A new video emerging from Syria appears to show a young child recruited by an Al Qaeda-linked group shooting an automatic weapon, the latest disturbing image of the nearly three-year civil conflict.
In the video which was posted online by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a young boy who was reported to be as young as 4-years-old squats and shoots two rounds. Each shot is echoed by the voice of a man off camera who shouts, “Allahu Akbar,” that is, Allah is greatest.
The boy, wearing camouflage pants, a jacket and a black ski mask, had his AK-47-like gun propped on the red and white barrier behind which he was firing.
The Daily Mail reported that the boy is believed to be the son of a jihadi rebel originally from Albania.
The clip was first posted on January 21 on a YouTube channel run by Islamist rebels in northern Syria. The Daily Mail reported that its title in Arabic read, “A message from one of the cubs of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
No other context pointing to what the boy was shooting at or what location he was in was visible on the tape. Like most videos coming out of Syria, TheBlaze is unable to authenticate the images.
European officials have voiced concern that those who have traveled on jihad to Syria could later use their terrorist training to strike their home countries.
Hardline rebel groups in Syria have been recruiting youths to their ranks, including two 15-year-old French boys who earlier this month ran away to Syria to join the jihadis.
Hezbollah’s television station last week showed off a baby dressed in the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group’s fatigues just hours after being born.
Here is the video via YouTube: