What It's Like To Live Under ISIS Control In Afghanistan

Photo: Courtesy of FRONTLINE, “ISIS in Afghanistan."
About two dozen girls and boys file into the classroom and sit cross-legged on the floor facing a small whiteboard, attention focused on their teacher as the day's lesson begins.

The teacher holds up a Kalashnikov rifle and calls on a boy named Daud.

"Why do we use this?"

"To defend the faith," the young student responds.

"Whose heads will we hit with this?"

"Infidels."

A similar exchange follows on the topics of grenades and handguns. Later, the children take turns learning to shoot. The subject of the lesson? Struggle, or armed jihad, on behalf of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The disturbing scene was captured by a journalist with PBS' Frontline, who for the first time went inside the ISIS-controlled territory in Afghanistan to better understand the violent terror network.
Photo: Courtesy of FRONTLINE, “ISIS in Afghanistan."
A teacher shows children how to use a gun as part of a lesson at an ISIS-run school in Afghanistan.
While ISIS' expansion in Iraq and Syria has made international headlines, Frontline found the group is gaining ground in Afghanistan. In addition to marrying local women and collecting taxes, ISIS is running schools to educate children as young as 3 years old in its controlled territories there.

Reporter Najibullah Quraishi put his own life on the line to better understand how the group that has claimed responsibility for bloodshed around the world, including the attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger plane, exerts its power and trains its members.

"They are completely different than the Taliban," Quraishi says in the piece. "They are not after one country or one place or one district. Their aim is to have their group, to have their network all over the world."

Getting the story took eight months and incredible personal risk for the married father, who has covered intense and dangerous subjects, such as the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the local child slavery practice known as bacha bazi. Quraishi, who lives in London, was not immediately available for an interview with Refinery29. But he told Poynter's Al Tompkins that despite the threat, he felt a need to better understand what he called "the most dangerous people I have ever seen.”

He told Poynter that watching the children learning jihad was "shocking" and "the most horrible moment I felt ever in my journalism life.”

"I cannot see any bright future for Afghanistan," he said.

The full segment, ISIS in Afghanistan, aired on PBS on Tuesday. It is available on the Frontline YouTube page here.

More from Global News

In case you had gone too long without remembering that women are unreasonably punished for not being amenable and interested in men at all times, here's an...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be everyone's favorite woke bae, but there's a tiny royal who was not exactly impressed by him last weekend. ...
A ruling last month by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iranian women could not ride bicycles because it "attracts the attention of men and exposes the ...
I want to continue to support female activists, and hope that by starting with a small, singular task like refusing straws, I can encourage each one of you...
“It’s a special school for me because I was a student there. But I don’t think I can see a way back there now,” she said
For many refugees, the struggle to survive doesn't end after fleeing war-torn Syria. With the help of 17-year-old Khaldeya, we're taking you straight to ...
Here's your daily cry: A little boy from New York is inviting a Syrian child his age to come and live with him in safety. “We will give him a family, and ...
(Paid Content) 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. How many thousands of studies will have to be published before everyone is on board ...
Natasha Maimba, 14, and Minahil Sarfraz, 15, do a lot of the same things any teen girls do. Maimba plays the guitar. Sarfraz likes to mug for the camera...
Emma Watson addressed the U.N. General Assembly again Tuesday, delivering a powerful speech calling for the reform of campus sexual assault policies. ...
Michelle Obama appeared at one of Broadway's landmark theaters Monday, taking the stage along with some of the industry's biggest stars. No, FLOTUS isn...
International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her client Nadia Murad are teaming up to sue ISIS. Murad, a Yazidi woman who says she prayed for death ...
Kim Kardashian blasted deniers of the Armenian genocide in a full-page ad in Saturday's New York Times. Kardashian has been a passionate advocate for ...
France just found a new way to reduce pollution. The Associated Press reports that with a controversial new measure, France just became the first ...