The Islamic State continues to target Indonesians for recruitment into their terrorist organization, and their latest video aimed at our country shockingly contains what appears to be dozens of young Indonesian children who have been indoctrinated into their radical ideology and are training for war.
Partially titled “The Generation of Epic Battles”, the recently released video, which runs just a little over 15 minutes long, shows Indonesian children who look to be as young as 8-years-old firing weapons, practicing martial arts and burning their Indonesian passports as a show of their loyalty to the Islamic State.
“If you look at the quality of the video, it was definitely made in Syria,” Ridlwan Habib, an intelligence and terrorism expert at the University of Indonesia, told Tribunnews (you can see part of the video on their site).
According Ridlwan, this video could represent a serious problem in the future.
“In the full video I counted 23 children, aged 8 to 12 years old. Imagine if in the next 3 years they are grown up and return to Indonesia,” he said.
He noted that not all of the children in the video are definitely Indonesian, but judging from how many of them speak on camera using fluent Indonesian, a large number of them are.
“To see so many Indonesian children who have managed to get into Syria, this should be a cause for serious reevaluation by the immigration office,” he said.
Ridlwan said that the children were likely all the victims of parents who had joined the Islamic State and forced their children to join as well. From the video, it is clear that they have been indoctrinated to reject the Indonesian government and authorities.
The terrorism expert urged the government to pass the long-discussed laws that would allow Indonesia to block the re-entry of any citizens who had gone abroad to fight with the Islamic State. He also said the government has an obligation to try and rescue the Indonesian children who have been forced to join IS, though he admitted that would be an incredibly difficult plan that would take a tremendous amount of research and planning.
Followers of the Islamic State seem to have a thing for using children to attract more soldiers. Last year, a photo posted by one Islamic State follower tried to recruit Indonesians with a photo of a newborn baby between a gun and grenade.
In January, the Islamic State claimed credit for the terrorist attack that took place in Central Jakarta that killed eight. Even in polls taken before the attacks, less than 0.5% of Indonesians supported the Islamic State.