43 If American soldiers are forced to engage children on the battlefield against the Islamic State, the propaganda value gained by ISIS will be significant—not only will American morale take a dive, but ISIS will undoubtedly gain countless recruits as a result.
Finally, it is important to consider the moral hazard associated with facing children on the battlefield. The Islamic State has assumed the risk of using children—alienating potential supporters and inciting stronger retaliation from its opponents—because the U.S. is forced to assume the costs—upholding the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement, increasing American opposition at home, and alienating any potential allies in the region—which outweigh those risks. Not only would this challenge our ROE, but it could also cause severe psychological and moral injury to our troops, who are taught to protect and value the life of a child. This will be extremely important to consider if the U.S. decides to put boots on the ground in a direct combat role in the future.
If American soldiers are forced to engage children on the battlefield against the Islamic State, the propaganda value gained by ISIS will be significant—not only will American morale take a dive, but ISIS will undoubtedly gain countless recruits as a result.
Threat to Our Law Enforcement Officers
The Islamic State’s employment of children in their ranks not only threatens our warfighters abroad but also endangers our law enforcement officers at home. Of the 22 domestic ISIS plotters age 15 to 25 interdicted in the U.S., seven targeted law enforcement officers and seven targeted members of the military or military installations in America. In addition to this direct threat, there is also a domestic weak spot of concern.
According to our Transportation Security Administration, children under eighteen are not required to have ID to travel domestically. That makes tracking or halting the movements of jihadis who are minors extremely difficult. Furthermore, children twelve and un-der are allowed to leave their shoes, light jackets, and headwear on during screening.44 With increased wait times and longer lines at airport security checkpoints, this threat could prove to be an increasingly attractive soft target for ISIS supporters, both children radicalized by the group and adult supporters using children to avoid arousing suspicion.
According to a U.S. Southern Command intelligence report, Sunni extremists are already utilizing Latin American smuggling routes to cross the border into the United States.45 There is a very good chance that ISIS will not only turn to these smugglers, but also that they will focus on smuggling children, who are naturally less suspicious, into the U.S. The surges of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in 2014 and 2016 paired with the U.S. pol-icy to accommodate such children that make it to America together create an additional vulnerability that the Islamic State and its supporters could exploit to infiltrate and attack America. These are but a few threats American law enforcement could face from children who support or are inspired by ISIS, and they must be taken seriously before we suffer another massacre at home.
The Islamic State has warned us:
“Beware, we have what we need to defend ourselves: well-armed soldiers are ready to kill you…Your blood will flow for your heinous crimes… Beware, we are ready to fight back. Our swords are sharpened to slice necks… Beware, men are ready to blow themselves up, ready to respond to the evil you have brought. Beware, your roads will soon be rigged with mines by well-trained and determined brothers. Beware, your end is al-ready planned. Our warriors are everywhere, ready to sacrifice them-selves. Beware, our orphans are growing. They feed their thirst for revenge in rage.”
The United States should heed this threat before today’s Cubs of the Caliphate become tomorrow’s Army of Jihadis waging war on American soil.
The Threat Knowledge Group is dedicated to providing strategic analysis, and national security training on today’s most pressing threats to those who secure America in
the Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security communities. TKG provides strategic-level analytic and expert support to the US Special Operations Command, US Army Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg and others. We utilize leading practitioners, academics and other recognized national security experts to deliver courses and operationally relevant threat analysis and training to help ensure the security of the United States and American citizens.
1 “Children in War,” UNICEF, 1995; and “The State of the World’s Children 1996” (UNICEF, December 11, 1995).
2 Eben Kaplan, “Child Soldiers Around the World.” (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2005). 3 Ibid.
4 “Teens Held in Guantanamo,” BBC News, April 23, 2003.
5 “Latest Challenge to U.S. Troops Abroad: Children,” NBC News. The Associated Press, September 20, 2006.
6 “Ambush in Mogadishu.” PBS Frontline. PBS, September 29, 1998.
7 Chris Tomlinson, "Children of Jihad: ISIS Training 70 Dutch Children," Breitbart, May 3, 2016.
8 “Boko Haram Crisis: ‘Huge Rise’ in Child Suicide Bombers,” BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation, April 12, 2016.
9 Jamie Doran and Najibullah Quraishi, “ISIS in Afghanistan.” PBS Frontline. PBS, aired November 17, 2015.
10 “Compilation of Usama Bin Laden Statements: 1994 - January 2004,” Foreign Broadcast Information Service, January 2004, p. 21.
