Jihadists train the ‘Cubs of Waziristan’

Jihadists released video of children training with firearms at a camp in the Taliban-controlled Waziristan region in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The seven-minute-long video, which is titled ‘Cubs of Waziristan,’ was distributed by the Al Ansar Mailing List and recently released on jihadist websites. An edited version of the video and a translation are provided by the SITE Intelligence Group. The location of the camp and the date the video was taken were not disclosed.

At the beginning of the video, a group of 16 jihadists, including what appears to be six trainers armed with assault rifles and 10 young recruits, is seen standing in a semicircle. An older fighter, who seems to be the leader, cites a verse from the Koran that says Muslims must prepare for war against “the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

“In obedience of this divine command, we are doing this and preparing militarily and Shariah- and faith-wise,” the fighter says. “In this way, we are erasing ages of humiliation that we tasted and in which we grew up. At times we were scared of match sticks, and now, thanks to Allah, here are the children of the Muslims getting trained in weapons that special forces are trained in using. This is an embodiment of the extirpation of the defeatist moral that was planted in the Islamic Ummah [community].”

The children are then seen undergoing firearms training with pistols, assault rifles, and machine guns. The boys are conducting shooting drills in lanes, with paper targets tacked up on posts. A few of the smaller kids are seen having difficulty handling the recoil of the assault rifles. The video ends with the trainers and the young recruits, who are now armed with assault rifles, standing in line, raising their weapons, and shouting “Allah is Great.”

While no group has been directly linked to the video, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Islamic Jihad Group, and a jihadist alliance known as the Fedayeen-i-Islam are known to run camps in Waziristan that are used to train children.

Qari Hussain Mehsud, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan commander who indoctrinates and trains children and others to conduct suicide attacks, ran camps in the Spinkai Ragzai area of South Waziristan for a time. But after a Pakistani Army offensive targeted his Taliban faction in an operation in South Waziristan in October 2009, he moved his camps to North Waziristan.

In the past, the Islamic Jihad Group has released videos of small children training for jihad. The IJG is currently based out of the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan.

Mir Ali also hosts at least three suicide training camps for the the Fedayeen-i-Islam, an alliance between the Pakistani Taliban, the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Earlier this year, a Fedayeen spokesman claimed that more than 1,000 suicide bombers, including young men, have trained at three camps. One failed suicide bomber corroborated the Fedayeen spokesman’s statement, claiming that more than 350 suicide bombers trained at his camp.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • gerald says:

    Hitting the bottom of the barrel,!osing causes always resort to recruiting children.

  • Soccer says:

    Where is a nice predator/drone/reaper when you need one?
    These people cannot be negotiated with. Wipe them all out.

  • Soccer says:

    Also, I am SICK and tired of the Taliban constantly claiming every drone strike “martyrs” “innocent” “civilians”.
    It is propaganda at it’s finest. If they didn’t want to attack westerners, and if they didn’t train children in combat and explosive making, there would be no reason for even attacking them in the first place.
    Also, one other point: Who is harming the “innocent” civilians more? Us, who strike them in a surgical retaliatory manner; or them, the “mujahideen”, the “defenders of Muslims”, who strap BOMBS TO CHILDREN’S CHESTS and strip them of their childhood, and any chance they have at life??????
    I think that question answers itself.

  • Witch Doctor says:

    Bomb the whole place, just to be sure! War is hell and civilians get hurt. AQ drew first blood.

  • That somersault move makes for a good target and an easy kill! Golly will they do that in combat? lets hope so. How sick are these supposed muslim warriors in taking childern into their fold and training them forl combat. Reminds one of Hitlers desperate use of Germany’s childern at the end of WWII. Perhaps al qeada is desperate too turning to childern for combat.

  • Mr T says:

    “cites a verse from the Koran that says Muslims must prepare for war against “the enemy of Allah and your enemy.””
    Thats funny. It didn’t say Sunni Muslims or Shiite Muslims, just Muslims. That verse from the Koran didn’t say anything about occupying forces or humiliation either.
    I guess they just make it up as they go. What else do they have to do? Work in the fields? No, shooting guns is way more fun.

