ISIS trained child soldiers to launch attacks in EU
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
ISIS made concrete plans to send child soldiers to Europe to carry out attacks against Western targets, A French jihadist has claimed. The children, mostly Syrians, will only be sent to Europe once they reach adolescence in an effort to make facial recognition virtually impossible, the jihadist said.
Jonathan Geffroy, a French jihadist who was captured in Syria in early 2017 and handed over to French authorities last September, told France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency that ISIS had recruited children who had been born and raised in Syria to launch attacks on European soil, according to the French daily Le Monde.
Geffroy said in a note seen by Le Monde: “They recruited and trained orphans, and then you also have the wives of ISIS militants whose children have been indoctrinated with the group’s ideology and who have been taught to hate the US-led coalition and Europe.
“I know that future external operations will be carried out by children who grew up in the area and who, after adolescence, will be sent to the West, to Europe, to carry out suicide missions.”
He added sending child soldiers off once they become teenagers would make it practically impossible for counter-terrorism officials to use facial recognition technology to identify them.
The ex-ISIS militant, who is currently awaiting trial for “criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise,” said the child soldier plan was the brainchild of the Clain brothers.
Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain infamously claimed responsibility for the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, and are believed to be two of the highest-ranking French ISIS members.
The extremist group’s territorial and battlefield losses in both Iraq and Syria, could have put the brakes on the child soldier operation, according to Le Monde.
Children have long-been integrated into ISIS’ military operations – often with their parents’ consent.
At the height of ISIS power in 2016, Europe’s law enforcement agency warned that children raised under the group’s rule – the so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate” – were of “particular concern”.
The children are being trained to become the “next generation” of terrorists, Europol warned at the time, adding that they posed a “future security threat” to the West.