14-year-old Norwegian found fighting in Iraq
A 14-year-old boy from Norway has been discovered fighting in Iraq against the militant Islamic group Isis, Norway’s TV2 reported on Monday.
Norwegian journalists interviewed Hussein Abbas, a Norwegian citizen from Sagerne, Oslo, on the front line in Iraq, where he was fighting as part of the Shia militia led by his father, Abbas al-Asadi.
“Why did you come here?” TV2 journalists asked the boy. “To wage jihad,” he replied boldly.
“Aren’t you afraid of IS,” they continued. ”No,” he said.
According to the boy’s father, the whole family moved to Syria from Norway two years ago, after which they relocated to Iraq on the orders of religious leaders.
"I have Norwegian citizenship. I came here after receiving orders to participate in jihad from the highest religious leader," he told reporters.
Al-Asadi said he did not fear for his son’s life:
“Iraq stands united. We cannot think of the individual person,” he told journalists.
Joran Kallemyr, a state secretary in the Ministry of Justice told TV2 that al-Asadi risked arrest by the police should he return to Norway.
“I think it is absolutely awful. If it turns out that the parents have brought a child into a war zone and let the child become a child soldier, it's just horrid,” he said. “The police and prosecutors must decide if this is a punishable offence.”
Hussein’s 39-year old brother, who lives in Oslo, reacted emotionally to the reports.
“I knew he liked to wear military clothes, but I didn’t know he was fighting,” he told VG newspaper. “He is a child soldier, and that makes me angry at my father. I keep asking myself if the video is fake.”
Commander Per Christian Gundersen, who leads the media group at Norway’s Defence College, told VG that child soldiers were common in Iraq and Syria.
“Unfortunately, it is not uncommon in the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, but I cannot think of a similar example where young people have come from the West,” he said.