Sunday, September 5, 2010

Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, Are they the Scouts Lord Baden Powell Imagined?

The group of Hezbollah al-Mahdi scouts showed what it takes to earn a merit badge in jihad, as they take part in Al-Quds Day celebrations, which included rappelling down the face of an 11-story building near Beirut, Lebanon, according to NY Post
According to the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) at the Center for Special Studies (CSS), the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts were established in 1985 and are operated under the jurisdiction of the Lebanese Ministry of Education despite the movement's instructing tens of thousands of children and teenagers in military tactics and that they are "indoctrinated with the principles of radical Iranian Islam" at summer training camps in Shi'a communities in Beirut, the Beqaa Valley and south Lebanon.

And Hezbollah, the main Lebanese Shia party and armed movement, is among those with its own youth group, the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, some of whose members go on to become fully-fledged Hezbollah fighters.

Dr Bilal Naim, president of the Mahdi Scouts, told Al Jazeera that the group places importance on telling Scouts about the work of the Islamic Resistance, Hezbollah's armed wing.

Sweetness and Light
compares them to the Hitler Youth