A teenage would-be suicide bomber is speaking out about how the Islamic State manipulates, desensitizes and trains young children to carry out horrific terror attacks.
Mahmoud Ahmed, 15, who was stopped by police in Iraq after the Islamic State sent him to attack a sports stadium, recently spoke out in an interview with Sky News, explaining how the terror group radicalized and trained him to attack.
“They taught us how to use a Kalashnikov and a PKC machine gun and then transferred us to Hawija. There were four older men who would teach us about heaven and stuff like that,” Ahmed told the outlet. “Twenty-four hours a day they’d teach us about this stuff.”
The teenager said he was among 60 young terrorists in training who were born in 2002 or later, adding that Islamic State militants would terrify the young trainees by showing them “videos of beheadings and stuff like that.”
Ahmed, who is being held in a juvenile center on terrorism charges after his August arrest, said he knew his attack on the stadium was wrong when he approached the venue and saw children there. He tried to turn back, but said his handler forced him to return to the site.
“I returned back around the stadium and they caught me,” he told Sky News.
Experts have warned for quite some time about the Islamic State’s penchant for using children to wage terror.
Islamic State training child suicide bombers in special camp https://t.co/zSbGIEiV20
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 18, 2016
As USA Today reported back in August, videos showing children taking part in beheadings and firing squads have tragically been a reality over the past few years. Experts told the outlet that kids often times end up forced into the fold by family members who are loyal to the Islamic State.
“We had a story of a Syrian boy. The father said, ‘No, I don’t want you joining the cult,’” researcher Mia Bloom told the outlet. “ISIS fighters visited the house and said if you don’t let your son join, your head will be on a stick.”
Read more about the Islamic State’s use of child soldiers here.
(H/T: Sky News)
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