‘The children of ISIS’: A nightmare for humanity

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The tag of the ‘children of ISIS’ is a slur that weighs heavily upon a large number of Arab and foreign children. It could haunt them for years to come, as even their countries of origin and sometimes even their parents do not want them.

Even on Children’s Day, celebrated by the world on November 20, these children were kept outside UNICEF’s “Blue Line” drawn in commemoration of Children’s Day.

Child recruits

According to the Raseef22 website, there are two types of children within the terrorist organization — the children of the organization’s fighters born in Syria, Iraq, Libya and then the children kidnapped by the organization for recruitment.

There is another classification for such children which concerns arming and recruitment: children who have not yet taken up arms, and other where children were recruited and have even carried out executions and suicide attacks.

After ISIS was chased out of Mosul in July 2017, the world discovered suffering of the people of the city, both young and old. It was a difficult task for the authorities to deradicalize the minds of the children that had lived under the ISIS rule.

Russian news agency Sputnik reported in March this year that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that a total of 1127 children lived in the shelters of the Ministry of Social Affairs, of which 514 were under three years old, while 460 children were between the ages of 3 and 9 years. Of them, the majority is of girls (94), while 59 are boys.

Iraqi Ministry of Social Affairs told Sputnik that it was dealing with these children as "victims of an oppressive organization" and was working toward removing extremist ideology from their minds.

Cubs of ISIS

A look at the nationalities of these children shows how the terrorist organization spread its influence across various societies in the east and west, attracting fighters from different countries.

The children in this center are of Turkish, Azerbaijani, Russian, Tajikistani, Kyrgyzstani, Uzbek, Moroccan, Ukrainian, Iranian, Algerian, German, French and South American origin.

The project of recruiting children to carry out suicide operations was part of the "cubs of ISIS" project, but it is an advanced stage of the terrorist action. The plans were overseen by the French brothers Michel and Fabien Clain, who were also responsible for the propaganda of the organization.

Russia's move to bring back children born to Russian mothers, who fought among the ranks of ISIS or were married to fighters and are now detained in Iraq, was considered a bold step especially since other countries, notably Tunisia, refused to bring back a few dozen children who are still stuck in Libya.