Masked militants from the Islamic State group have beheaded a soldier in front of a group of children, aged six to eight years old, outside a mosque in Libya for “educational purposes.” The jihadists have released photographs of the execution. (Photo: WTF News)
The incident reportedly took place in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, seized by ISIS last October.
The man beheaded in Ras Hillal has been identified as Abdulnabi al-Shargawi, from Beida, who worked for the post office but had volunteered for the Libyan National Army, the Libya Herald reported.
The man, who was wearing an orange jumpsuit, was dragged into a public square and executed in front of a group of children for “educational purposes.”
After the images were shared on the internet by ISIS supporters, a Libyan cartoonist released a sketch illustrating the latest execution, entitled “Derna and the future of its children.” The drawing captures a group of curious boys watching a masked militant holding a knife to the neck of a man in an orange jumpsuit. Mimicking the militant’s gestures, each child is holding a knife up to the neck of a doll.
Islamic State has become notorious for performing gruesome executions of Jordanian, Japanese, American, British, French, and Egyptian hostages, and also for filming and publishing photos and videos of the killings on social media.
In March, Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) released graphic footage showing a young boy executing an Arab-Israeli man accused of being an “Israeli spy.”
In the video the victim, who identifies himself as 19-year-old Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam, can be seen kneeling in front of the boy, who is believed to be no older than 12 years old. The boy shoots the captive in the head several times.
ISIS has been recruiting children from across the world, not just from the Middle East, to join the group. The extremists have kidnapped about 500 children in two Iraqi provinces and taken them to their bases in Iraq and Syria. Officials are concerned the children could be used as cannon fodder in terror attacks. “Daesh [an Arabic term for ISIS] has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq and Syria,” a member of Anbar’s Provincial Council, Mohammed Farhan, told the Anadolu Agency in late May.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Islamic State jihadists recruited at least 400 children in neighboring Syria during a three-month period in the winter of 2014/15. It’s believed that these children, dubbed “Cubs of the Caliphate,” received military and religious training.