Newly emerged footage believed to be from Syria’s al-Hol refugee camp shows a group of children born to fighters of the now-collapsed ISIS caliphate praising the terrorist group and vowing to “crush” apostates.
The clip was circulated on pro-ISIS Telegram channels before it was obtained by the jihadist monitoring service Jihadoscope this week, Fox News reported.
It comes amid concerns that scores of children dispersed among Syria’s overflowing refugee camps are being radicalized, to raise a generation loyal to the terror group.
In unison, the group of five boys and one girl can be heard chanting, “We will stand on the heads of the apostates and crush them one by one. By the will of Allah, Islamic State caliphate remains.”
It is believed the children were filmed from a tent at the al-Hol refugee camp in the Rojava region, which has mainly women and children as its residents.
Since the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the final ISIS stronghold in the Syrian village of Baghouz, tens of thousands have been held in the camps controlled by the SDF.
A May 29 report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs found that 65 percent of the estimated 73,000 at Syria’s al-Hol camp are children under the age of 12, with 20,000 of them 5 years old or younger, Foreign Policy reported.
Maj. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, deputy commander of the international coalition, told The Independent this month that “hardcore ISIS ideologues” are rife among the camps.
Grynkewich added that apart from military operations currently underway, potential radicalization is “the biggest long-term strategic risk” in the battle against the terrorist group.
“The anecdotal stories we have about some of the women with their children who were surrendering, if you will, is that there are hardcore ISIS ideologues among them,” he told the digital newspaper. “We certainly have seen reporting from some of the partners who work in those camps that there is a fair amount of that ideology.
“The children are being brought up in that. So you can almost see the next generation of ISIS in those camps today. It’s a tremendous problem,” he said.
The clip of the children came shortly after two separate videos emerged from the al-Hol camp, which showed a group of women in black burqas standing next to an ISIS flag.
“The sun arose on the Islamic State; believers have come from all corners of the world in order to join the glory of jihad,” the group of women said, Fox News reported.
“However, the non-believers did not stand down and gathered their forces under the banner of the malicious coalition to kill the Mujahedeen,” the women said.
“And to you, enemies of God, do you really think you will get away with what you did in Baghouz? We are like a ticking bomb. You wait and see what will happen to you.”
David Ibsen, director of the Counter Extremism Project, told Fox News that unless the children are “de-programmed,” they may grow up “clinging to ISIS’s ideology.”
“They remain threats to everyone, which is why it is so important to ensure that they are removed from ISIS’s influence.”
Jihadi Bride Demands to Return Home
In March, a woman believed to have fled Australia to join ISIS five years ago, demanded to be allowed to return home, saying her daughter needed urgent medical attention.
The woman is thought to be 24-year-old Zehra Duman from Melbourne, who made headlines in 2014 when she traveled to Syria to become a jihadi bride, reported ABC News.
The woman, who was at the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria at the time of the report, refused to confirm her identity but demanded to be allowed to return home with her two young children, who she said were unwell.
The woman’s pleas for help were met with backlash from Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said she would “face the full force of the law,” if she were to return home, according to Australian Associated Press.
He added that those who go overseas to “join up with terrorists” must “take responsibility.”
“The great tragedy is how children get caught up in the crimes against Australia of their parents,” he told reporters.
“I’m not going to put any Australian at risk to try to extract people from those situations.”