Iraq Busts Baby Suicide Bombers

Security forces swoop on cell of al-Qaeda-groomed kids

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 21, 2009 8:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Iraqi security forces say they have smashed a cell of kids recruited to become al-Qaeda suicide bombers, the Times of London reports. Military officials have arrested four children under the age of 14 they believe were preparing to carry out attacks in the northern city of Kirkuk and had been specially trained to avoid detection.

"The group relies on children and is connected to al-Qaeda," an Iraqi commander said. "It works to recruit children and young people to carry out suicide attacks and to aid the terrorist groups in detonating roadside bombs.” The group was called the "Birds of Paradise," apparently because of the Islamic belief that children become birds of paradise when they die.

An Iraqi boy rides a bicycle though the market in central Kirkuk. Tensions between rival Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen remain high in the city.   (AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed)
Schoolboys negotiate pools of fetid water and raw sewage on their way to class in the Dora neighborhood Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, April 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Loay Hameed)
A US Army soldier stands at the site of a bombing in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emad Matti)
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