ISIS(ICIA) use of children for suicide missions skyrocketing – US report

Saturday, February 20, 2016
By Paul Martin
20 Feb, 2016

Islamic State is sending children, as young as 12, to their deaths at unprecedented rates. There were three times as many child suicide bombers this year than the previous. According to US researchers, numbers are accelerating by the month.

A total of 89 children have died serving Islamic State (IS, ISIS/formerly ISIL), a Georgia State University analysis of Twitter and encrypted app Telegram has shown. Researchers scanned death notices for 12 months from January 2015 and found that children from over 14 nationalities have been used in a variety of ways by the terrorists.

Some two-thirds of the children were aged 12-16 years old. The overall rate of under-18s has doubled in that period as well. Of the 89 deaths in the studied period, 39 percent drove suicide vehicles, while another 33 were used as foot soldiers. Others died either as propagandists or in mass casualties attacks, while a sizeable 18 percent died in so-called ‘inghimasi’ attacks, where a small group attacks enemy positions with light weapons, before blowing themselves up with explosives.

Of those killed in the studied period, 31 percent were Syrian, 25 of mixed Syrian-Iraqi descent and 11 percent Iraqi. And the remainder are a mix from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria and also the UK, France and Australia.

“A cursory exploration of this data suggests Islamic State’s systematic use of children is more widespread than previously imagined,” the authors write.

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