ISIS video shows 12-year-old jihadist 'cub' beheading captive

by Gregory Tomlin, |
The new face of death, a child soldier called a "cub of the caliphate" by the Islamic State. A new video shows the child, 10-12 years old, beheading a Syrian captive with a knife. The video concludes with a warning that the group will expand beyond the Middle East to Rome. | ISIS Video Screengrab

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – A shocking new video from the Islamic State shows one of its "cubs of the Caliphate" – a child soldier fighting for the terror group – beheading a Syrian man near Homs.

In the video, the Syrian man is dragged into frame and he is forced onto his stomach. The child, no more than 10-12 years old, then approaches the man from behind, straddles him, and leans down to kill him with a small knife. The man killed was believed to be a Syrian army officer or a government official.

This video comes on the heels of another video which earlier this month showed 25 captured Syrian soldiers killed by children in the ancient amphitheater at Palmyra. In that video, the children – some with their eyes closed – each shot their captive in the back of the head.

The video, obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), ends with an adult Islamic State fighter pledging to carry the killing of its opponents further.

"Our goal is not only Palmyra nor Homs nor Damascus, but our goal is to conquer Bayt al-Maqdes (Jerusalem) and Rome God willing," the adult jihadist says.

According to the SOHR, a video showing children executing prisoners began to surface in January. In one, child soldiers were made to execute two Russian FSB agents – intelligence operatives similar to CIA agents – operating in an area captured by Islamic State fighters.

In March, SOHR issued a statement claiming nine children were involved in an "execution operation" of the Islamic State. All of the children involved in the execution were under the age of 18, and reportedly beheaded their nine captives. No video of that event has surfaced yet, but there is little reason to doubt the claim since the publication of the new video and the video of the 25 Syrian soldiers being executed in Palmyra.