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'Little Commandos' Kindergarten in Pakistan

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  • 1980s
    replied
    BBC News - How the Taliban groom child suicide bombers

    BBC News - How the Taliban groom child suicide bombers
    By Dawood Azami
    BBC World Service

    On a cold winter's day, a stream of relatives, neighbours and well-wishers come to see 10-year-old Naqibullah at his uncle's mud house in Pakistan's Balochistan province. They are happy to see him alive.

    Naqibullah had mysteriously disappeared from the madrassa in Balochistan where he had been studying.

    There were five months of silence until one day a neighbour watching an Afghan TV station recognised Naqibullah in a police "line-up" of insurgents captured in the southern Afghan town of Kandahar.

    "I ran and told Naqibullah's uncle that I just saw him on TV and that he had been arrested for trying to carry out a suicide attack in Kandahar," neighbour Abdul Ahad said.

    Naqibullah's story is an unsettling insight into how the Taliban and other militants groom child suicide bombers.

    Identify the vulnerable

    Afghans have a proud warrior tradition, but suicide attacks were never a part of it. They emerged as a regular deadly reality of Afghan life in 2005 - a tactic adopted from Iraq's theatre or war.

    And children have suffered disproportionately in the Afghan conflict, where government and international forces have been fighting the Taliban since it was toppled in 2001.

    Children have long been deployed for insurgent activities such as blowing up IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), surveillance and information about the whereabouts and location of Afghan and Nato security forces and government officials.

    Teenagers have been found dragging away wounded Taliban, collecting dropped weapons and even fighting. Afghan authorities say they have arrested up to 250 children over the past 10 years for such activities.

    The disturbing regional twist is the increasing number of child suicide bombers. Children are recruited simply for being children.

    The capacity of Afghan security forces has increased and adult suicide bombers find it increasingly difficult to hit their target. Children are seen as more "recruitable" - easily influenced to carry out an attack and rarely suspected by security forces.

    Madrassas as recruiting grounds

    Just like hundreds of thousands of other boys, Naqibullah's uncle - who cared for him since the death of his father - enrolled him into a religious school. Poor families in Pakistan and Afghanistan send their sons to such madrassas for free education and lodging.

    Such madrassas are prime recruiting ground for Taliban groomers. Interviews with detained children reveal they are picked up from the streets as well and from low-income neighbourhoods.

    In many cases, parents and guardians say they are totally unaware.

    Girl recruits

    There are extremely rare cases of girls being recruited.

    One 10-year-old girl, Spozhmai, got international media attention when she was detained on 6 January 2014 in southern Helmand province. She said her brother tried to make her blow herself up at a police checkpoint.

    In 2011, an eight-year-old girl was killed in central Uruzgan province when she carried remotely controlled explosives to a police checkpoint in a cloth bag.

    Pakistan the training ground

    More than 90% of juvenile would-be suicide bombers who have been arrested are "trained, lied to, and brainwashed or coerced in Pakistan", Afghan officials say.

    But there is also evidence of training in Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan.

    Last year, a father in Afghanistan's northern city of Kunduz handed over his teenage son to police.

    "I did so because I feared [he] might have been radicalised when he disappeared for a few months," said the 50-year old man. His family had returned from Pakistan a year earlier.

    Some have successfully carried out suicide attacks in Pakistan. One 12-year-old boy wearing a school uniform blew himself up killing around 30 in the town of Mardan in February 2011.

    Promise of brighter future

    Naqibullah says his handlers told him he would go to heaven and all his problems will end. Officials say children are offered a path out the boredom and drudgery of poverty by preachers with promises.

    "They offer them visions of paradise, where rivers of milk and honey flowed, in exchange for giving up his life by becoming a suicide bomber," one official said.

    Although confessions obtained from juveniles can sometimes be unreliable, they provide chilling accounts of how they were persuaded.
    • They are told that Afghan girls and women are raped by "invading foreign forces" and that the Koran is being burned by Americans
    • The children are told that it is their religious duty to resist the "infidel" coalition forces and that they and their parents will go to paradise
    • They are told that the Afghans they intend to kill "deserve to die" because "they are not true Muslims", or are "American collaborators"
    • Nevertheless, children are rarely told who their specific target is and why they deserve to die.
    • In some cases, they are simply lied to. Some were given an amulet containing Koranic verses and told it would help them survive. Some handlers gave children keys to hang round their necks and were told the gates of paradise will open for them


    Taliban denials

    There are of course international laws against the use of children in conflict.

