One of the most remarkable archive sequences we came across while researching the Age of Terror programme, features a seven-year-old Algerian boy called Abdelkahar Belhadj. He is seen addressing a political rally of thousands in 1991 with all the confidence and fire of a mature adult.
"There are a billion Muslims and we don't have a state that rules by God's Holy Law. Isn't that a dishonour and a shame on us?" he proclaims in the voice of a child.
He is cheered ecstatically and lifted on high. It was revelatory to hear the philosophy of jihad - the struggle to overthrow infidel regimes and replace them with Islamic states under Sharia law - emerging from the lips of one so young.
In 2007, 16 years later, we watched another clip, a propaganda video announcing the launch of al-Qaeda in North Africa featuring non other than Abdelkahar Belhadj, now a fully-fledged jihadi.
Tags: Algeria, France, Terrorism, Radical islam, Alqaeda, militants, jihad, terror, war on terror, air france, GIA, north africa, Paris plot, Fundamentalist islam, BBC, documentary
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