Kalashnikov children groom young killers

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2010
Message: the video

Message: the video

Children are being encouraged by Jihadi terror supporters to say that they will kill Jews, while handling guns, according to Greater Manchester Police.

The revelation came this week as the North West’s Counter Terrorism Unit released a video of children playing with a Kalashnikov. The video was seized from an undisclosed address in Manchester during a raid on terror suspects. Police say the footage and other downloaded material are being used to “groom” children in the North West with terrorist propaganda from an early age

Parts of the video show a child aged around three pointing a semi-automatic handgun, while a girl aged five or six walks into view holding a Kalashnikov. The cameraman is heard repeatedly telling the children “you will kill the Jews” while he also translates the girl’s Arabic exclamation: “I want to kill the infidels.”

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thompson, who oversees terror investigations in Greater Manchester, said the antisemitic references in the footage were “shocking,” but took pains to stress the “very, very, small proportion” of the Muslim community who espouse these beliefs.

He said: “We strongly believe this footage was filmed outside Manchester and probably outside this country, but what it shows is the challenges the North-West Counter Terrorism Unit face to stop young children being groomed.”

Manchester Police released the footage after BBC North West showed the material on Sunday night as part of a documentary following the specialist police unit. It also uncovered documents downloaded in Manchester from an extremist website encouraging parents to teach children about Jihad. The documents say: “The key is to start instilling values in them while they are babies. Don’t wait until they are seven. No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training.”

The CST’s Mark Gardner said: “We are keenly aware of how extensive the problem of Jihadi terrorism is in the Greater Manchester area. However, I don’t think the community should overreact by accusing an entire community alongside whom we live, of being some sort of mass terrorist threat. There are problems but we shouldn’t blow them out of proportion.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Cheetham Hill Councillor Afzal Khan, co-chair of the Manchester Muslim-Jewish Forum. “The vast majority of the Muslim community are horrified at seeing such footage.” he said.

Last updated: 6:32pm, February 4 2010