Islamic State Executes 10 Christian Hostages in 'Revenge' Killings

The Islamic State group’s African arm has reportedly executed 10 Christian hostages this week.

According to the Daily Mail, news of the event broke Wednesday when a local news outlet reported the Islamic State in West Africa Province had released video of the killings through its web-based propaganda network.

Multiple outlets now report the video, which contains Arabic subtitles and no audio, shows 11 Islamic State group terrorists in beige jumpsuits and black face masks beheading 10 male hostages and shooting an 11th.

There has been no shortage of speculation as to the exact date of the killings — clearly meant to correspond with seasonal Christian celebrations of Jesus Christ’s birth — but an official United Nations statement regarding the incident, dated Dec. 24, seemed to suggest they were carried out on Christmas Eve.

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ISWAP has since revealed in an official statement that the killings were meant to serve as “revenge” for two October U.S. military operations that resulted in the elimination of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and potential successor Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in the Middle East.

According to Reuters, the organization had previously released video of the 11 hostages alongside two others, begging the nation’s President Muhammadu Buhari and the Christian Association of Nigeria to negotiate their release.

Three of the 13 captives were Muslims, the Daily Mail reported — and the two not seen in Wednesday’s graphic footage are said to have been spared.

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The deceased were all taken from the Northwestern Nigerian province of Borno, where outlets report the Islamic State group’s African arm has, alongside Boko Haram, stepped up its presence over the past decade.

Together, the radical Islamist groups have killed more than 30,000 people in a separatist effort to establish a new Muslim state in the region.

The past year has seen many Western political and military leaders declare victory over the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, the group’s major strongholds reclaimed and is territorial caliphate destroyed.

With thousands of the group’s members and sympathizers indefinitely imprisoned in the region until the international community can decide what to do with them, however, Western and local enemies of radical Islam have struggled to stamp out the group’s ideology — which is still spreading.

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Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He has since covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal, and now focuses his reporting on Congress and the national campaign trail. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.