US Hatred Fuels Iraq's Teen Fighters

One 16-year-old, a would-be bomber, tells his tale
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2007 2:55 PM CST
An Iraqi youth reacts as a US military's Bradley fighting vehicle is on flames in Obeidi, in south east Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 2, 2007, after it was struck by a roadside bomb, according to eyewitnesses....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US and Iraqi forces trying to regain control of the country face a particularly troublesome category of insurgents—teenagers fueled with hatred against America, Der Spiegel reports. The German newspaper interviewed one such teen whose botched plot to kill US soldiers resulted instead in his arrest. He not only led police to accomplices but provided insight into the anti-occupation passion shared by his peers.

"We still hate the Americans," said the 16-year-old, who had been recruited and indoctrinated by older fighters, the usual path. "Iraq isn't free, that's why we have to keep on fighting." Asked, however, if he would accept a free ticket to the US, he replied with a quick yes. Meanwhile, his jailed accomplices aren't happy. "They blame me for being caught. They say I'm just a stupid teenager, not a fighter."