In a recent video released by ISIS, two men described as Russian agents confirm that they tried to spy on ISIS militants, gain access to their computer networks, and to assassinate the leaders of their group. After that, a long-haired young boy shoots the men in the back of their head with a handgun, without any hesitation.
One of the alleged Russian spies was identified as Jambulat Mamayev. He told that he is from Kazakhstan and also that he was sent to collect information on the ISIS and to get close to a prominent/ influential member of ISIS. The other man identified as Sergey Ashimov, told that he formerly worked for the FSB, Russia, the descendant to the KGB, and was sent on a mission to kill an ISIS leader, whose name was censored (muted) in the video.
The young boy who carries out the execution seems to be the same child who was featured in ISIS propaganda video which was released in November. That video showed the new adult recruits from Kazakhstan and this boy identified himself as “Abdullah” and spoke mainly in the Kazakh language.
The propaganda video also showcased the religious and military training that children living in the ISIS undergo. As per the video, the education starts by learning Arabic and learning Quran in the classroom. Then the students are given hand to hand combat and weapons training. In the video, the young boys were shown assembling and firing Kalashnikov rifles.
In the propaganda video released by ISIS in November, the Kazakh boy Abdullah was asked how he sees himself in the future, to which he responded that in the future he will be the slaughtering the Kuffar (non-believer) and will be a Mujahid (God Willing). In the recent video it seems that Abdullah has realized his ambition.
It is not new to use children in war, but the ISIS has assembled an astonishingly well-structured system for recruiting and indoctrinating kids. According to Human Rights Watch report released in June 2014, it was found that non-state armed groups in Syria have used kids as young as 15 year old to fight in wars and kids as young as 14 year old in military support roles. The ISIS has targeted children for recruitment and has used free schooling as a disguise to implant their extremist ideology in young minds.
The government of Kazakh is yet to respond to the recently released ISIS video, but the authorities made efforts to quickly remove the video released in November 2014. The tough domestic legislation of Kazakhstan outlaws spreading what is believed as the propaganda of the extremists. The Kazakh authorities even pressurized the news site kloop.kg in the neighboring country Kyrgyzstan to remove an article that they had posted about the November 2014 ISIS video.
The national security committee of Kazakhstan estimates that around 300 Kazakh citizens have travelled to Syria to join ISIS. Half of them (at-least) are believed to be women and children. The minister of foreign affairs, Kazakhstan, Erlan Idrissov told in an interview in December 2014 that one of the biggest concerns of the country is the rising extremism in Kazakhstan and the region.
The recently released video ends with the executioner holding his hand up in triumph before stepping over the dead bodies and walking away. Erlan Idrissov and fellow Kazakh officials have reason to be concerned about what will happen when Abdullah or other child soldiers start returning Kazakhstan.