My First AK-47: Kids Awarded Guns in Somali Recruitment Game
AFRICA, 3 Oct 2011
Islamists fighting a civil war in Somalia have come up with a new way to find young new recruits. To stir up interest, they have reportedly resorted to using games, offering automatic weapons, hand grenades and cash as prizes to children who call in to take part in the fun.
Islamists in Somalia are resorting to desperate measures to gain new recruits. A radio station operated by the Al-Shabab militant group ran a quiz for children and youths earlier this month in which the main prize was an AK-47 assault rifle plus the equivalent of $700 and religious books.
The second prize was an AK-47 plus $500 and religious literature. The third prize was two hand grenades and $400. The prizes were recently handed over to the winning contestants by Shabab leader Sheikh Moktar Robow Abu Mansur at a location near the capital, Mogadishu.
“Children should have one hand on the Koran but the other on a rifle to defend Islam,” he said.
One of the questions asked was, “In which war was our leader Sheikh Timajilic killed?”
Recruiting fighters for the civil war in Somalia is evidently becoming more difficult. In mid-September, 10 youths were abducted after refusing to join Shabab. Two of them were found murdered shortly afterwards.
Al-Shabab is an al-Qaida-linked group fighting Somalia’s central government and African Union troops in Mogadishu. It controls large parts of southern Somalia where it has imposed its strict interpretation of Islam. It is estimated to have some 15,000 fighters.
SPIEGEL Staff — with wires
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article: