Isis sending children to die at unprecedented rate, report warns

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/19/isis-sending-children-die-unprecedented-rate-report-child-soldiers

Analysis of 89 deaths of minors finds 39% drove vehicles laden with explosives, while a third died as foot soldiers


Friday 19 February 2016

Islamic State has been dispatching children and teenagers into battle and sending them as suicide bombers at an unprecedented rate, analysis by US researchers has found.

Examining Isis death notices of 89 children and youths on Twitter and the encrypted communications app Telegram, a study by Georgia State University found that the minors came from at least 14 nationalities, with just under two-thirds aged between 12 and 16.

According to the analysis, which ran from the start of 2015 until the end of January this year, the death rate has doubled for those aged 18 and under being used by Isis. Overall, 39% of them were used to drive cars or trucks laden with explosives at the enemy. A further 33% died as foot soldiers.

There were three times as many suicide operations involving children and youth in January 2016 as the previous January, the researchers found.

“The Islamic State has so heavily championed the mobilisation of children – on a scale rarely associated even with violent extremist organisations – that it suggests organisational concerns that far outweigh short-term propaganda benefits,” the report said.

The report’s co-author Charlie Winter said what surprised him was that Isis was not using children in a way that substantially differed from adult soldiers. “The way children are being used is perhaps counterintuitive in the context of child soldier precedence. They aren’t just being used to buoy the ranks of Isis nor are they being used in roles that adults can’t engage in,” he said.

“Children and youth don’t really receive any special treatment from Isis propagandists. They’re celebrated in exactly the same way adults are. And they’re celebrated alongside adults rather than being given any recognition for their age … It’s almost an incidental fact.”

Although explicit information on age from Isis sources was scant, Winter said the researchers were cautiously using child development theory guidelines to classify subjects and that all those in the sample used were believed to be 18 or under.

Examining the location of where children died against their given nationalities, Winter said many appeared to have been imported into conflict in Iraq from bordering Syria.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/19/isis-sending-children-die-unprecedented-rate-report-child-soldiers

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A Shocking Number Of Kids Are Fighting And Dying For ISIS

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/isis-child-soldiers_us_56c779b9e4b0ec6725e28d90

The use of child fighters creates a horrifying dilemma for forces battling the militant group.

02/19/2016

The so-called Islamic State group is recruiting children and sending them to die on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq at an “increasing and unprecedented rate,” according to a new study of the group’s propaganda.

The survey from Georgia State University academics analyzed 89 images of children and youth who the extremist group said had been killed while carrying out militant operations between Jan. 1, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016.

These children were among some 1,500 young people that the militants have enlisted to fight, said Mia Bloom, one of the study authors. She estimated that there are likely thousands more children who are being indoctrinated by the militants and could serve as potential recruits.

“This study is hinting at the fact that the problems are much greater than we ever imagined,” Bloom said of the report, published Friday by CTC Sentinel, the journal of the military academy West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center.

The study finds 21 children died in suicide attacks using explosive-packed vehicles in the first seven months of 2015 — two and a half times the previous estimate. In fact, the rate of child casualties seems to be accelerating. Last January, six children died in suicide operations for the militant group. This January, the toll rose to 11 children, and the number of suicide bombings involving children tripled from a year ago.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/isis-child-soldiers_us_56c779b9e4b0ec6725e28d90

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We Are Not Your Enemies — Pinklying, Pinkwashing and the Decline of the LGBTQ Left

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/we-are-not-your-enemies_b_9128730.html

 Dana Beyer
01/31/2016

Many of you are aware of the crisis that occurred two weeks ago at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s (Task Force) annual Creating Change conference, which I and many others have covered at this site and elsewhere. Today I’d like to examine in greater detail the club used by the radical left to slander and libel their Jewish compatriots. I call that weapon “pinklying”; they call it “pinkwashing.”

The term “pinkwashing” has been around for awhile, but has gotten new life thanks to this manufactured crisis at Creating Change. Kudos to the disruptors for getting the word out — Creating Change is now the go-to destination for the young activists who demand attention and create drama rather than change — but now they will have to defend it against an engaged and better-educated opposition.

I will start with the definition used by Sarah Schulman, one of the leaders of the Jewish wing of the BDS movement (her followers are known as “Schulmanites”):

“pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.

So let’s do a bit of exegesis on this definition. I think it’s fair to say that most leftist Jews have a real problem with “the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights.” I work for a two-state solution because I’m appalled not only at those human rights violations, but the violation of the core integrity of the Jewish soldiers asked to carry them out. That my children’s generation feels obligated to carry out those orders causes me despair. I am very grateful to Breaking the Silence for speaking out on this very issue.

Israel does have “an image of modernity” because it is a modern state. Denying that is absurd. Is that modernity “signified by Israeli gay life”? To a degree, and that “gay life” sets it apart from the Arab world in general. One should know, however, that while the law in Israel is quite supportive of LGBT citizens, only 40% approve of homosexuality (though compared to only 4% in Palestine). The rabbinate, which controls all family law in the state, is vociferously opposed, and the most extreme fundamentalist Jews are inciting murderous violence against the queer population. A Wider Bridge (AWB) exists to build relationships with organizations like the Agudah and Jerusalem Open House to help them confront the daily threats to their existence, threats that exist even in the “modern” state of Israel.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/we-are-not-your-enemies_b_9128730.html

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