A Chelsea-loving British teen held in a Syrian prison for child ISIS fighters claims the terrorist organisation taught him how to use a gun at just eight years old.
Syrian authorities at the hail claim thirteen-year-old Omar*, who lived under the evil ISIS regime in Syria, is a British citizen.
Caged alongside other teens who fought for ISIS, Omar says he grew up in London with his family, who were originally from Pakistan, and he loves Chelsea and McDonald’s.
He told journalist Andrew Drury his family took him to Syria when he was eight years old – but claims his mum, dad, younger sister and two brothers are all dead.
As soon as he arrived, the teen says he was given a gun – which he insists he never used despite other ISIS members wanting him to.
He said: “The first day I go to school they learn me (sic) how to use the weapons.
“And then I tell my mum, I can’t do these kind of things, and then my mum tell me go to second school. And the second school they learn me (sic) like the Quran and this kind of thing.”
Omar is one of scores of children ISIS recruited into ‘Caliphate Cubs’ to further their twisted ideology – in a model that has been compared to the Hitler Youth.
He claims most of the family died in Baghouz, the Syrian city that was all but decimated by airstrikes in the last days of the ISIS Caliphate.
But Omar adds his memory has been affected by the bloodshed he’s witnessed.
“I don’t remember (how old I was when I came here), in Baghouz there was a lot of airstrike, and this kind of thing, and I forgot a lot of things,” he said.
The teen even says he can’t remember his own birthday.
“In London when I was celebrating my birthday, we were eating cake and this kind of thing. But here we can’t do anything,” he said.
Remembering his mum, he says “of course” he misses her.
He said: “She got killed in Baghouz, I never saw her. A lot of people told me she got killed. I have two sisters, one is bigger than me, and one is smaller than me, and I have two brothers.”
He added his older brother was killed in al-Shaddadi and his younger brother died alongside his mum and sister.
Omar added his sister married a man who was an ISIS fighter – who is now also dead.
“He got killed and then the first thing, the people told me you’ve got to come out from Baghouz because it’s not a good place for me,” the teen explained.
“In Baghouz, I see one man he killed himself (by blowing himself up). I saw snipers, there was a lot of these kind of things.”
Now, Omar spends nine hours every day locked up in the Hori Centre Boys Prison in Northern Syria, which is run by Kurdish forces.
But he reminisces about the UK, video games and fast food.
He said: “I want to go (back to) London, London is the best.
“I have PlayStation and Xbox in London. I like Chelsea. Usually, I like Xbox, and these kind of things, but here we can’t do anything because it’s prison.”
Describing his daily routine, he said he’s woken up at 6am to exercise. Then he has breakfast and lunch, before spending the afternoon chatting with his friends behind bars. He estimates he’s been living in the prison for 18 months.
Before he was jailed, Omar says he lived in Raqqa, where he had a house, internet and a car – but he missed McDonald’s food while living there.
The teen was interviewed for film ‘Danger Zone’ – which also features jihadi bride Shamima Begum, who has had her British passport revoked.
Andrew Drury, who interviewed the teens, said: “People have seen Shamima and some of them want her to rot, but what do you want for this little boy? Who was only eight years old when he went out there, should he rot too?
“The female prison officer told me all the children in there have done and seen some very bad things under the ISIS regime, but like Omar most of them weren’t even 10 years old before they were asked to hold an AK-47.”
*Omar’s name has been changed