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
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)

(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.

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Apr 21, 2009 8:59 AM CDT
"Specially trained to avoid detection." Thankfully not trained well enough.
Apr 21, 2009 6:55 AM CDT
Parents who lose children should be allowed whatever delusion they can get to deal with the trauma. Of course, most know it's not real but it helps, anyway.
Apr 21, 2009 3:37 AM CDT
I think the bird of paradise legend is sweet, and also think most understand it as a myth, not dogma. Why does that specially bother you?