What to do with Islamic State’s child soldiers

Get them while they’re young

WHEN Omar returned home after 40 days in a boot camp run by Islamic State, it was obvious something had snapped. Once a quiet boy and a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons, Omar, 12, had become aggressive. He told his mother to stop wearing make-up, refused to greet her female friends and became angry when she tried to bathe him. “I was scared to wear a T-shirt inside my own house,” his mother, Amina, says. “He told me these things were forbidden under Islam. They washed his brain.”

Omar died shortly after his last visit home. Trained by IS as one of its inghimasi—shock troops sent into battle with assault rifles and suicide vests—Omar was killed fighting Syrian government forces in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, not far from his home, six months ago. IS allowed his mother 15 minutes with her son’s body before burying him in a grave that she was forbidden, as a woman, from...Continue reading

Source: Middle East and Africa http://ift.tt/2rC3735

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