Iraqi security forces removed Sunday night an explosive belt from a child who was planning to carry out a suicide bombing for the Islamic State (ISIS).
Local TV footage shows Iraqi police cutting out a suicide bomb vest from a possible young suicide bomber on Sunday night, in Kirkuk. When the belt was completely removed, the boy was apprehended by security officers. Officers have not officially stated the boy’s age, but the young is believed to be 12 to 14 and was allegedly brought to Kirkuk a week ago when he was displaced from the ISIS-held city of Mosul.
According to Iraqi forces, the child, who is visibly upset in the video when officials tried to remove the explosives, was detained before perpetrating a suicide bombing in the city of Kirkuk.
During interrogation, the boy claimed he was abducted by masked men who put the explosives on him and sent him to the area where the attacks would have taken place.
An hour earlier, a suicide bomber conducted an attack in front of a Shia mosque, in Kirkuk. Two people resulted injured from the attack, and ISIS claimed responsibility for it.
So far the organization has not issued a statement to say a word about the detained boy, but Iraqi authorities believe ISIS is likely behind the failed bombing.
“He was captured before he reached his destination, which was a Shia mosque. The security guards noticed there was something wrong, especially that there was another suicide attack a bit earlier, and they captured him,” said Kirkuk intelligence official, Chato Fadhil Humadi.
Children as weapons
The boy’s arrest comes hours after an ISIS child suicide bomber, aged 12, blew himself up on a Kurdish wedding and killed at least 51 people on Saturday. At least 20 victims were children under 14.
ISIS, as well as other terrorist groups around the world, have used children as weapons to perpetrate their attacks. Those children are stolen or kidnapped and then forced to belong to their cause. Terrorists indoctrinate children as young as 8, using propaganda to spread their message.
Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk Governorate, affirms the so-called “cubs of the caliphate” are brainwashed and trained as part of terrorist’s tactic. Karim states that encouraged by the most extreme interpretation of the Islam, terrorist militants promise children the heaven and good things if they complete their “missions.”
Due to the fact children are more easily malleable, terrorist groups use them to target civilians and to disguise their true intentions in front of police officers, at the same time as they put them on the front lines during confrontations. This is why women and children have become perpetrators lately during terrorist attacks.
‘The use of children in most places has to be viewed in the context of widespread povert’
When children are abducted by terrorists, they are submitted to terrible training practices to follow the group’s ideology. If they are shown reluctant, they are threatened to be beaten or executed. Sometimes they are forced to witness a fellow’s execution.
Although not all of young militants are committed to the terrorist ideology, the promise of food, shelter, and friendship (when they are isolated from their family) is commonly used as a tactic to brainwash infants. Children’s identity is as well completely broken to accurately serve to the movement.
Experts have attributed this phenomenon to social causes. In underdeveloped countries, children barely have access to education while cultural programs are off the table. Charu Lata Hogg of the human rights group Child Soldiers International, said that governments’ efficiency to control terrorist attacks plays a significant role in the issue.
“The recruitment and use of children in most places, including in Afghanistan, has to be viewed in the context of widespread poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of access to education and employment, and a complete failure of the rule of law,” added Hogg.
Organizations for children’s rights have reported that in most cases children are not aware of what it is going to be their actual destiny when they are asked to put bombs in their bodies or when they are asked to fight against the enemy.
The use of children as a terrorist tactic might be considered as a powerful social weapon. When people realize that children, who are supposed to be innocent and good, are capable of committing suicide or attacking others to restate extremist groups’ cause, society might interpret such actions as hopelessness.
Source: Fox News