Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen leader of the terrorist group Islamic State, appeared prominently in a recently released propaganda video touring a children’s terrorist training camp run by the group. The video indicates that the military strategist does not fear being seen publicly.
The kids, who appear to be between 5 and 7 years old, wear camouflage vests and hold huge guns. In a classroom, they show off chants, songs, and military formations they learned. At one point, the boys fall to their knees, raise the guns to their eyes, and show al-Shishani they can balance the gun and aim properly.
Then the kids walk to the lobby of the training center. One of the oldest kids shows his ability to quickly take apart the gun, reattach it, and load the ammunition. After that, the kids hide behind a wall and perform a mock military exercise for al-Shishani.
Children are a common theme of the Islamic State’s propaganda videos. One recruitment video featured blonde Bosnian Muslim children between 4 and 7 years old. They wave the black ISIS flag and chant “Allahu Akbar.”
On July 22, a Twitter account for the jihadists released pictures and a video of a training camp in Ninevah with children. One of the youngest recruits is a 10-year-old named Abdullah.
“Our children don’t waste time on electronic games or on watching cartoons,” a gunman said for Abdullah. “They have a dream, and their dream is to establish an Islamic state. We have a lot of hope for Abdullah and other children his age. We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem.”