Iraqi security forces have arrested four children they claim were recruited by al-Qaeda to carry out suicide attacks in and around the city of Kirkuk. General Abdelamir al-Zaidi said; “Special forces units have arrested in organization of children consisting of four individual under the age of 14 who call themselves the Birds of Paradise.” He claimed children are recruited to assist in suicide bombing and help set roadside bombs. The use of children is but one of many examples of how al-Qaeda reaches into the fabric of a society and seizes control of youth. The real question to ask is–why is youth attracted to al-Qaeda? Which aspects of its philosophy of violence appeal to young minds?
In the end, the conflict with al-Qaeda is centered in ideas, not just military action. It is up to Muslim societies to deal with this conflict, not the west.