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About a dozen French adolescents have left for Syria to join jihadi groups or are trying to go, a phenomenon that’s accelerating, France’s interior minister said Sunday.

The civil war to oust President Bashir Assad has attracted more French, and Westerners, than other battlegrounds like Afghanistan ever did. Thousands of Europeans are fighting in Syria and nearly 700 French citizens or residents are in some way involved, Manual Valls said. But teenagers drawn to jihadi organizations fighting there is a “particular phenomenon.”

Minister: French Teens Go to Syria for Jihad – ABC News – 1/19/2014.

“He was killed fighting, he was killed in Syria,” he said.

Irish Teen Shamseddin Gaidan Who Joined Syria Rebels Killed – 2/23/2013.

Norwegian police have issued international alerts for two teenage sisters believed to have travelled to Syria to join the civil war.

Norwegian sisters, 16 and 19, ‘travel to Syria to help Muslims’ | Mail Online – 10/21/2013.

Brian was raised Catholic and rarely got into trouble.

The Belgian Teen Who Went to Fight in Syria: The Brian De Mulder Story | TIME.com – 3/22/2013.

A criminal complaint accused Tounisi of making online contact in March with a person he thought was a recruiter for Jabhat al-Nusrah, the militant Islamist Syrian group that the U.S. government calls a foreign terrorist organization operating as a wing of al Qaeda in Iraq.

US teen accused of seeking to join al Qaeda-linked Syrian group – U.S. News – 4/20/2013.

Well, he tried.

It is estimated that at least 100 Canadians — mainly in their 20s and coming from Ontario and Alberta — have left for Syria in the past year, joining a steady march of foreigners drawn to the conflict, security sources say.

Canadians hurrying to Syria in record numbers to join rebels | Toronto Star – 8/23/2013.

By the time of his death in Syria, Andre Poulin from Timmins, Ont., had become a battle-hardened jihadi known as Abu Muslim.

Andre Poulin, jihadi from Timmins, Ont., confirmed dead in Syria – CBC News – Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News – 1/16/2014.

A 22-year-old Canadian-born Muslim convert who left Calgary for Syria in November 2012 has been killed by Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces during rebel infighting, CBC News has confirmed.

Damian Clairmont killed fighting with al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria – World – CBC News – 1/15/2014.

Germany’s domestic security agency has recorded what experts regard as an alarming trend. A growing number of young Germans are traveling to Syria to aid the opposition, potentially getting “radicalized” along the way.

German Muslims leaving to fight jihad in Syria – 9/8/2013.

A former Germany youth international was killed in the Syrian civil war last month, it has emerged.

German media reported that Burak Karan, 26, was killed in action on Oct. 11, and the nation’s intelligence agencies confirmed the news of his death on Monday.

Former Germany youth international Burak Karan killed in Syria – ESPN FC – 11/19/2013.

I thought the conflict in Syria was a civil war.

It turns out it’s a youth movement.

Screw the cars and guitars, man — get a real instrument of destruction:

French Nationale FNC automatic rifle most prevalent among Syria's revolutionary forces.  Credit Path: Wikimedia Commons back to CeCILL freeware distribution license.

French Nationale FNC automatic rifle most prevalent among Syria’s revolutionary forces. Credit Path: Wikimedia Commons back to CeCILL freeware distribution license.

Referring Page: Guns of Syria

Not to knock the youth too much, the zeal to get the raging hormones to the war raging would seem inseparable from the adoption of the script set out to snag them and reel them into an abattoir that appears to them authentic, glorious, large, and obligatory.

The latest in Angry Young Men, by and large, has not been left entirely lopsided.

Editor’s note June 19:

Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-‘Arifi denied issuing a fatwa which purportedly sanctioned the rape of Syrian women, saying that “no sane person” would issue such an edict. We regret not including that information when this column originally was published.

Guest Column: The ‘Sex Jihad’ :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism – 6/18-19/2013.

Raymond Ibrahim posts always with integrity to outlets, but the story and associated denials have developed something of a life online, which includes a Wikileaks piece more validating the prostitution than scrubbing it.

The once-sleepy smugglers’ nest on the Turkish border has become a mecca for jihad tourists from around the world.

Foreign Jihadists in Syria Favor Liberal Transit Towns over Front – SPIEGEL ONLINE – 9/27/2013.

The posted header on the above article reads, “Video Games and Cigarettes: Syria’s Disneyland for Jihadists.

Syria: ah, just another Teen Paradise, one for Muslim “reverts” from Catholicism — or modern Muslim families — and for adolescents and post-adolescent adolescents who are not from Syria.

For Syrian teens, however, the experience of the Syrian Civil War may have another cast altogether.

Related Reference

Syria: teens living in the conflict zone – British Red Cross blog – 11/23/2012.


My Friend, the Aspiring Suicide Bomber | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT – 3/12/2013: “Al-Qaeda are good!” he told me, with a smile and a double thumbs up. “I hope that they’ll accept me and that one day I can set off a suicide bomb in a regime area.”

This, I swear, was not premeditated.  I simply wanted to look up the writer of the above quoted piece and found her web site:

A message flashed up on my phone just before 10 o’clock tonight: “Molham died today.”

On the death of another Syrian | Stuff from my notebook – 12/20/2013.

Hannah, if you glance at this blog, I’m sorry to hear of the loss and was not in the least expecting it up top on your blog.

Readers note the date: 12/20/2013, and if you click through you will find the bomb-on-two-legs wannabe didn’t die that way but as a war photographer.

Young photographer killed in Syria conflict – PhotoBlog – 12/20/2013.

Not too long ago and in relation to the music side of my life, I thought to look up old rockers and find out how many of the “they all do drugs” crowd had actually died along the way.  Rather few, it turns out, but that in light of the size the 1960s and 1970s cohort of entertainers in the field.  What occurred to me while revisiting, say, the Rolling Stones saga is that the bands and the myths they created about themselves may have been harder on the fans than on the musicians.  Keith Richards, for example, remains among the living: countless music fans, not exclusively but living the rock-and-roll life in their various ways, don’t.  The degree of direct influence cannot be measured small or large, but the atmosphere, the teen spirit of its day, created its own culture, and that culture was not squeaky clean and all nice-nice.

That’s why we loved it.


Joining Syrian ranks of al-Qaeda ‘in vogue’ for young British Muslims – Telegraph – 3/3/2014.

LA Gang Members in Syria: Organized Crime, Terrorism ‘Converge’ – ABC News – 3/4/2014.

“It’s not about ideals – 90% of them never subscribe to the ideals,” former radical Alyas Karmani, now a peace activist, says in the film. “It’s other factors that are a draw. This is the new rock-and-roll; jihad is sexy. The kid who was not very good-looking now looks good holding a gun. He can get a bride now, he’s powerful. The ISIS gun is as much a penis extension as the stockbroker with his Ferrari.”

Balofsky, Ahuva.  “ISIS Marketing Itself as ‘Sexy’ to Youth, Says Former Radical.”  Breaking Israel News, August 6, 2015

As innocent and maternal as that may sound, it may also reveal the extent of her commitment: ISIS propaganda has featured children executing prisoners in the style of a video game, and refers to boys groomed to be fighters as “cubs.” There were signs that Jaelyn understood the horrific violence of the group she longed to join. After a sailor and four Marines were murdered in July in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she celebrated. Praise be to God, she said, “the numbers of supporters are growing.”

Green, Emma.  “How Two Mississippi College Students Fell in Love and Decided to Join a Terrorist Group.”  The Atlantic, May 1, 2017.

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