What Happens to ISIS Babies When Their Parents Die

Home countries often won't take children back, so they end up in limbo or in prisons
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 21, 2017 11:02 AM CDT
What Happens to ISIS Babies When Their Parents Die
In this photo from Wednesday in Tripoli, Libya, 2-year-old Tamim Jaboudi awaits a Tunisian government delegation that was turned away after trying to bring him home from a Libyan prison. The boy's parents, both Tunisians who left home to join ISIS, died in an American airstrike in February 2016.   (Uncredited)

Hundreds of children fathered by the Islamic State's foreign fighters or brought to the self-proclaimed caliphate by their parents are now imprisoned or in limbo with nowhere to go, collateral victims as the militant group retreats and home countries hesitate to take them back. One young Tunisian orphan, Tamim Jaboudi, has been in a prison in Tripoli, Libya, for well over a year, the AP reports. He passed his second birthday behind bars and is nearing another, turning 3 on April 30. His parents, both Tunisians who left home to join ISIS, died in American airstrikes in Libya in February 2016, according to the child's grandfather, who is trying to win the child's return. "What is this young child's sin that he is in jail with criminals?" he asks.

Tamim now lives among two dozen Tunisian women and their children in Tripoli's Mitiga prison, raised by a woman who herself willingly joined ISIS. Last week, an unofficial Tunisian delegation went to negotiate for the children, only to be turned back by the Libyans because it did not get permission prior to the visit; a Wednesday visit was cancelled, too. Although ISIS says women have no role as fighters, France in particular has detained women returnees and some adolescent boys who it believes pose a danger. Young children often go into foster care. While it is unclear how many children were born in ISIS territory in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, a snapshot of the group at its height showed as many as 31,000 women were pregnant at any given moment (More ISIS stories.)

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