Radicalised Muslim women from the West are raising their children to fight in a jihad or "holy war" with the Islamic State.
According to the Al-Monitor, the number of women who travelled to Syria and Iraq with their children increased after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formally declared the creation of the Islamic State in June last year.
Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, an activist within the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, told Al-Monitor that these women actively encourage their children to take up arms with ISIS in a sustained campaign against its opponents, including the West.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently is an organisation of citizens in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. Its members work undercover to expose the atrocities of the Islamic State in the city.
"Their parents want them to fight to protect the caliphate in the future. IS doesn't think about five or 10 years from now; IS is preparing to fight almost the entire world, the West included, for generations," Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi explained.
Raqqawi also revealed that, upon arrival to ISIS territory, male children over the age of 7 are sent to indoctrination camps where they receive indoctrination in their interpretation of Islamic teachings in addition to military training. The militants also pick children to "deliver food and medicine, fill the weapons depots and prepare bombs."
At the age of 16, the activist said, ISIS sends the children to battle as fighters.
The Al-Monitor reports that ISIS has opened up schools for boys to study the Arabic language and Muslim Sharia law.
Marion van San, a researcher focusing on radicalisation and Western jihadists at Erasmus University, told the Al-Monitor that these Westerners who join the Islamic State believe that they are giving their children a better life.
"Western jihadists believe that their children are better off in IS, because in Syria or Iraq they are not influenced by 'nonbelievers,'" Van San said.