ISIS Has Never Released An Execution Video Outside Syria And Iraq, Until Now

WARNING: This story contains graphic content!

Cover image via Credit Hassan Ammar/AP

In its latest act of terror, described by The Guardian as hateful and sectarian as that employed against Shia Muslims and the western journalists and aid workers beheaded by ISIS, the Islamic extremist group has now turned to Arab Christians

A man mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with ISIS, inside the Virgin Mary Church in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers south of Cairo, Egypt on 16 February 2015.

Image via Hassan Ammar/AP

The Islamic State have reportedly beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya as shown in a video posted online, purportedly showing the beheading of the captives on a beach

Image via

The highly edited video, just like its previous videos, entitled "A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross," opens with the men in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach purportedly on the Mediterranean by men in black with masks

Image via
Image via

According to BuzzFeed News, the location is said to be near Tripoli, Libya, making it the first video in which ISIS apparently carried out an execution outside of the territory the militant group seized in Iraq and Syria.

The New York Times details the video as:

"About five minutes long, the video bears the logo of Al Hayat, the Islamic State’s media arm. Unlike the cellphone videos usually made by Libyan militants, it is as polished as previous Islamic State videos, with slow motion, aerial footage and the quick cuts of a music video. The only sound in much of the background is the lapping of waves.

The captives are made to kneel in the sand. Then they are simultaneously beheaded with the theatrical brutality that has become the trademark of Islamic State extremists. There was no indication in the video about when the beheadings took place."

Implying that they are taking revenge for the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden by American commandos and his burial at sea, a masked man holding a knife says the group is "chopping off the heads of those that have been carrying the cross illusion"

“Oh, people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time,” he said, using Arabic terms for places in and around Syria. “Today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.”

He implies that they are taking revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos and his burial at sea, saying, “The sea you’ve hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”

One subtitle adds that the killing is also retaliation for a sectarian dispute that flared in Egypt five years ago over a Coptic Christian woman, Camilia Shehata, the wife of a Coptic Christian priest. She disappeared for a time, and many Muslims believe she tried to convert to Islam, only to be kidnapped by her husband and members of the church. Ms. Shehata briefly became a cause célèbre among Islamist militants, before the Arab Spring eclipsed such skirmishes.

"This filthy blood is just some of what awaits you," a caption declares, as blood from the beheaded Egyptian Coptic Christian prisoners darkens the waves

The names of the slain Christians were released by the Coptic Church's Bishop Anba Ermia on Twitter, and translated into English by D.C.-based lawyer Mai El-Sadany

A man in southern Egypt is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by militants affiliated with ISIS on 16 February 2015

Image via Hassan Ammar/AP

At a sob filled Mass in Southern Egypt, male relatives of the beheaded grieved and some demanded vengeance a day after ISIS released the video showing the decapitation of 21 Copts, who were kidnapped in war-torn Libya in January

“My son left for Libya 40 days ago after finishing his military service,” Boshra, a civil servant in his 50s, said of his 22-year-old son Kirollos.

“He went to earn money so he could get married,” he added before breaking down. “He left to marry heaven where he’ll meet Christ,” Boshra sobbed.

Black-clad women relatives, their hair covered, wailed as they mourned in a nearby house off a dusty narrow street of small adobe and red brick buildings

In response to the mass beheading, Egyptian warplanes carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets, "achieving its goal and safely returning to its bases," said Egyptian Army

Egypt says it has bombed Islamic State targets in Libya, hours after the militants released video of apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians.

State TV said the dawn strikes had targeted camps, training sites and weapons storage areas. A second wave of strikes was reported hours later.

Libyan officials said Egypt hit targets in the militant-held city of Derna. The strikes came amid widespread condemnation of the killings. The US and UN described them as "cowardly".

According to The BBC, Egypt did not give the locations of the air strikes, but a spokesman for Libya's internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said that Egyptian jets had taken part in co-ordinated air strikes on Derna

An image taken from a state-run television channel Al-Masriya broadcast after Egypt conducted airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday.

Image via

"Eight strikes have been conducted so far [in Derna]. The plan is to target all IS locations in the country wherever they are," said Mohamed Azazza.

Libyan air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi said the Egyptian strikes had been co-ordinated with Mr Thinni's government, and that his planes had also carried out strikes.

Between 40 and 50 people had been killed, he added.

Several hours later, the AP news agency quoted unnamed security officials as saying that Egyptian warplanes had again struck Derna.

Meanwhile, the mass beheadings of Egyptian Christians have thrown a spotlight on the threat ISIS pose beyond their heartland in Syria and Iraq, where they have established an Islamic State. VICE was able to get open access to the ISIS' inner workings, revealing plans and lives of people in the Islamic State.

This mass beheading, claims The Guardian, will horrify Egyptian and wider Arab and Muslim opinion. ISIS is making a deliberate effort to advertise its reach to add to the growing chaos in Libya.

It has already declared three parts of Libya to be provinces (wilayat in Arabic) under its control – and the subtitles that accompanied the film of the beheadings identified the beachside location as the “the province of Tripoli” – somewhere in the region of the country’s capital, probably Sirte, where the Egyptians were taken hostage. Mention of Rome, twice, seemed to be a mocking taunt to Europeans.

Last month, Isis mounted a suicide bombing attack on the best hotel in Tripoli, an operation that killed nine and again seemed designed to dramatically signal its menacing presence far from the “emirate” of Derna in the east, where black flags have been flying since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 uprising.

The growth of Isis in Libya is a symptom of the country’s violence, lawlessness and misrule four years after the 17 February revolution. It currently has two rival governments and prime ministers and an array of uncontrollable armed militias that are more powerful than any central authority. As in Syria, extremism thrives in a vacuum.

Earlier in January 2015, ISIS released a brand new propaganda video, titled "Uncovering The Enemy Within," purporting to show a child executing two men identified as Russian "spies"

You may be interested in: