IRAQ: Double suicide bombing targets homeless families A suicide bomber targeted a group of relief workers handing out supplies to homeless Iraqi families displaced by the violence inflicted on the country since 2003. In a separate incident, two female suicide bombers struck a group of pilgrims as people gathered for Friday prayers.
SOURCE: Reported widely in World Press.
FOCUS ON – AQ exploiting children
AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: Taliban suicide recruits get younger
An 11 year old boy has been arrested alongside Taliban fighters as they crossed the mountain range from Pakistan’s tribal region to Afghanistan. The boy, known as Abdullah, was wearing a jacket packed with explosives and had been trained and indoctrinated for his mission as a suicide bomber. Although the Taliban and AQ have regularly used child suicide bombers, Abdullah is believed to be the youngest recruit police have come across.
SOURCE: The Telegraph, 17 April 2009; Daily Mail, 17 April 2009
ALGERIA: AQ target young, vulnerable and marginalised individuals for suicide bombings
A pattern is emerging that shows AQLIM suicide bomber recruits are usually targeted for their vulnerability. Most are new recruits, children, marginalised individuals, or those suffering serious illness, and include the 14 year old who blew himself up at the Zemmouri naval barracks, and 65 year old Rabah Bechla, suffering from cancer, who blew himself up outside the UNHCR in December 2007. AQ deliberately exploit the vulnerability of marginalised individuals, eroding their self worth and making them feel ‘useless’, morally weakening them in order to make them susceptible to the lure of becoming a human bomb. In direct contrast, no AQLIM ’emirs’, or leaders, have volunteered to commit a suicide attack.
SOURCE: Le jour d’Algerie, 11 March 2009
IRAQ: AQ continuing to recruit and train children for suicide missions
Four children, all under the age of 14, have been rescued from an AQ group who were grooming them to become suicide bombers. The group, calling itself the ‘Birds of Paradise’ was established to recruit and train children as suicide bombers and is just the latest example of AQ’s use of young people to carry out attacks, exploiting their ability to pass unsuspected through roadchecks, knowing soldiers are less likely to target a child. It follows other examples of an ever more brutal and desperate AQ using vulnerable individuals, such as mentally disabled women, to carry out attacks.
SOURCE: AFP, 19 April 09 1.43 pm ET; The Times, 21 April 09
PAKISTAN: AQ and Taleban establish ‘suicide nurseries’
Hundreds of children are being trained and brainwashed to carry out suicide attacks at ‘suicide nurseries’ set up by Taleban commanders with links to AQ. It is estimated that more than 5000 child suicide bombers between the ages of 10-17 have been trained so far, including Haneef Mehsud, a normal, cricket mad, teenager who, after being recruited and groomed by the Taliban, blew himself and an army convoy up in late 2008.
SOURCE: Daily Times, Lahore, 23 April 2009
AQ training children in tribal areas
Video footage taken in the tribal areas of Pakistan shows AQ members training children how to assemble and use guns, and teaching them to chant a Jihad slogan. Most of the AQ members in the area are foreign jihadis who are reportedly marrying local women to have children with to act as the next generation of terrorists.
SOURCE: NHK TV, Tokyo, in Japanese 1030 gmt 16 Apr 09
FULL STORY: TV (See Annex 1 for BBC Monitoring transcript. NB copyright restrictions)
SAUDI/YEMEN: Former AQ member talks of recruiting teenage suicide bombers
Saudi citizen Abdallah Abd-al-Rahman al-Harbi, the Al-Qa’idah member who was arrested in mid-March, has explained how young boys were recruited and trained for suicide attacks in Yemen. The mother of one such young bomber, Abd-al-Rahman Mahdi al-Ajiri, who killed a number of tourists on 16 March, demanded the arrest of terrorist leaders who abuse the youth of Yemen, saying they should be held responsible for the crimes they perpetrate against the country.
SOURCE: 26 September website, Sanaa, 24 March 2009
FULL STORY: Original article not currently available. See Annex 2 for BBC Monitoring translations
Yemen’s Children Parliament condemns using children in terror attacks
The Children’s Parliament and the Democratic School in Yemen have criticised AQ for deceiving and exploiting children to carry out terrorist attacks, stating that it harms the national interest, affects the economy, and distorts the image of Yemen and its relations with other countries.
SOURCE: 26 September website, 25 March 09
FULL STORY: Original article not currently available. See Annex 3 for BBC Monitoring translation.
ALGERIA: AQ suicide bomber kills elderly woman
Two people, including an elderly woman who was at the scene of the explosion, were killed, and eight others were injured, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the town of Tadmait, 20 km west of Tizi Ouzou,
SOURCE: Tout sur l’Algerie website, 7 Mar 2009
ALGERIA: AQ’s new tactics target vulnerable and innocent shepherd community
Following difficulties in attracting new recruits and support networks, AQLIM has implemented a new strategy to secure financial and logistical support, which involves ‘killing of innocent civilians’, such as shepherds and livestock breeders. A number of shepherds have recently been killed by mines after they refused to yield to AQLIM demands to pay taxes and to monitor the movements of the security forces.
SOURCE: Le Soir d’Algerie, 21 March 2009