11 “The Al Qaeda Manual.” U.S. Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ag/leg-acy/2002/10/08/manualpart1_1.pdf
12 “The Lions of Tomorrow,” Dabiq: Shari’ah Alone Will Rule Africa. Issue 8 (2015): 20-21. Accessed at The Clarion Project http://media.clarionproject.org/files/islamic-state/isis-isil-islamic-state-magazine-is-sue+8-sharia-alone-will-rule-africa.pdf
13 "The Lions of Tomorrow," Dabiq.
14 “Islamic State Recruits 400 Children since January: Syria Monitor,” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, March 24, 2015.
15 Noman Benotman and Nikita Malik, “The Children of Islamic State,” Quilliam Foundation. March 2016. 16 Erin McLaughlin, “How ISIS Recruits Children, Then Kills Them,” CNN. Cable News Network, February 22, 2016.
17 Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.”
18 Ibid. p. 27.
19 S.J. Prince, “WATCH: New ISIS English Language Video Features Child Terrorists.” Heavy. Heavy, Inc., May 1, 2016.
20 Rikkar Hissein, Sirwan Kajjo, and Noor Zahid, “With Its Caliphate Faltering, Islamic State Rushes to Indoctrinate Children.” Voice of America. June 20, 2016.
21 Doran and Quraishi. “ISIS in Afghanistan.”
22 Jacob Olidort, “Inside the Caliphate’s Classroom: Textbooks, Guidance Literature, and Indoctrination Methods of the Islamic State.” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (2016): August 2016. Pg. 3.
23 Hissein, Kajjo, and Zahid. “With Its Caliphate Faltering, Islamic State Rushes to Indoctrinate Children.”
24 Olidort. Pg. 7.
25 Casey Tolan, “These Are the Textbooks Supposedly Used by the Islamic State.” Fusion. Fusion Media Network, LLC. October 28, 2015.
26 Olidort. Pg. 24. 27 Ibid. Pg. 17. 28 Ibid.
29 Alistair Bell, “Islamic State Attracts Female Jihadis from U.S. Heartland.” Reuters. (Thomson Reuters, September 14, 2014).
30 “Islamic State Recruiting Children for Battle in Syria, Iraq.” The Denver Post. The Associated Press, November 23, 2014.
31 Salah Ziemech, “The Mamluks in History.” Foundation for Science, Technology, and Civilisation. June 2004. Pg. 2.
32 Ibid. Pg. 3.
33 Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.” Pg. 25.
34 Peter W. Singer, “Facing Saddam’s Child Soldiers.” Brookings. The Brookings Institution, January 14, 2003.
35 Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.”
37 Michael Gordon, “First American ISIS Convert in Custody, Justin Sullivan, to Face the Death Penalty.” The Charlotte Observer. March 18, 2016.
38 Maria Vultaggio, “ISIS Online Recruitment: 3 Colorado Teenage Girls A Textbook Case.” International Business Times. IBT Media, Inc., November 11, 2014.
39 “Virginia Man Sentenced to More Than 11 Years for Providing Material Support to ISIL.” U.S. Department of Justice. August 28, 2015.
40 David French, “How Our Overly Restrictive Rules of Engagement Keep Us from Winning Wars.” National Review. December 21, 2015.
44 Bob Burns, “The TSA Blog: Traveling With Kids.” The TSA Blog. Transportation Security Administration, June 1, 2010.
45 Bill Gertz, “Southern Command Warns Sunni Extremists Infiltrating From South.” Washington Free Beacon. August 22, 2016.
Blog Editor: Many TKG photos were not used in this blog cross post.
The ThreatKnowledgeGroup is dedicated to providing strategic analysis, and national security training on today’s most pressing threats to those who secure America in the Defense, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security communities.
TKG is a vetted provider with the FBI and provides strategic-level analytic and expert support to clients including the US Special Operations Command, and US Army Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg.
We utilize leading practitioners, academics and other recognized national security experts to deliver on-point courses and operationally relevant threat analysis that meets your organization’s specific urgent requirements.
Our training and analytic products are timely, relevant, adaptive and useful, and can be crafted to meet your particular agency’s or department’s needs.
The United States has been engaged in its longest military campaign against a threat that not many truly understand. The ThreatKnowledgeGroup provides the … READ THE REST