A frame grab shows a youngster purportedly carrying out an execution for the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Indonesian police say security forces have discovered hundreds of children books, loaded with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group’s propaganda, rekindling concerns about the terror organization’s attempts to spread its tentacles among minors to fill its depleting ranks across the world, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
According to police spokeswoman Rina Sari Ginting on Monday, the books were found at the residence of a suspect, who had been detained in connection with the stabbing death of a police officer a day before.
Police gunned down one assailant and critically injured another after the pair conducted a stabbing attack on a police post and fatally wounded an officer in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.
The hospitalized suspect, in whose home the books were discovered, had spent some six months in Syria in 2013, purportedly fighting in the ranks of Daesh, according to what his wife told police.
Ginting further said that books had been written in Indonesian and included pictures and messages which encourage children to take up militancy and ultimately die by detonating their explosive vests. She added that it seemed that the books had been designed, written and printed by the suspect himself.
Initial investigation by police showed that the assailants were more probably part of the Daesh-linked network called Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), based in Indonesia
, which has hundreds of followers in the world’s largest island country.
“We can see from the pattern of their attack that it is likely they belong to the JAD network,” Ginting added.
Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia and the Philippines have geared up to confront the threats posed by Daesh militants
gaining a foothold in the region. The Takfiri outfit is mainly based in the Middle East, where at least 400 Indonesians have reportedly joined the group, fighting the governments in Iraq and Syria. Dozens of those extremists have returned home.
An image from a first grade Mathematics text book, found in a school in Iraq’s Mosul in February 2017, published by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
Back in February, when Iraqi forces managed to liberate the eastern part of Mosul from the grips of Daesh, they also discovered that the terror group had published elementary books for children, loaded with the principal theme of war and gore.
Even the math textbooks’ problems and equations featured Kalashnikov rifles, Daesh flags, tanks and military
In Raqqah, Daesh’s de facto capital in Syria, leaked images of elementary textbooks published by the terror group showed similar features.
According to Nikita Malik, a senior researcher at the UK-based counter-extremism think tank Quilliam, the indoctrination of children by Daesh takes place in a three-stage process.
“First of all, they normalize violence for them, and then they expose them to things like executions and beheadings, and then get them to do physical training. They see children as assets you invest in, so that you can turn them into ‘pure soldiers’,” she added.
This file photo shows young boys being indoctrinated at a Daesh terror training camp in Syria’s northern province of Raqqah.
Daesh has already recruited hundreds of children in Iraq and Syria, training them to fight alongside the adult terrorists
and even to carry out executions and bombing missions.
According to a report by Quilliam in March last year, from August 2015 to February 2016, 254 children, including 12 child executioners, were used in Daesh propaganda materials.
“Children are a completely blank slate and so don’t have the cognitive abilities or the adult decision-making processes, so they can be manipulated,” Malik said.
Daesh, however, is far away from its heyday from mid-2014 to the late 2016. It is increasingly losing grounds in Iraq and Syria. Mosul, its de facto capital in Iraq, which fell to the terror group in summer of 2014, is now near total liberation from the clutches of Daesh. The Syrian army, backed by pro-government forces, are also increasingly advancing toward Raqqah, further tightening the noose around the terrorists.