Islamic State (ISIS) has in the past uploaded videos of children holding weapons, in terror training and even performing executions – but terror training has reached an entirely new level.
On Monday, the group uploaded a new propaganda video which goes beyond the pale, showing children battling each other in arenas to become more skilled fighters.
The scenes are reminiscent of battle scenes in "Gladiator" or "Divergent," with children and young men fighting each other as an armed commander shouts instructions from the side – and, eventually, with him jumping into the arena to beat them with sticks. The combatants are also required to break concrete blocks with their heads.
The youths are locked into what ISIS terms the "cage of death" for seven long minutes in the video, and subjected to all kinds of physical abuse. Some scenes show them crawling through metal tubes as ISIS terrorist shoot live rounds above their heads.
Experts believe the video was filmed from an ISIS base in Iraq, according to the Daily Mail, and is designed to attract foreign nationals to the group.
The video surfaces just as the US State Department announced Friday that 16,000 foreign nationals from 90 countries flooded Syria over 2014 alone – many of whom presumably joined ISIS, the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra Front, and other Islamist groups. That report also noted that ISIS is unique in wielding media as a terror and recruitment tool.