New footage of a gruesome public beheading in a town square of al-Shadadi, a northern Syrian town controlled by the Islamic State, has hit the Internet. A man, whose crime is unknown, is seen pleading for his life to a crowd of dozens of onlookers before an Islamic State executioner severs his head to shouts of “Allahu Akbar!”
Apparently, Islamic State videographers shot the video on Monday. It clearly shows the man tied up on the ground, but not blindfolded, which is typical of the execution videos the terrorist group releases. Four men hold the man down before an executioner ends his life with one slash of his sword. Onlookers watch the scene, but no one responds to the man’s pleas.
The Daily Mail has published the video, available below (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES):
The Daily Mail notes that al-Shadadi is a town of 25,000, which has been ruled under extreme Sharia law for two years.
While no official explanation of the man’s crime has surfaced, the UK Independent notes that, in the video, the killers claim the man is guilty of “insulting Allah.” Nothing more is specified; whether this is a crime of blasphemy or actions which insult the Allah of the Islamic State remains unknown.
The Independent adds that Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a non-governmental group that focuses on exposing human rights abuses in that nation, confirmed that the footage “appeared to be genuine.” The group also translated some of the man’s last words: “I won’t forgive you, I am not the one who did it.”
Observers have noted that the Islamic State has increased the number of media releases highlighting specific executions across the territories that it has conquered, perhaps to sell itself better to potential jihadists as a true state with a makeshift judiciary. Most recently, Islamic State sympathizers posted a series of photos on the website JustPaste.it showing multiple public executions in Mosul. Several of the photos are of the execution of a man for “sodomy” who was thrown off a cliff in the Iraqi city. One photo shows the man falling in mid-air. Two men are also shown crucified, allegedly for “banditry,” and a woman is seen being stoned for what the jihadists allege was the crime of adultery.
Reports have also surfaced of a number of executions that have been conducted, but not for publicity. In Mosul, ten doctors were reportedly killed this week in the city’s hospital for refusing to treat wounded jihadists returning from assaults across Iraq. The Islamic State is also targeting women in particular who have an education or previously held public positions.