    According to the Article 1 of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, everyone under 18 is a child. Afghan law also forbids the recruitment of minors into armed forces or the police.

    Taliban spokesmen usually deny using children, especially girls. Indeed all the three Laihas [Codes of Conduct and Regulations] issued after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001 prohibit youths with no beard to join their ranks.

    But one Taliban official acknowledged that there may be violations by local commanders acting alone. For many the exact age is not important. Anyone beyond puberty and mentally sound is considered fit for fighting.

    Rehabilitating children

    According to Afghan security officials, more than 30 children accused of having links with the insurgency are still held at detention facilities.

    Rehabilitation is complicated with scant resources. While some children go through rehabilitation steadily enough, according to one insider, a few even regret failing to carry out suicide missions.

    Naqibullah describes what happened to him: "They kept me in the other madrassa for a few months. Then other men came and took me to Kandahar.

    "One day they took me in a car, gave me a heavy vest to wear and pointed to [some] soldiers."

    But the police stopped him before he exploded his vest and his handlers who were looking on from a distance left in the car.

    To secure his release his uncle contacted local tribal elders, religious scholars and lobbied Afghan officials.

    Back at his home the boy tells every well-wisher how happy he is to have returned.

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  • 1980s
    replied
    In a weird coincidence this group (Jaish-al Adel) has just broke into the media with a big hit on Iranian border police.

    BBC News - Iran hangs 16 rebels 'in reprisal for border deaths'
    Farsnews - Iran Upset about Pakistanís Lax Border Control
    Iran 'hangs 16' in reprisal for Pakistan border killings

    Leave a comment:


  • zraver
    replied
    Originally posted by antimony View Post
    Can't provide shoes for some of the younglings but sports a nice vest himself. Fucking bastard

    Only one, probably a rural kid who eschews shoes by choice when the weather permits. Kid probably has soles 2-3" thick and wider than normal as well. have kids like that here in the American south, have watched them walk across hot asphalt, run across gravel and through brambles bare foot. The kids do not appear gaunt, just doomed. It makes sense for the instructors to drive them hard, but treat them well and provide for them. Love will motivate those kids to excell.... They are basically a mix of spartan and slave soldiers and will be incredibly effective if sent on missions.

    Honestly, with those kids of pics, I would pummel them with JDAM's... Those kids would find easy access to too many soft targets otherwise.

    Leave a comment:


  • antimony
    replied
    Originally posted by 1980s View Post
    Just came across these disturbing pictures that were uploaded online in early September. The children are claimed to be ethnic Baluchs from southeast Iran, and are being indoctrinated for terrorism by a jihadist group called Jaish-e Adel, which is the rebranded remnants of Jondallah - a group said to have collapsed in 2010. But not so, as they are still clearly around.

    I had never heard of Jondallah (active between 2002/3 - 2010) using children. So this phenomenon seems to be following in line with the trend of child training camps belonging to an array of international terrorist groups seen elsewhere in Pakistan's ungoverned badlands along its borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

    You'll see little kids with pistols and rifles in the first picture:
    Can't provide shoes for some of the younglings but sports a nice vest himself. Fucking bastard

    Leave a comment:


  • 1980s
    replied
    Just came across these disturbing pictures that were uploaded online in early September. The children are claimed to be ethnic Baluchs from southeast Iran, and are being indoctrinated for terrorism by a jihadist group called Jaish-e Adel, which is the rebranded remnants of Jondallah - a group said to have collapsed in 2010. But not so, as they are still clearly around.

    I had never heard of Jondallah (active between 2002/3 - 2010) using children. So this phenomenon seems to be following in line with the trend of child training camps belonging to an array of international terrorist groups seen elsewhere in Pakistan's ungoverned badlands along its borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

    You'll see little kids with pistols and rifles in the first picture:
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • omon
    replied
    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
    Don't know how effective these kids will be with real guns.

