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.
Islamic State BEHEADS 11 Christians In New VIDEO, “Message To Christians All Over The World”: ‘I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks.'(Quran 8:12) ISIS is inspired by by Islamic texts and teachings… https://t.co/NohhfmM32y pic.twitter.com/6RiH1iaksr
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) December 27, 2019
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.
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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