Bottom of the Barrel
How desperate is al Qaeda-Iraq? You tell me:
As al Qaeda suffered greater and greater losses in Iraq, recruiting became a serious problem. In desperation, leaders were ordered to recruit whoever they could. This meant more women and more teenage males. Normally, al Qaeda does not like to employ adolescents. They are too inexperienced and unreliable. That combination gets everyone in trouble, and adult al Qaeda do not like to work with kids. But earlier this year, al Qaeda found that fewer and fewer adults were willing to join up. This was largely due to U.S. troops capturing several key al Qaeda leaders, and lots of membership records. Too many al Qaeda members were being arrested or killed, and recruiting became very difficult. So kids were hired for a lot of simple jobs, like placing roadside bombs, or guard duty. Turned out that these kids were more likely to run away, or just surrender, if confronted with Iraqi or American troops. As a result of that, nearly half the al Qaeda under arrest (950 of 2,000) are under 18.
But I thought going into Iraq was just going to make more, hardened, veteran terrorist to come terrorize us here at home!
UPDATE: Then again, don't get cocky.