    :
    pretty effective, just ask any soviet that fought ussr- afghan war

    Leave a comment:


  • Double Edge
    replied
    Don't know how effective these kids will be with real guns.

    But if it was laser tag, watch out

    They manage to squirrel away themselves into hidden positions and just take out everybody. Just could not see the little buggers.

    It was embarassing to see their hit counts at the top of the table during the initial rounds.

    We then decided to just elbow them a bit and THEN the scores started changing

    Leave a comment:


  • Chogy
    replied
    I'm a techno-geek. I think in weird ways, especially outside of the field where I do know a little... aviation.

    They "mined" the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam war with sensors, and they also had ELINT aircraft airborne that could detect the spark from motor vehicle engines. Pretty high-tech for the era. I'm not sure it did all that much good, and I doubt my scenario here would work. Just fantasizing.

    I think in terms of a suburban USA guy. When Joe Citizen hears automatic weapons fire, he'll call the police, who will investigate. In this case, we have little sensors do the work for us.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doktor
    replied
    Because you put so many mil gadgets around it never ocured me what will follow would have been parents with clubs :)

    Leave a comment:


  • Chogy
    replied
    Neutralize... to render ineffective.

    Why did you automatically assume I'd want to pummel them with JDAMs? I'd recommend sending in angry parents, foster if necessary, with paddles for their rear ends.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doktor
    replied
    Wanna bet the outcry from neutralizing a camp of cheerful children?

    Leave a comment:


  • Chogy
    replied
    Would it be possible to use technology to locate these camps?

    1) Plant camouflaged sensors with spacing of approx. 1 to 2 miles in appropriate areas, linked via UHF or higher freq's to satellites.

    2) Sensors detect automatic weapons fire via acoustics; software crunches data, triangulates approximate sources of fire.

    3) Using simple UAV's, helicopters, or ground units, recon the designated area.

    4) Neutralize.

    Leave a comment:


  • gf0012-aust
    replied
    This is starting to go around in circles.

    It's not going to continue to go around in circles

    I'm not interested in threads turning into chest thumping and bumping, and I suspect that the other Mods aren't either

    Move on or move out

    Leave a comment:


  • 1980s
    replied
    Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    It is quite simple really - you are insisting that statements by Iranian officials blaming Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups attacking Iran be considered legitimate and valid, and at the same time insisting that other statements by Iranian officials and accounts of American support for terrorist groups not be taken seriously. You are therefore cherry-picking to bash Pakistan while trying to exonerate the US from allegations of supporting terrorism in Iran.
    1) I already told you that you can believe whatever you want to about the Jundollah issue. It makes no difference to me what you think.

    2) Yes people took the regime's denouncements against Pakistan more seriously because actual counter-terrorism measures by the Iranian state to squash Jundollah were practically all aimed at Pakistan. Such measures included the frequent closure of the border crossing at mirjaveh (in Sistan o Baluchestan), increased police operations against Pakistanis found entering or living illegally in Iran and their expulsion (there have been reports of Pakistanis being shot at, even killed by Iranian forces), the construction of ditches, barbed wire fences and a 10ft high concrete wall along the border with Pakistan, placing overall security in Sistan o Baluchestan province into the hands of the IRGC, frequent IRGC military drills and war games in that province, Iranian police incursions into Pakistani Balochistan (one was even intercepted by Pakistan's FC), occasional reports in the media (usually Pakistani) that Iranian forces would fire rockets into Pakistani territory, the dispatching of Iran's Interior Minister and other officials to Pakistan after various terrorist attacks.

    These are some of the measures and reactions that Iran took that come to the top of my head. It wasnt just public denouncements from Iranian officials.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agnostic Muslim
    replied
    Originally posted by 1980s View Post
    I have no idea what you're talking about, and zero interest in repeating myself. See my earlier reply, thats my last word on it. Take it or leave it, it doesnt matter to me.
    It is quite simple really - you are insisting that statements by Iranian officials blaming Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups attacking Iran be considered legitimate and valid, and at the same time insisting that other statements by Iranian officials and accounts of American support for terrorist groups not be taken seriously. You are therefore cherry-picking to bash Pakistan while trying to exonerate the US from allegations of supporting terrorism in Iran.

    Leave a comment:

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