February 10, 2007

Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement

From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

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.

Photo of Hezbollah scouts wearing uniforms and carrying plastic rifles in a parade on the anniversary of the outbreak of the second (Al-Aqsa) intifada (Mohamed Azakir/Reuters, eptember 27, 2002)

Photo of Children [belonging to the Hezbollah scout movement] in a parade in Beirut commemorating “ Jerusalem Day.” Next to them is a [Hezbollah] instructor wearing a camouflage suit (Jemal Sayidi/Reuters, November 2003.

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.
Click here for more information on Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement.