« | »

Hezbollah Has Own Hitler Youth “Boy Scouts”

From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies at Intelligence.org

Scouts wearing uniforms and carrying rifles (apparently plastic) and marching on Israeli and American flags in a Jerusalem Day parade

Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement

September 11, 2006

Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement, “The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts,” has tens of thousands of members. According to captured documents, they are indoctrinated with the principles of radical Iranian Islam. That indoctrination includes the personality cult of Iranian leader ‘Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah’s “battle legacy;” national Lebanese symbols are minimized.


* The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts are a Hezbollah youth movement which was established in May 1985, after the IDF withdrew from the security zone in south Lebanon. It has branches in the Shi’ite communities of Beirut, the Beqa’a Valley and south Lebanon. It received a permit for its activities from the Lebanese ministry of education in September 1992, seven years after its founding, and today they associated with the Federation of Lebanese Scouts. There are approximately 42,000 male and female Imam al-Mahdi scouts between the ages of 8-16 organized into 499 groups.

The emblem of the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts. The fleur-de-lis is the international scout emblem, however, every scouting organization adds its own elements. In this case the additions are two swords and a hand raised as if taking an oath. The inscription under the emblem reads, “Obey!” The clearly implied messages are militarism, belligerence, obedience and commitment.

* The objective of the Hezbollah scout movement, as stated in its 2006 calendar, is to prepare an Islamic generation according to the Iman Khomeini’s perception of “Wilayat al-faqih.” Hezbollah established the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts to attract Shi’ite children and adolescents, to influence their hearts and minds and to prepare new generations of youth indoctrinated with radical Shi’ite Islam, which propounds the idea of the return of the Mahdi as one of Hezbollah’s central principles. Hezbollah wants to create a new generation of operatives for its own ranks who will take part in its violent campaign against Israel. Furthermore the issue is part of the competition between Hezbollah and the secular Amal movement for control of the Shi’ites.

The Iranian aspect

* Since Hezbollah was founded, the Iranians have participated in directing its ideology and in spreading religious Shi’ite culture among the Shi’ites in Lebanon in general and Hezbollah in particular. Hezbollah did not create a culture of its own, but rather imported that of Iran along with the principles of the Iranian Islamic revolution. Farsi, the language spoken in Iran, was not an obstacle and Iranian cultural and religious products have been translated into Arabic in Lebanon.

* Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who have accompanied Hezbollah since its founding, have played a central role in its activity and in recruiting youths into its ranks. By the second half of the 1980s they had already organized camps for school children who were brought to the Beqa’a Valley from south Lebanon and Beirut and who received military training and cultural and religious instruction during the summer vacation.

* Twenty years later, during the second Lebanon War, a great deal of Imam al-Mahdi Scouts material was found illustrating how members of Hezbollah’s youth movement had been indoctrinated with the principles of the Iranian Islamic revolution and the personality cult of ‘Ali Khamenei, and how the Shi’ite community in Lebanon had been indoctrinated through them.

Basic military training in the summer camps

* Most Imam al-Mahdi Scouts activity is social (games, competition, trips, sports, summer camps) and doctrinaire (inculcating Hezbollah and Islamic revolution principles). In addition, there are camps where the participants learn the basic use of arms along with physical training and marching exercises while dressed in scout uniforms or camouflage suits.

* An investigative report published on August 8, 2006 in the Egyptian daily Ruz al-Yusuf stated that “Hezbollah has always recruited adolescents and children and trained them for fighting from a very young age. [They are] children who are younger than 10 years of age, who wear camouflage suits, paint their faces black, swear an oath to jihad and belong to the al-Madhi Scouts, which is an association linked to Hezbollah.”

An Imam al-Mahdi Scouts camp. One youth is holding a yellow (apparently Hezbollah) flag while another holds the scout flag. At the right there is a poster bearing the name of ‘Abbas Mussawi, the Hezbollah leader killed by the IDF in 1992.

* The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts create the link to Hezbollah at an early age. When the children reach 17 they find their way into the organization’s fighting ranks, and there are even those who were killed during the confrontation with Israel. For example, Hassan Qassem Hamid, the head of the Hezbollah scout branch in the village of Bint Jbeil, was killed along with his brother during a terrorist attack; Adhem Hazimeh, a Hezbollah operative killed in 1995 in an attack on the Sujud post, was also head of a Hezbollah scout branch.

* According to information appearing on the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts calendar, more than 120 of the movement’s members died as shadeeds in Hezbollah actions, including suicide bombers (istishhadiyyun)

Including scouts in Hezbollah activities

* Hezbollah customarily includes Imam al-Mahdi Scouts in its activities and Shi’ite events, for example: Participation in events: Youths wearing uniforms and carrying weapons take part in various ceremonies and events on Islamic and Iranian holidays and festival days or those related to Iran and the Palestinians, such as the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Hezbollah memorial days, days commemorating the outbreak of the second (Al-Aqsa) intifada or Jerusalem day.

At the end of the second Lebanon war youngsters were included in Hezbollah’s efforts to convince the population that it had won the war. They distributed candy to the refugees returning to Beirut and congratulated them on the “victory.”

* Issuing many publications (magazines, booklets, calendars, Internet postings) as to market the ideology of Hezbollah and Iran ’s Islamic revolution. To that end there is a mobile library which travels between the Shi’ite villages and lends parents publications for children and adolescents up to the age of 16.

The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts calendar is a particularly effective marketing device, and there is a series of booklets with titles such as “ Sharon the Evil One,” “The Story of Sayid ‘Abbas Mussawi, the Greatest Shadeed of the Islamic Resistance,” “ The Jihad Youths ” and others…

The personality cult of the Iranian “leader,” Ali Khamenei

* During the second Lebanon war, a booklet entitled “My Leader” was captured from Hezbollah operatives in the village of Yarun and in others. It was distributed by the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts and contained biographical information about the Iranian “commander-leader” Khamenei. He is represented as admirable, worthy of emulation, and as an example of a devoted jihad fighter who contributed much to the Islamic revolution.

The cover of “My Leader,” with a picture of ‘Ali Khamenei (right) and the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini in profile (upper left). The upper text reads, “The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts” and the lower, “Selected passages from the biography of the commander, the highest source of [Shi’ite Islamic] authority, the imam Khamenei, may Allah grant him long life.” The emblem of the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts appears in the lower right corner.

* According to the booklet’s introduction, “These are the words of the succinct summary and glorious milestones in the life of the commander-leader Khamenei, which we have quoted from the book “The Authority of the Commander-Imam”…[in order] to present them to you, our brother jihad warrior who holds fast to the path of Allah. For jihad warriors are the most worthy of having [the qualities of] their commander-leader and master [i.e., Khamenei] revealed to them . Therefore, we invite you, dear reader, to examine this booklet, and to keep it so that you may reread it and study its message whenever you choose.” …

There is a lot more at the link.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 13th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Hezbollah Has Own Hitler Youth “Boy Scouts””

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »