SCHOOLS OF JIHAD

Res­cued kids as young as 5 were be­ing trained to carry out IS ter­ror at­tacks

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Dan War­bur­ton

HUN­DREDS of chil­dren re­cruited for train­ing as ter­ror­ists have been res­cued from Is­lamic State class­rooms.

Kids as young as five, dubbed Cubs of t he Caliphate, are be­ing in­doc­tri­nated and taught to kill by ji­hadis in Iraq and Syria.

Many have been freed by Iraqi forces ad­vanc­ing on the key IS city of Mo­sul.

Now aid work­ers from the char­ity War Child are pro­vid­ing ther­apy for young­sters haunted by the hor­rors they have seen. De­tails were re­leased for Red Hands Day to­day, which high­lights the global plight of child sol­diers. One of the chil­dren taken for brain­wash­ing by IS is Brahim, 10. He had to watch the ex­e­cu­tions of many of his fam­ily who served in the po­lice and had ties to Kur­dish Pesh­merga mili­tia.

Brahim said: “They were teach­ing us from IS books – a tank plus a tank equals two tanks. In the play­ground they were giv­ing us IS train­ing.

“They were giv­ing us a pis­tol with­out bul­lets. We were run­ning and pre­tend­ing to shoot. They wanted to teach us how to kill the Pesh­merga.” Videos have emerged show­ing young chil­dren car­ry­ing out IS ex­e­cu­tions. Oth­ers have died car­ry­ing out sui­cide bomb­ings

More than 50 UK chil­dren are in the “caliphate”, the anti-ex­trem­ist Quil­liam Foun­da­tion said last year.

Among them is Isa Dare, who was nick­named Ji­hadi Ju­nior. His mother, Mus­lim con­vert Grace Dare from Lon­don, took him to join IS as a baby four years ago. He was filmed with an AK47 threat­en­ing to “kill in­fi­dels”.

Fig­ures show 314 chil­dren have been de­tained for ter­ror­ism in Iraq out of around 1,000 ab­ducted by IS.

In neigh­bour­ing Syria, there 362 ver­i­fied cases of child sol­diers, 56 per of whom were un­der 15.

To help War Child with its work visit warchild.org.uk/do­nate.

GUN LAD: Isa Dare

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