  • ntimid8 says:

    Using children as a tool of religious fanaticism is about as rock bottom as AQ and the Taliban can get – perhaps this is a sign of the end. Unfortunately what is done is done and based on the video, our snipers will simply need to lead them less.

  • Neonmeat says:

    IMO this sentence:
    ‘In this way, we are erasing ages of humiliation that we tasted and in which we grew up’
    Goes right to the heart of why we are fighting these people.
    Whether rightly or wrongly these Muslim men and boys feel subjugated and sidelined by Western Economic and Cultural Supremacy and seek to return the Middle East to the Golden Age where Islam was the dominate Economic and Cultural force.
    In this way they are delusional and reactionary and as their form of strict Islam cannot compete with a modern (or perhaps Western?) structure of values and ethics, and is essentially under threat of dying out in most progressive nations they use violence in their delusional attempt to form some sort of Islamic Utopia that only Mohammed has so far been able to achieve.

  • David says:

    Isn’t this a war crime, according to the Geneva conventions?

  • jay says:

    As much as I hate to say it (because I believe using children like this is evil) it is an effective tactic that exploits an American “weakness” and puts our forces in a life and death pickle.
    Bill just reported on kids in Khowst throwing rocks and then a few throwing grenades and actually creating casualties. Now some other children are getting more training on different weapon systems. How can US forces stop this? There really is no easy answer.
    If you shoot the kids the vast majority of Afghans are going to believe you killed civilians even if you kill the ones that actually throw the grenades or use another weapon system. If you don’t shoot the kids you get more grenades or ieds, ect.
    I guess the best we can hope for is that we kill the trainers and somehow stop the flow of guns and money, because lets face it, they pretty much have an unending supply of illiterate impressionable youth.

  • Mr. Wolf says:

    This appears to me a sort of orphanage. Imagine, a fighter that is killed in a truck somewhere. What do you do with the family? They are not quite old enough to “go back home” (wives), or have kids old enough to work around the home. If they work at one of the camps, they can work on defending the camps… just a short step from inside to outside (when they are old enough). This is the one downside of the drones. The follow-up is not done to ensure kids and women are not rounded up and hauled away. Jihadists do this to stop secrets, but the west should do it to stop involuntary recruits.

  • Kev says:

    that somersault w/ pistol looks like a good way to shoot yourself in the head by accident..

  • villiger says:

    “Daddy is he a goodie or a baddie
    Daddy can I be a warrior
    Once upon a time there were cannibals
    Now there are no cannibals any more
    Yeah daddy is he a goodie or a baddie
    Daddy why do people go to war
    Once upon a time there were cannibals
    Now there are no cannibals any more”
    Mark Knopfler….i guess he got it wrong!
    Listen here
    and a longer but very special version
    If only these kids could hear/ watch this music live, i would turn them around to blow up there trainers.

  • Luca says:

    Aside from all the absolutely agreable comments on the immorality (by any standard or religious code) of sending small children to their deaths, the somersault seems to be a jihadi version (possibly picked up during the Soviet Jihad??) of the much derided (in the west) “combat roll” that Russian/Soviet Special Forces and Paratroopers still routinely perform to this day (hopefully not in actual combat!). As to why ANYONE would think it is wise or even remotely beneficial in a firefight I am clueless – it is the best way to shoot yourself, anything other than the target (esp. if not stationary), or simply attract undue attention and incoming hot lead!

  • alexander samsonov says:

    well i am against the comments you people posted.
    first of all mr.david raise geneva convention and war crimes, my question is who give the westerners an authority to invade a country without a credible proof. 2. why geneva convention cant be apply to us forces who used prohibited munitions like phosphorus and fuel air explosives on civilian populations isn’t it a war crime?
    Mr. tat when christians of all sects(catholics, protestants)can unite against muslims, why muslims can’t unite against the invaders.
    And last but not the least when western forces came here and sabotaged the peace and harmony of a sovereign country, how can u expect a peaceful reaction, my dears its natural, u will face the music until u flee in disarray as we soviets did.


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