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Children at War: Foreign Child Recruits of the Islamic State


Treatment of TerroristsJournal abstract

The Islamic State’s recruitment of children is a challenge with no easy solutions. Islamic State foreign fighter records show that foreign children fighters tend to be, as expected, less well-educated, less likely to have good employment, more likely to be students, and less likely to be married than adult foreign fighters. Interestingly, they were slightly less likely to express a preference to be suicide bombers or fighters, arrived later, had a similar amount of self-declared jihadi experience, and came from countries in different proportions than did their older counterparts. Continued research on this important subject, as well the focus of policymakers on the challenges of child returnees, will remain an important part of future counterterrorism efforts.

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