Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Children in the Service of Terror

MEMRI (21/7/2009)

"From Afghanistan to Pakistan, from Iraq to Palestine, [terror] organizations are recruiting boys (some under 15) and training them to carry out suicide bombings - and sometimes these are carried out. For diverse reasons and under diverse circumstances, children are stripped of their innocence and transformed into deadly weapons. Whatever the [reasons and circumstances], the result is the same: lost childhood, a bleak future, and the spread of terrorism...

"The recruitment of children is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly widespread. UNESCO estimates that a quarter of a million children have been recruited into armed organizations, behind whose banner of religion are political causes."

Thus read the introduction to a series of articles posted on May 26 and 27, 2009, [1] on the liberal website Elaph, about recruitment of children by terror organizations, particularly for suicide bombings. The articles present examples of children who were recruited by terror organizations, including some who carried out suicide operations, as well as interviews with clerics and social affairs experts on the phenomenon.

The clerics interviewed largely rejected the legitimacy of recruiting children for military activity, although some said it was permissible under extreme circumstances. Representatives of Palestinian organizations, in their interviews, denied that they were using children - even though the article on Palestinian organizations in the Elaph series includes statistics on these children. Most of the articles in the series are descriptive in nature, and present no practical proposals for solving this problem.

The following are summaries of and excerpts from the articles in the series: Here