Mia Bloom and John Horgan write at Foreign Affairs:
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On January 15, a video surfaced on the Internet that depicted a 10-year-old Kazakh boy using a gun to execute two Russian members of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) who had been accused of being spies. ISIS claimed ownership of the video, although it has not yet been authenticated. Only a few days earlier, twin suicide bombings rocked northern Nigeria, involving three girls, who appeared to have been only 10 years old, all wearing explosives that may have been remotely detonated by members of Boko Haram. A year before, a nine-year-old girl named Spozhmai, who is the sibling of an Afghan Taliban commander, was detained at a border checkpoint in Kandahar. Rather than go through with her mission, she confessed to the authorities that she had been forced to wear a suicide belt.
The exploitation of children by terrorist groups is not new, but groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Pakistani Taliban are increasingly using children to carry out their activities.