From a juridical point of view, if the jihadis can justify their war in Iraq as a defensive jihad against infidels and apostates, that is, jihad al-difa’, then having children (or women) participate in the war is valid: all four madhahib agree that defending the land of Islam is second to faith; all Muslims — including women and children — become obligated to participate in the jihad and need no one’s permission.
“Iraq arrests children recruited by Al-Qaeda,” from AFP, April 19:
KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) “” Iraqi security forces have arrested four children who were recruited by Al-Qaeda to carry out suicide attacks in and around the northern city of Kirkuk, an army general told AFP on Sunday.
“Special forces units have arrested an organisation of children consisting of four individuals under the age of 14 who call themselves the ‘Birds of Paradise’,” General Abdelamir al-Zaidi said.
“The group relies on children and is connected to Al-Qaeda. It works to recruit children and young people to carry out suicide attacks and to aid the terrorist groups in detonating roadside bombs,” he said.
The name of the group likely comes from the traditional Islamic belief that when children die they become birds in paradise…