ISIS Photo Series ‘Day of Retribution’ Highlights Undercover Police Massacre

AP Photo
AP Photo

In a series of photos released this week depicting their victims tied up and displayed in a row before being killed, Islamic State terrorists can be seen torturing and killing men described as Iraqi police. The police had allegedly infiltrated the group and relayed information to Iraqi authorities that served to aid the United States and coalition forces in airstrikes against the group.

The Daily Mail reports that the photos have been released under the title “Day of Judgment” (the UK Independent translated this as “Day of Retribution”) and feature eight men who are described to have joined the Islamic State as jihadists, but only to later inform upon the terrorist group’s activities to the Iraqi government. Some of them are named, and it is believed that they were working as an intelligence ring for the Iraqi government. Their leader is identified as “Captain Hossam Salah Bnosh.” All are identified as Shi’ites that had converted to Sunni Islam in order to “join” the Islamic State, as well.

The men are paraded in orange jumpsuits, blindfolded, and brought to the banks of a river the Daily Mail suggests is the Eurphrates. Each is shot in the head once. The photo collection also includes shots of a group of Islamic State jihadists aiming their guns at a camera, and the presence of microphones suggests that the terrorists recorded video of the execution to be released in the future.

While the photos were first reported by the Daily Mailthe Independent notes that the photos had been circulating among ISIS supporters on Twitter for several days. Charlie Winter, a researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, tells the newspaper that the Islamic State has previously released photo stills from videos to build anticipation among their supporters for the video release, and that these images appear to be attached to a video production.

The photos in the tweets show some of the men blindfolded and with guns to the backs of their heads. In this one, translated by the International Business Times, the author writes: “We got rid of a network of Shiites working for the Safavid government (and they were cringing and repenting)”:

#الدولة_الإسلامية#ولاية_صلاح_الدين تصفية شبكة من المرتدين يعملون لصالح الحكومة الصفوية وكانوا قد تابوا ثم ارتدوا

— صُـهَـيـب (@sohaiby1) January 5, 2015

Islamic State jihadists refer to the Iraqi government as the “Safavids” after the Safavid Empire, a medieval Shi’ite state centered in Iran.

The Islamic State’s media wing, the Al Hayat Media Center, has been especially active at the beginning of the year. The group’s most recent production is a video released this week starring British hostage John Cantlie in which he serves as host of a tour of what he claims is Mosul, attempting to advertise the Islamic State as a just and efficient state. “It’s not a city living in fear as Western media would have you believe,” he argues, but “just a normal city going about it’s daily business.” In reality, the Islamic State’s mismanagement of the nation’s second-largest city has created extreme hygienic difficulties and limited access to clean water, triggering the spread of disease, in addition to the daily panic experienced by residents terrorized by Islamic State “morality police.”