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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Online videos shows children training for jihad; young son of Osama bin Laden reads statement

By J.M. Berger

INTELWIRE has uncovered a video of young boys training in jihad techniques. The video includes a statement read in Arabic by a young son of Osama bin Laden, according to a terrorism investigator.

The video was hosted on an Arabic-language Web site connected to Tawhid Wal Jihad, the terror organization led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

UPDATE: Pak Jihadis training children as 'future terrorists'

More on jihadist videos at

The video, titled "Hamza Laden," appears to show young boys between the ages of 10 and 14 engaged in commando training, including marching in formation, running a military-style obstacle course, rappelling and reading written statements in Arabic.

The training scenes appear to be closely modeled on a video of adults in commando traning that was included in the collection of images. The two videos may have been filmed in the same location, and several shots from the video of adult trainees appear to have been specifically recreated for the scenes that appear to feature children.

According to Neil Doyle, author of Terror Tracker, the child reading a statement in Arabic is one of Osama bin Laden's sons. The date the clip was filmed is unknown. The child is featured prominently in several other jihadi propaganda videos, in what is possibly the same clip recycled.

The quality of the video is extremely poor, but there are several discernable shots of young, beardless males. Viewers may evaluate the video themselves. The "Hamza Laden" video may be downloaded as a zip file (which expands to play in Real Media format) by clicking here.

Although INTELWIRE has scanned the file for viruses, download the file at your own risk. If mirroring or reposting the clip, please credit INTELWIRE as the source.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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