Raghab Ahmed told The Daily Mail how the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) taught him and other young boys to kill at the terrorist group’s infamous training camps.
ISIS captured the 14-year-old Yazidi along with his family last August in Iraq. They forced him to star in a propaganda video to show the world the militants had taught the young boys how to behead people.
“Grab the head, pull it back and cut from the neck,” explained Ahmed.
Militants also taught Ahmed and the other “Cubs of the Caliphate,” their nicknames for the boys in the camps, how to assemble and load weapons, including AK-47s. In his video, Ahmed is featured with a man known as Abu Walid, who is a major player in the terrorist group’s wicked sex trade.
“He was a big trader,” he stated. “He was selling and buying people… He was a nasty person. He said Yazidis are infidels.”
Terrorists kidnapped Ahmed and his family in northern Iraq last year. They do not know if his father is still alive. But with the help of a smuggler, the rest of the family managed to escape. Ahmed stole a memory stick before he left and shared pictures of the terrorists with authorities.
“They [ISIS] collected all the people in Kojo [village] in one school,” he continued. “They made three groups. First they took the men, then they took the women and females, and then they took the kids.”
ISIS enjoys boasting about their “Cubs of the Caliphate.” For the past year the terrorist group has released numerous videos. In July, the Associated Press revealed that ISIS is teaching Yazidi boys how to properly behead people by practicing on dolls.
“Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit,” one boy, only known as Yahya, told the AP. “They told me it was the head of the infidels.”
One activist told human rights groups the militants told the older people that ISIS only cares “about the new generation.”
This includes Yazidi boys, even though ISIS considers the minority religion “devil-worshippers.” Before he escaped, Yahya spent five months in one of the infamous training camps. Militants forced him to train eight to ten hours a day. One of these camps includes over 120 boys.
They told him Yazidis are “dirty” and should be killed, he said. They showed him how to shoot someone from close range. The boys hit each other in some exercises. Yahya punched his ten-year-old brother, knocking out a tooth.
The trainer said that “If I didn’t do it, he’d shoot me,” Yahya said. “They… told us it would make us tougher. They beat us everywhere.”
In August 2014, one video included Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen leader for ISIS, at a training camp. The children showed off different 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.