Muslim militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State beheaded a man “for educational purposes” for a group of children. Aged approximately six to eight years old, the children were assembled outside a mosque in the city of Derna in eastern Libya. The victim has been identified as postal worker Abdulnabi al-Shargawi, who had volunteered to fight for the Libyan National Army, according to the Libya Herald. 
 
Al-Shargawi was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and dragged to a public square where he was beheaded by a masked knife-wielding terrorist. The Islamic State shared photographs of the murder on the internet.  The Islamic State has become notorious for its gruesome executions of hostages, who have included nationals of the United States and Britain, France, Egypt, Japan, and Jordan. 
 
 
A video was released earlier this year of Islamic State militants in Libya depicted the beheadings of a group of Egyptian Christian prisoners who had refused to recant their religious faith. Similarly, they wore orange jumpsuits: an act that observers have linked to Muslim denunciations of the imprisonment of terrorists by the United States at Guantánamo, Cuba. The terrorists imprisoned by the U.S. also wear orange jumpsuits. In March of this year, the Islamic State also released a video depicting a young boy similarly executing an Arab accused of spying for Israel. In that case, 19-year-old Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam knelt before a 12-year-old boy who then shot him several times in the head.
 
ISIS has been recruiting children and minors – including girls - from across the world. Some have come from the United States and the UK, having been lured with promises of becoming brides of Muslim terrorists. In Iraq, some 500 children have been abducted by IS. There is concern that they will be forced into combat. In May, Mohammed Farhan told Anadolu news agency  “Daesh [IS] has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq and Syria.” In addition, Islamic State combatants have kidnapped and raped hundreds of girls and women. Many of these have been sold into sexual slavery for as little as the price of a pack of cigarettes. 
 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has reported that the Islamic State recruited at least 400 children in Syria during the2014-2015 winter. These so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate” have received military training and Muslim indoctrination. 
 
Nazir Afzal, a former UK prosecutor, told The Times of London in March: “ISIS terrorists are deluded, narcissistic, glory-hunting inadequates who call themselves soldiers, but they’re selling themselves with professionally-made videos that make them seem glamorous and sex." He added,  "They make these kids feel wanted and loved, they tell them they understand them and they distance them from their friends and family,” It is believed that at least 600 British nationals, consisting of teenagers and young adults, have since 2013 heeded the Islamic State’s call to jihad: holy war. 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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