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Story Publication logo October 24, 2014

Images of Children in ISIS-Controlled Areas from Jihadi Media

Image by James Harkin. Turkey, 2014.

How some of northern Syria’s children are being reared into a life of praying and jihad by a new...


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.


teal halftone illustration of two children, one holding up a teddy bear


Children and Youth

Children and Youth
war and conflict reporting


War and Conflict

War and Conflict

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