By BI: This is the moment when an 11-year-old boy kneeled down to kiss his father’s hand before blowing himself up in a truck laden with explosives. Footage of the child jihadi, identified as Abu Imara al Omri, was posted by ISIS supporters, who claimed the boy was used to help take the village of Ghazl near Aleppo.
UK Daily Mail Al-Omri is seen toting a gun and gazing wistfully into the fields, before he is given a prep talk by another ISIS militant.
The youngster and his father then inspect the fortified truck, which would be packed with explosives, and the boy is taught how to ignite and drive the truck.
The final part shows young Abu, sitting inside the truck, kissing his father’s hand as a blessing ahead of the suicide mission. ISIS are increasingly using Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attacks against Assad’s troops in Syria.
ISIS propaganda has long boasted about raising the next generation of jihadists, calling them the ‘cubs of the caliphate’. In a recent publication of Dabiq, their monthly English language magazine, the extremist group encourages mothers to sacrifice their sons for the caliphate.
‘As for you, O mother of lion cubs. … And what will make you know what the mother of lion cubs is? She is the teacher of generations and the producer of men,’ the article reads.
A new study published in the CTC Sentinel shows that child soldiers are treated no differently from adult militants under ISIS rule.
Researchers have analysed the case of Omri and 88 other children in the past 13 months and found that 39% of them died detonating a vehicle born IED device. Most of the children are from Syria and 33% were killed as foot soldiers.
An emerging ISIS tactic is also to employ children to carry so-called ‘plunging attacks’, a military operation in which a group of fighters attack an enemy position before blowing themselves up.
Some 4% killed themselves while committing mass casualty attacks against civilians, and 6% died as propagandists embedded with brigades.