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IS Claims Child Militant Who Executed Iraqi Spy 'Killed In Air Strike'

  • Joanna Paraszczuk

A screen grab of a Facebook post claiming that the child militant had been killed.

A screen grab of a Facebook post claiming that the child militant had been killed.

A child militant who appeared in a shocking video appearing to shoot an alleged Iraqi spy in the head has been killed in an air strike, IS social media accounts say.

The boy, who appears to be in his early teens, was featured in a video titled The Harvest Of The Spies that was released on May 2.

He is shown loading a handgun and forcing a captive to kneel.

The child then vows to take revenge on United States, Russia, and Europe before raising his gun and apparently shooting the captive several times in the head. However, the teenage militant does not appear in the same frame when the shots are fired, and it is not clear whether he actually killed the captive.

Reports that the boy had been killed began to circulate on Russian and English pro-IS accounts on August 2.

A Facebook post by an account holder named Abu Ibn from August 2 said that the boy had been killed in a coalition air strike. Abu Ibn's account has since been banned from Facebook.

The reports of the boy's death could not be independently verified. Both the English and Russian reports lack details of where the air strike that allegedly killed him took place.

Daghestani Child Militant?

The boy was identified as Abu Umar Caucas in some reports and as Abu Umar Daghestani in others, a nom de guerre in the style normally adopted by adult militants and where the last part of the name refers to the militant's homeland. The militant's name therefore suggests that he is from the North Caucasus, likely from Daghestan.

There is another clue that could link the child with a group of North Caucasian militants fighting alongside IS in Syria and Iraq.

In the May 2 video, the child is wearing a black hat with the Thermoform logo clearly visible. Photographs of a number of North Caucasian IS militants -- including the notorious IS military commander Umar al-Shishani, an ethnic Kist from Georgia -- wearing Thermoform hats have circulated on pro-IS social media accounts.

The May 2 video is not the first time that Russian-speaking IS militants have used children to carry out execution-style killings.

In January, a video purported to show a child who appeared to be from Central Asia shooting dead two Russian-speaking men identified as "Russian agents."

There is ample evidence to suggest that Russian-speaking IS militants are undergoing military training. The child militant who appeared in the January video is very possibly the same child who appeared in a previous IS video featuring Kazakh children being subjected to military and ideological drills.

A Kazakh militant who called himself Artyom and who is thought to have been killed in July posted an image of Central Asian children aged under the age of 10 dressed in military uniforms.

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena


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