Britain denounces DAESH video showing ‘spies' shot
LONDONJan 05, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jan 05, 2016 12:00 am
A video showing a young boy in military fatigues and an older masked DAESH militant who both spoke with British accents is "desperate" propaganda from an organization that is losing ground, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday. The video, which could not be independently verified, also shows the killing of five men accused of spying for the West. The masked man threatens Cameron and vows that DAESH will one day occupy Britain before shooting one of the alleged spies in the head. The footage revived memories of "Jihadi John", a British DAESH member who appeared in several videos in which hostages were killed before his own death was reported in an air strike late last year.
"It is desperate stuff from an organization that really does do the most utterly despicable and ghastly acts and people can see that again today," Cameron told reporters. "This is an organization that's losing territory, it's losing ground ... Britain will never be cowed by this sort of terrorism, our values are so much stronger than theirs. It may take a very long time but they will be defeated."
Cameron's spokeswoman said Britain was examining the video and the prime minister was being kept updated. She was not aware whether Cameron himself had watched it. "It serves as a reminder of the barbarity of DAESH and what the world faces with these terrorists. It is also clearly a propaganda tool and should be treated as such," the spokeswoman said. When asked whether the men shown had been spies, the spokeswoman declined to comment on intelligence matters but said the group's past propaganda had not all been true.
After the killings of the five men, a young English-speaking boy, who is wearing a black bandana and appears to be about four or five years old, is shown saying: "So go kill the kuffar right over there". The United States said in November it had killed Mohammed Emwazi, a British citizen dubbed Jihadi John who became a symbol of DAESH brutality after appearing in several hostage execution videos.
The masked militant shown in the new video was different from Emwazi but spoke in a clear English accent, waving a gun at the camera while criticizing Cameron. "This is a message to David Cameron, O slave of the White House, O mule of the Jews," the man said in the 10-minute video released on Sunday. "How strange it is that a leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. One would have thought you'd have learned the lessons of your pathetic master in Washington and his failed campaign against DAESH," the man said. In November, British officials said that up to 800 Britons had travelled to Iraq and Syria, some to join DAESH. About 50 percent had returned home while about 70 were believed to have been killed. In the latest fighting in Iraq, DAESH has largely been pushed out of the city of Ramadi, its biggest prize of last year.
About the author
Research Associate at Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University