MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Despite the anti-Daesh fight taking on new momentum, the radical Sunni group has been effective mobilizing children at an ever-accelerating rate with the number of young recruits killed doubling in the past year, according to a recent report published by the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC).
Daesh makes use of the social and security concerns of disaffected and impoverished Arab youth to recruit new members, offering real jobs with a living wage and social safety nets so that families can flourish, according to former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril.
There were three times as many suicide operations involving children and youths in January 2016 compared to the same period last year, as the use of minors has become normalized under Islamic State’s rule, according to the report published on Thursday.
However, the jihadist group also managed to radicalize over 20,000 foreigners from 90 countries over the past three years, according to the US National Counterterrorism Center.
According to EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, it only takes IS six to eight weeks to recruit young people, as they employ various means to radicalize children, including taking advantage of teenagers’ personal psychological problems and their willingness to express themselves or to impress the opposite sex.
The incident influenced Russia’s decision to start a large-scale campaign to stem the recruitment of Russian nationals into the islamists' ranks, in August of last year. Similar campaigns were later launched by Washington and the European Union, as over 5,000 Europeans have left to fight alongside terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, according to Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koendera.
According to the CTC report, children and youth are used mainly to attack civilian targets as it is believed they can blend in better, rather than to attack security forces. The monthly rate of young people dying in IS suicide operations has increased from six in January 2015 to 11 this January, CTC said.
The issue of IS recruitment affected all countries across the world, including Tunisia and India, where officials have detained individuals involved in the recruitment of new IS members.
In late December 2015, New Delhi instructed its national security and intelligence agencies to monitor potential recruits of the Islamic State, a group outlawed in many countries, including Russia and the United States, to counter the practice.
In total, 89 children died in IS missions in the past year, according to CTC, one in three of whom were foreigners recruited by the radical group to be foot soldiers or propagandists.
The threat of attracting youths into IS ranks to be later sent to hotspots has been formally recognized by the UN Security Council as one of the main threats to stability that leads to violence and terrorism in a resolution adopted on December 10.