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Images of Children in ISIS-Controlled Areas from Jihadi Media

October 24, 2014|

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Image from opposition campaign organization Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. Syria, 2014.

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Study circles for girls in ISIS-controlled Raqqa. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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ISIS bouncy castles in Raqqa public gardens. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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Uzbek child recruits for ISIS. Image from ISIS news media, Aymenn Tamimi. Syria, 2014.

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An ISIS children's camp in Raqqa. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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Awards for outstanding students in Raqqa. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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Training camp for ISIS "cub scouts" in Raqqa. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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ISIS training camp for children in Aleppo province. Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

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Child firing a weapon at ISIS training facility in Raqqa. Image from from ISIS news media, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. Syria, 2014.

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Child holding a weapon in ISIS propaganda in Raqqa. Image from ISIS news media, ' Syria, 2014.

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Two young ISIS "mujahideen," Image from ISIS news media. Syria, 2014.

The following are a series of images culled from ISIS’s own sophisticated new media operation which purport to show children’s services, or which use children in propaganda, mostly in the de facto capital of the Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian province of Raqqa.

There is no doubt that the Islamic State provides services to children, or that it offers them both an education and the opportunity to take part in "extra curricular schooling" at its training and education camps. The former is a kind of schooling which leans heavily towards ISIS’s fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran. At the latter, children are trained both in religion and in the basics of jihad—which, at least in some cases, appears to include basic weapons training.

There are generally recognized to be four major training camps in Raqqa province at which children are indoctrinated in religion, jihad and weapons; they are the Zarqawi camp, the Bin Laden camp, the Baghdadi camp and another in Raqqa city. In an interview on the Syrian Turkish border at the end of June, one rebel from a brigade which is fighting against ISIS in Raqqa claimed that 160 students had recently graduated from these camps, all below the age of 16.