FJA Shortlist 2021
Category: Outstanding Investigative Reporting
Authors: Rukaia Alabadi (Syria), Fatima Al Othman (Lebanon)
The Mahdi Scouts: A Chronicle of Child Recruitment into Iranian Militias
Daraj - May 6, 2021
The original publication is available via the following link: https://daraj.com/en/71879/
This investigation reveals children were trained in weapon use in Iranian camps in Syria and Lebanon under the banner of the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, which serves as a bridge to militias affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Rokayya Al Abadi (Syria) – Fatima Othman (Lebanon)
This report investigates the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts through exclusive interviews with young scouts, their families, teachers, and scout leaders. The youngsters not only gain strength by joining the Mahdi Scouts, but also evade Syria’s two-year mandatory military service.
So, what are the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts? And what role do they play in supplying Iranian-backed militias in Syria with fighters?