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Headline: al-Qaeda Recruiting Children

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?

Join The Conversation
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
I think it's sick. I have problems with this for a myriad of reasons, a few which are listed below: 1) They are kidnapping children. 2) They are persuading the children that they want to do this. I think it is ALWAYS wrong to persuade children that young about adult issues. (Though I think we all agree that their side is WRONG, they don't think so.) It makes me angry when people try to convince children one way or another on controversial US issues (I live near DC and HATE when I see a child carrying a pro-life or pro-choice sign... either one. They aren't old enough to know.) 3) This may sound silly, but I am disturbed that they are only using boys. Gender discrimination should be the least of their worries right now, but later on down the road, this is not ok. 4) They are killing which is not a method I believe in.
kia kia 9 years
I don't think this is any different that what other humans have done in our history. We are monsters and I am not shocked. I remember seeing pictures of young toddlers dressed as suicide bombers over a year ago... sort of a martyr-hero-worship idea. At least the kids are not being trained to kill their parents before they kill strangers like the current tactics committed by some African guerilla groups.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
This turns my stomach. Disgusting and infuriating.
-Maryan- -Maryan- 9 years
I agree with you! This is shocking, upsetting and sickening!!!
kitkatherine kitkatherine 9 years
what it hopefully means is that they will progress and no longer use children. it's unfortunate, but like chakra healer said, it's been like this forever. other countries have done it, and now they don't. it's simply what at that time for that country or group seems reasonable, no matter how awful it is. and hopefully with time, this will all heal and al Queda will stop this, and die out. time is something that we can't handle. we are all so very impatient. it's going to take the us awhile in iraq. we went there, and we can't just get off the ride like a roller coaster. and nothing is going to move that fast. i guess. it's sad, but it's the truth. and there isn't much we can really do about it. not a whole lot. you know, unless al queda is reading up on citizensugar and really feeling the pain...?
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
The actions of this group are disgusting and suicide bombs are for cowards; however, it is important to remember U.S. history, child soldiers were used here too.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Right on tiabia - my father worked with children who had been child soldiers in many African nations suffering through war, so I've seen this sad phenomenon since I was a child myself. When I was young, I asked my father why this wasn't on the news - he said that Americans would not care unless it affected them. I guess he was right.
philleif philleif 9 years
tiabia tiabia 9 years
This is sickening...but this has been happening for a while in other areas of the world. Who can forget the tales of the child soldiers in Sierra Leon...kidnapped from their families, FORCED to kill, dismember and rape innocent people and forced into heroin addiction so as to NOT feel their actions.
blondie01 blondie01 9 years
I agree with all of you!!! This makes me upset, scared, and angry! If only there was a feasible way to wipe them out. Your right, there is no possible way to negotiate/deal with crazy people who are out of their minds with a religion they twisted to fit into their standards. AGH! I hope we get them, and I hope we get them good. It will be a long process, but for our safety and that of others, we've got to stick it out. This is just sickening.
Jillz1128 Jillz1128 9 years
This is so upsetting. Did anyone see the article the other day about how they are using mentally retarded people to blow up marketplaces? They said that they put a remote detonation device and just sent them out there and blew them up. It makes you sick
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I agree with all of you! They are sick monsters who twist religion for their own despicable ways.
piper23 piper23 9 years
I'm with you there, Jovian - stomp them out.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Everyone is surprised by this because...? They've been doing these sort of things for a long while now. Reasons like these are why I'm glad we're over there doing something about it, because they'd be training children to kill (and have been) and create warfare among innocent people, regardless of our presence. Everyone should be afraid. Those peeople need to be exterminated like roaches.
piper23 piper23 9 years
It absolutely makes me scared. They're deranged, and you can't deal with crazy people.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
piper i think it's really hard to take out al-qaeda they have a really wide influence especially in people disenchanted by so called western and american imperialism. They enjoy the suppport and financial backing of many powerful people and if they have now resorted to using children i think it will be a cold day in hell before anyone takes them out. Makes me scared for the world
piper23 piper23 9 years
I think its disgusting. And it proves once again that al-Qaeda will stop at nothing to kill innocent people who don't believe the way they do. There's no dealing with these monsters. And I hope that our next President is prepared to take them out.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
this makes me cry, that we live in aworld where shildren are being killed and killing too.
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