Saudi jolts wife by taking 10 and 11-year-old boys to fight in Syria

DUBAI Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:42am EDT

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi father gave his ex-wife the shock of her life when he informed her he was taking their 10 and 11 year-old-sons to join Islamist militants in Syria, telling her to count them as "birds in heaven", Saudi-owned media reported.

The pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper said on Tuesday that the unsuspecting mother had been told that her sons, Abdullah and Ahmed, were going on holiday with their father, identified as Nasser al-Shayeq, in a neighboring Gulf Arab country when she saw an Instagram photo of them in Turkey.

Al-Hayat said she telephoned her son to ask about the photo, only to receive a message from her ex-husband, a former Saudi civil servant, to say that he was taking the boys to Syria to join Islamic State, one of the most militant groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

"Count your children as birds in heaven," Shayeq said in his message, according to al-Hayat, suggesting that they may be killed and become young "martyrs".

Fellow Islamic State militants later posted a photo of the father and his two sons crouching in front of Islamic State's black flag, with each boy brandishing an AK-47 rifle in one hand. The father was smiling as one of the boys also held a grenade in his other hand.

Many Saudis have joined foreign Islamist militant groups but another Saudi newspaper, al-Riyadh, said the involvement of children in this case had jolted the Saudi government into action, setting up a hotline with the Turkish government to try to bring the two boys home.

Saudis are among the hundreds of foreign fighters who have joined Islamist militant groups such as Islamic State and al-Nusrah Front in Syria.

Islamic State renamed itself last month after it captured swathes of territory in western Iraq and unified them with territories it holds in eastern Syria.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Susan Fenton)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (9)
JamVee wrote:
Radical Islam is fast approaching a “Tipping Point”, at which, the rest of the Muslim world must, somehow recognize that they are not heroes, but ARE INSANE.

Aug 12, 2014 7:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
No_apartheid wrote:
Saudi Arabia is the financier of world wide terror. They are the kingdom of terror.

Aug 12, 2014 9:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Agnost wrote:
A twisted mister…how sad, it seems that the Greeks verb for religion is appropriate.

Aug 12, 2014 10:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures