TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Dozens of children who are suspected to be Indonesians can be seen brandishing rifles in a video. The footage is part of the latest campaign from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in their attempt to promote their cause.
The video, which was just recently uploaded to the Al-Azzam Media website, shows children – many appearing to be around ten years of age – speaking in Bahasa Indonesia. Al-Azaam Media is a website that promotes ISIS in the Indonesian and Malay languages. The video shows the children learning Arabic and also being trained to use rifles. The children also declare that they are not afraid of facing "the enemies of God" and they to pledge fight as 'Mujahidin' in order to establish Islamic law.
Indonesian-based anti-terror expert Sidney Jones, from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), said that the video might have been filmed in an ISIS-controlled area – possibly in Syria. Jones argues that it is likely to be a jihad-style school for children, most likely run for children whose parents were probably fighting with ISIS. "We know that the school has been operating for some time." Jones was quoted in WA Today.
Jones said that ISIS was promoting itself to poor, radicalized families by offering free schooling to the children of those who choose join and fight with ISIS. She says also that a special brigade of Indonesians and Malaysians has been formed within ISIS, known as Katibah Nusantara. Jones adds that when they do battle against the Kurds, they think they are fighting for themselves.
The Indonesian ministry of communications and information technology has blocked the Youtube video and request that it be taken down. Indonesian counter-terrorism police say that approximately 135 Indonesians have already travelled to fight with ISIS.
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