Recent footage released by the US military shows images of young Iraqi boys wearing suicide vests, kidnapping civilians at gunpoint, posing with automatic weapons, and chanting pro-al-Qaeda slogans. US officials claim that al-Qaeda is increasingly training children as young as 10 years old to kidnap and kill innocent people.
The videos, aired today during a joint US-Iraqi press conference, are being used by al-Qaeda as propaganda to recruit boys and send a broader message across Iraq that will indoctrinate a new generation. An Iraqi official also reported that militants kidnap children not only for recruitment purposes, but also to demand ransoms. The money collected funds the terrorist organization's operations.
The use of children as the pawns of terrorists is alarming and tragic — as was last week's news that two mentally retarded women strapped with remote-control explosives were used as homicide bombers. What do you think this says about the future of al-Qaeda?