Youth At Houthi Ansar Allah Movement Summer Camp: We Learned How To Be Jihadi Fighters, Israel Is A Cancerous Tumor

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June 30, 2022

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As it does every year, this summer as well the Houthi Ansar Allah movement held its traditional summer camps for the participants in its youth movement, and like last year, its slogan this summer was "Knowledge and Jihad." The camps, which were provided between May 24 and June 27, 2022, were held in thousands of mosques and schools in all the territories under the movement's control in Yemen. According to the Houthis, tens of thousands of boys and girls from elementary through high school participated in gender-segregated camps.[1] The activities engaged in at these camps were documented in numerous articles and videos which were disseminated via every Houthi means of communication.

In a speech he made in advance of the opening of the summer camps, Houthi Ansar Allah movement leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi warned of "the efforts invested by the enemies through the press and social media to distort the facts and lead people to doubt their 'righteous' position." He urged parents to send their children to the summer camps because, he contended, they require, "correct knowledge, awareness, and understanding" of the situation. He stressed that this is "the most important thing that you can grant your children, even more [important] than food and drink." The leader also called on those who hold positions in the government ministries and the governorates and districts to work together to ensure the success of the summer camps.[2]

Summer Camp Curriculum: Religious Studies and Fostering Hatred of the U.S. and Israel

Activities at the summer camps included lessons in religion and religious law; memorization and recitation of the Quran; sports activities including football championships and martial arts; drills in order and discipline; and outings and visits to the graves of the movement's martyrs. Campers were required to declaim the movement's slogan, "Death to America, Death to Israel, Cursed be the Jews, Victory to Islam," and to learn about the "enemies." In addition, numerous ceremonies were held which stressed hatred of the U.S. and of Israel.

The above image from a class held at one of the summer camps shows the phrase, "American is the Great Satan" (Source: Telegram.me/nfoscyemen, June 5, 2022).

The above image from a ceremony held at one of the summer camps shows posters bearing slogans which read: "Boycott American and Israeli Products," and "Death to America, Death to Israel" (Source: YemenEduTV, June 17)

The above image depicts an outing at one of the summer camps to visit the graves of Ansar Allah martyrs (Source: masirahtv.net, June 16)

A report from an anti-Houthi website contends that one of the activities at the camps was building models of rockets out of paper.[3]

During Ceremonies to Mark the Conclusion of the Summer Camps, Children Declare: We are coming to Jerusalem

In many videos which document the ceremonies held at the conclusion of the summer camps, which were widely disseminated on Ansar Allah movement media, the campers are shown asserting that at camp they learned how to be jihadi fighters; and that the enemies of the Islamic nation are the Jews and the Christians, and America and Israel.[4] One of the campers says, "Israel is a cancerous tumor in the body of the nation that must be cut out." Another young camper declares, "Our message to Jerusalem is that we are with them, in mind and in property, and that we are coming to Jerusalem, if Allah wills it." Yet another boy states that, "We learned that faith in Allah and trust in Him is the key to victory over America and Israel." Several of the children particularly emphasized the topic of jihad and said, "We learned about heroism, about strength and about jihad… We learned about Allah and jihad for His sake… We learned about jihad and about steadfastness during difficulties for the sake of Allah… We say to our leaders: we are your soldiers, we are your heroes."

During many of the camp ceremonies the campers burned and stomped on American and Israeli flags,[5] and carried placards which read: "Death to America, Death to Israel, Cursed be the Jews, Victory to Islam," and "Boycott American and Israeli products."[6]

Senior Ansar Allah Officials: The Summer Camps are a Barrier against Zionist-American Plans to Corrupt the Nation

In accordance with the instructions of their leader, senior officials in the Ansar Allah movement and in the governorates and districts that it controls visited the summer camps and attended their closing ceremonies, where they stressed the importance of building the campers' [Islamic] consciousness. For example, at the closing ceremony for a summer camp held in San'a', several senior movement officials spoke and asserted the importance of the camps to build the next generation of the movement and to immunize it against the damaging influences of the enemies of the movement.[7]

In a speech he delivered at one of the summer camps, Husain Hazeb, the Houthi Minister for Higher Education, asserted that, "The next generation is returning to its religious, Yemeni identity, which almost set in the skies of Yemen due to external interference;" Deputy Minister of Endowments and Guidance Fu'ad Naji, declared that the next generation in Yemen "is saturated in Quranic culture," which trains it to cope with "the cultural invasion directed against it;" the Minister of Youth and Sports, Muhammad Husein Al-Muaidi, stressed the importance of the summer camps to combat "the Zionist-American projects which attempt to corrupt the nation and to damage its identity."[8]

Yemeni Government: The Houthis Exploit the Summer Camps to Recruit Fighters

It should be noted that these annual summer camps are part of the process to indoctrinate children in the areas under Ansar Allah control,[9] and also in the past they have held activities which encourage jihad and martyrdom, as well as hatred of the U.S. and Israel.[10] Opponents of the movement both within and outside Yemen claim that the Houthis use the summer camps to recruit operatives to their ranks.

This year, Mo'ammar Al-Eryani, Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, addressed the international community about this issue with an urgent request to take a clear stand regarding the phenomenon.[11] He shared a video on his Twitter account which shows children engaged in what appears to be military training and tweeted in Arabic and in English, "A shocking scene in camps of terrorist Houthi militia affiliated with Iran to lure, &recruit children under 10 under pretext of 'summer centers'… Houthi militia escalates child recruitment & pushing them to frontlines in light of a surprising &unjustified Intl silence… International community, UN, UN &US envoys are required to take clear positions on Houthi terrorist militia’s child recruitment."

 

 

 

[1] Telegram, May 28, May 25, 2022; and May 20, 2022.

[2] Ansarollah.com, May 10, 2022.

[3] Twitter, June 10, 2022.

[4] Masirahtv.net, June 20, 2022.

[5] Almasirah.net.ye, June 26, 2022.

[6] Masirahtv.net, June 25, 2022.

[7] Masirahtv.net, June 27, 2022.

[8] Telegram, June 27, 2022.

[11] Twitter, June 18, 2022.


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