It isn't every day that you get a terrorist leader to freely admit what an awful human he really is. Late last week, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a Shabaab commander and Specially Designated Global Terrorist with links to al Qaeda, proudly told how his organization recruits children to wage jihad. From Garowe:
"We recruit underage children to fight for us, the children are ready to die for their country and religion" said Sheikh Aweys while addressing people in a mosque at Elasha Biyaha camps in outskirt of Mogadishu, the restive capital of Somalia. He adds they will continue recruiting underage children to fight against Somali government forces and African Union troops. "There was an incident where 13 year fighter shocked when he heard the loud sounds of the artillery while he was fighting and he said the fighting is terrible but the Jihad is sweet and later he was dead in the clashes," said Aweys.Keep in mind that some people think it would have been a good idea to have kept the Islamic Courts Union, which Aweys co-led, in power: the premise being that the ouster of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006 resulted in the rise of Shabaab. (I've addressed this false argument back in December 2008 and again in December 2009).
Also note that despite the ongoing African Union and Somali government offensive, top Shabaab leaders like Aweys are still able to hold press conferences and address worshipers at mosques in and around the capital.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/03/aweys_shabaab_recruits_underag.php#ixzz1HFSwIKVV