Norway’s TV2 interviewed Norwegian 14-year-old Hussein Abbas in Iraq to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). His father Abbas al-Asadi leads the Shia militia.
What’s your name?
– Hussein Abbas.
Why did you come here?
– To practice jihad.
Have you left school?
You’re too young, why did you come here?
– I came with my father.
Are not you afraid IS?
His family moved to Syria two years ago, but religious leaders relocated the family to Iraq. Al-Asadi is not worried about his son’s life.
“I have Norwegian citizenship,” he said. “I came here after receiving orders to participate in jihad from the highest religious leader. Iraq stands united. We cannot think of the individual person.”
Al-Asadi’s family in Oslo does not approve of his dedication to fighting against the Islamic State. Qusai al-Asadi, Abbas’s son from his first marriage and Hussein’s half-brother, “is proud of his father’s efforts,” but told TV2 his brother is not a soldier.
“I knew he liked to dress in military clothes, but I did not know he fights,” he said. “It is not right that a boy of 14 years fights in war. He is a child soldier, and for that I am angry at my father. But I still cannot understand it, and ask myself if the video is perhaps false.”
Qusai did agree with his father and brother over the Islamic State.
“They are not real Muslims because Muslims respect other people,” he explained. “But they do not respect others, only those who the same as them.”
He does not know if Abbas and Hussein or the rest of the family will return to Norway. However, al-Asadi might not be welcome back to Norway. Their sister Noor was killed in Syria at the end of Ramadan when shrapnel hit her.
“I think it is absolutely awful,” said Joran Kallemyr, a state secretary in the Ministry of Justice. “If it turns out that the parents have brought a child into a war zone and let the child become a child soldier, it’s just horrid. The police and prosecutors must decide if this is a punishable offence.”