With the death of Jihadi John less than two weeks ago in a Raqqa airstrike, the Islamic State lost one of the most recognizable masked men of their P.R. jihad: an executioner who would introduce the West to murder ISIS-style, an English-speaking killer eager to behead Americans and Brits.
But even before the passing of Kuwait-born, London-raised Mohammed Emwazi, ISIS had incorporated other English-speakers into their videos — with American or Canadian accents.
And unlike some of the Jihadi John videos where the knife-wielding Emwazi isn’t shown actually beheading his victims, a recent ISIS video shows a masked American beheading a Kurdish prisoner.
The Peshmerga Killer
This fair-skinned jihadi appeared at the end of a late October video that was mostly in Arabic, spoken by a narrator walking through the decimated compound near Hawija, Iraq, where Kurdish and U.S. forces rescued dozens of Iraqi prisoners facing imminent death.
Then the 15-minute video cut to four Peshmerga prisoners in orange jumpsuits kneeling before the rubble, and the black-clad killers wielding knives behind each Kurd.
“Obama, you have learned a new lesson,” the American-accented killer speaks in English. “Six of the soldiers of the caliphate faced 400 of your children. They killed and injured them, by Allah’s grace. You were probably surprised by this. O Crusader, it is the support of Allah you did not gain anything, you returned to your base with loss and humiliation.”
“Obama, you wage war against Allah. He supports us against you; it is the promise of Allah. Allah will never fail in his promise. ”
Unlike some ISIS videos that show a knife at the victim’s throat and cut to the decapitated head, this horrific video showed the American-accented jihadist pushing his prisoner to the ground and decapitating him as the other prisoners are forced to watch. Three other black-clad men then behead the remaining prisoners.
The video was released on the same day that the Obama administration announced some 50 Special Ops soldiers would be on the ground “to further intensify our support” for moderate Syrian forces “that have made that progress against ISIL.”
ISIS released a new video today featuring super-slick graphics and an impassioned narrator with a North American accent, excellent pronunciation of Arabic words and perfect English.
But the voice wasn’t new. That same voice narrated a June ISIS film, in which lone wolves were urged to get creative with their methods of killing such as poisoning food and drink.
In the new video, the American-accented narrator urged Westerners to come fight for the caliphate, “not a secular state built on man-made laws whose soldiers fight for the interests of legislators, liars, fornicators, corporations and for the freedoms of sodomites.”
The propaganda piece tries to portray the Islamic States as a haven of racial and ethnic harmony, stating there’s “no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab or a black man and a white man except through piety — this is the glory of faith that unites us.”
“America, you claim to have the greatest army history has known. You may have the numbers and weapons, but your soldiers lack the will and resolve, still scarred from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq. They return dead or suicidal, with over 6,500 of them killing themselves each year,” the narrator taunts. “So while you go around cooking the facts on the results of your military airstrikes, we continue to haunt the minds of your soldiers and sow fear into their hearts. With 18 of your soldiers committing suicide each day, before you’ve even advanced. And in addition to the $6 trillion price tag on your war against the Muslims, you’re now too weak to put boots on the ground. You opt instead to attack us from the air with missiles each worth $250,000 while we send your proxies to hell with 50 cent bullets.”
“So bring it on, all of you. Your numbers only increase us in faith. And we’re counting your banners, which our prophet said would reach 80 in number. And then the flames of war will finally burn you on the hills of Dabiq. Bring it on.”
The Copt Killer
In mid-February, ISIS released a horrific video confirming its spread to Libya as 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded on the beach.
The five-minute video showed masked ISIS members leading the Egyptian Copts, clad in orange jumpsuits, along the sand. The Egyptians, labeled as “the people of the cross, the followers of the hostile Egyptian church,” are made to kneel on the beach, facing away from the water, as killers stand behind them with knives.
All of the killers wore black except the spokesman, who, wearing camouflage, spoke in English with an American accent; the video was subtitled in Arabic. “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for,” he said.
“They supplicate what they worship and die upon their paganism,” the screen read as the victims were leaned forward and beheaded. Their heads were placed upon the bodies.
“And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission,” the American-accented narrator said, pointing his dagger at the sea.
The ‘Flames of War’ Killer
A September 2014 ISIS video — a movie by ISIS standards, nearly an hour long — concluded with a mass execution, alleged soldiers of the Syrian regime forced to dig their own graves before being killed on camera.
The masked man with the North American accent spoke perfect English, yet also seamlessly transitioned to standard Arabic.
At the end, he warns, “The fighting has just begun.”
A month after the video’s release, the FBI issued a bulletin seeking information from the public about the man’s identity. An FBI spokesman noted at the time “that people outside the FBI who have watched the video have observed that he possibly sounds Canadian.”