These vermin are the worst of the worst.
‘They brainwashed our boys… and made them watch beheading video’: Chilling report from front line of Syrian town under siege by ISIS militants
- IS seized 149 schoolchildren and subjected them to intensive mind control
- They were from Kobane, the key Syrian border town being besieged by IS
- Children were captured by gunmen at a checkpoint after exams in Aleppo
- The frightened boys were groomed with hours of lectures in radical Islam
- Methods give chilling new insight into the cruelties of the terror group
Hamid’s son had been missing for a week, seized by Islamic State gunmen along with 148 other schoolchildren, when a friend discovered the fanatics had posted a contact number for distraught parents on the internet.
He called the number and a militant put the terrified 13-year-old on the line. ‘He was really scared and crying so much,’ said Hamid. ‘I tried to calm him down and say it would be all right, but then I started crying too. I couldn’t help it.’
Seconds later, a jihadi leader took the phone and told the Kurdish car dealer that the seized pupils would only be let go if a group of captured IS fighters was freed.
Hamid pleaded they were poor people without influence, begging him to spare their sons. ‘If they are not released within one week we will start killing your children, one by one,’ replied the callous terrorist leader.
The teenage boys were not killed, however. Instead they were brainwashed, forced to watch horrific videos of beheadings and torture, then viciously beaten with cables if they failed to memorise Koranic verses or even if they drank water without permission.
Their captors included many foreign extremists – among them a white British doctor in his late 30s who treated the boys after the most savage beatings.
Many of the boys were finally freed last week after almost five months in captivity. But delight turned to dismay for their families when the boys started telling their fathers they would soon be slaughtered by jihadis and ordered ‘indecent’ mothers and sisters to cover their faces.
‘It was like they had been infected with a mental disease,’ said Hamid. ‘They were praying all the time, not talking to us and behaving so strangely.’
The saga of the 149 seized pupils, subjected to intensive mind control to convert them into militants, gives chilling new insight into the cruelties of the terror group that has seized large chunks of Iraq and Syria.
Staking their claim: The sinister black flag of the Islamic State flies over the town of Kobane, Syria
The children were from Kobane, the key Syrian border town being besieged by IS. Their astonishing story emerged as I spoke to some of the 200,000 Kurds forced to flee their homes in the region.
I stood by these refugees as they cheered from over the Turkish border while watching bombs dropped by US-led coalition aircraft flatten buildings flying the black flag of the jihadis.
The thump of mortar shells and sounds of gunfire were clearly audible from street fighting in the town lying just across fields, as IS launched a fresh assault on the key Kurdish stronghold yesterday.