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25Jan16


Before Paris attack, Islamic State terrorists committed grisly executions


A new video released by the Islamic State (titled "Kill Them Wherever You Find Them") features the terrorists responsible for the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks in Paris. Several of the jihadists are shown executing captives in Iraq and Syria. They threaten the West and implore Muslims to join the "caliphate's" cause as they behead or shoot their victims from behind. The footage was filmed in the months before the coordinated assault in France's capital city.

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's men claim France deserves to be terrorized because of its role in the anti-Islamic State coalition. But their grisly executions of helpless victims undermine their attempt to offer a moral rationale for their terrorism. The Islamic State's sadistic videos have also likely played a role in shaping public opinion in the West.

The first Islamic State member to speak at length is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is identified by his nom de guerre, Abu Umar al Baljiki. European officials have identified Abaaoud, who was killed during a counterterrorism raid after the Paris massacres, as a key figure in the plot. The Islamic State's English-language Dabiq magazine published an interview with Abaaoud in early 2015.

"I have a message to these disbelievers who are fighting the Muslims, and to all the nations taking part in the coalition," Abaaoud says in a clip played over news footage. "You are the ones who dared to come to the lands of the Muslims to fight them. By Allah! By Alllah! By Allah, you have declared a war that you have lost before even starting it." (A screen shot can be seen on the right. Abaaoud is in the lower right hand corner.)

After threatening to kill Westerners in their homes, Abaaoud says the Islamic State's terror is a result of their government's policies.

"All this is a result of your policy — your policy of war — or I should say, the policy of your rulers," Abaaoud claims. "Indeed, you voted for these rulers, and this is the result. The result is that your rulers have declared a war whose consequences they will not be able to bear."

Abaaoud refers to the Western-led coalition's airstrikes, arguing that the jihadists' attacks have been carried out in retaliation. "By Allah, as long as you continue to direct airstrikes against us, and as long as you continue to declare war and fight the Muslims, we will not stop fighting you in every part of the world, regardless of whether you are on a tourism trip or a work trip, or are fast asleep in your homes."

"You, along with more than 70 other nations, formed a coalition to fight the Islamic State," Abaaoud says. "But you will not be able to stop it. By Allah, this is just the beginning."

After Abaaoud's appearance, the video shows several of his accomplices in succession. Some of them execute bound victims before or after they address the camera.

"I was sent by Amir ul-Mu'minin ["Emir of the Faithful"] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husayni al-Qurashi (may Allah safeguard him) to cleanse the earth of disbelievers, whoever they may be and wherever they may be," a jihadist known as Abu Qital al Faransi says.

Al Faransi continues: "By Allah, we have come to you with slaughter, and indeed our knives come closer to your throats day after day. And by Allah, we will fight you — with Allah's permission — in the heart of Paris and at the corner of the Eiffel Tower."

Although al Faransi refers to the "heart of Paris" and the "Eiffel Tower," he may not have had the specific Nov. 13, 2015 plot in mind. His threat may have been only a general one at the time he spoke. Al Faransi goes on to criticize the Muslims in France who have not joined the Islamic State's cause.

Another member of the Paris terror cell, identified as Dhul Qarnayn Al Baljiki, also addresses the French directly. "This is a small message to all those who voted forů[French President Francois] Hollande, the dog of the White House," Al Baljiki says. Frances's "hands have been tainted with blood," he claims, because the people elected a "president who today bombs our Muslim brothers in Mali, Sham, and Iraq."

The video confirms that all of the jihadists who took part in the Paris attacks fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria beforehand. Although they do not say that they were acting under Baghdadi's orders on the night of Nov. 13, that is the clear implication of their testimony. One of the final jihadists to speak, known as Abu Rayyan al Faransi, explains "it is an order from Amir ul-Mu'minin Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (may Allah safeguard him) to fight you in your lands."

The propaganda production ends with a threat to Britain. An onscreen caption (shown above) warns that whoever stands with the disbelievers will be targeted. British Prime Minister David Cameron is shown standing in the background.

[Source: By Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journal, NJ, 25Jan16]

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