Boy, 12, Beheads Man In Al Qaeda Video

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CBS/AP
This story was written by CBS News producer Farhan Bokhari based in Islamabad, Pakistan, for CBSNews.com.

Amid cries of 'Allah o Akbar' (god is great), a young boy, barely 12 years old, lifts his machete and strikes at his victim who is lying on the ground, all tied up for the kill.

Waving a 'V' for victory sign with his right hand, the boy picks up the severed head and shows it around to the chants of applause from an audience gathered in a remote part of the region straddling the mountainous range which divides Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The performance in this chilling episode which may simply shock most people around the world, is the case of militant justice meted out to supposed traitors. It involves Al Qaeda and the Taliban slapping exemplary punishment to an individual suspected to be a spy for the government.

"This (boy) is a killing machine who has been indoctrinated from age nine and prepared for his act by the time he is 12" says a Pakistani intelligence official who showed the video clip to CBS News as just one piece of evidence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban training young boys to become accomplished killers, even before they become teen-agers.

This video has been captured by Pakistan's military troops during their operations in the country's semi autonomous tribal areas, as they went from village to village, searching for militant sanctuaries.

In the village of Spinkai-Roghzai where a group of journalists including CBS News were taken by Pakistan's military on Sunday in the Waziristan tribal region, officials showed debris of what is described as a suicide training 'nursery'. Under a pile of bricks lay the remains of an oil extracting factory which was a cover for training young boys to become ideologically charged up.

"There is no harm in taking 'jehad' (holy war) for the right cause" read the sign board in a training class, documented in yet another Pakistani intelligence video, secretly captured ahead of the operation, through the use of hidden cameras inserted around the front compound of the school. A teacher, who wrapped himself up to his face with a piece of cloth, pointed towards a list of "recommendations for students" while surrounded by teenagers, urging them to embrace virtues such as "accept the way forward through sacrifice" and "accept that laying down your life for the right cause is not a waste".

By Farhan Bokhari