What Does ISIS' Paris Video Show? Threats & Gruesome Executions By The Attackers Fill The Latest Propaganda Video
A new, chilling 17-minute video — purportedly from ISIS — has surfaced online, and it includes a direct threat to the United Kingdom and some gruesome scenes carried out by the alleged Paris attackers while they were in Syria. The video has yet to be authenticated, but if the young men shown are the Paris attackers, it would directly connect them to ISIS and show that they were trained and the attack was planned in the terror group's territory within Syria.
In part of the video, nine alleged attackers give their "final words" as they behead and shoot captives to death. One, who has been identified as Bilal Hadfi, was just 20 years old. Last year he cried when he said goodbye to his mother before leaving for Syria. In the video, he is shown with a captive at his knees. He pushes the man to the ground and beheads him. Another attacker, Samy Amimour, 28, from the suburbs of Paris, was shown holding a prisoner's head and smiling. His 67-year-old father traveled to Syria last year in an attempt to save his son from ISIS but was rebuffed.
Twenty-eight-year-old Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the terror cell who was later killed in a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, was also featured. He was one of the few who did not kill anyone on tape, but he did, however, give a warning. "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," he said in the video in French. "So expect more. Expect a mujahid to show up to kill you."
The Guardian reported that the portion of the film seemingly in ISIS territory has similar topography to other propaganda videos filmed near Raqqa, Syria. The men are reportedly shown speaking in native French accents, albeit with "inflections typical of north African immigrant communities." Several of the suspects, including Hadfi, Amimour, and Abaaoud, are thought to be holders of either French or Belgian passports.
The video also contained edited news footage of the Paris attacks with bull's-eye targets superimposed over the attack locations. And in another portion, video of missile attacks in the Middle East are juxtaposed to video of victims fleeing and ambulances responding to the attacks in Paris. Abaaoud gives a voice-over in French threatening retaliation to any future attacks. "Do you think you can dare to come and fight the Muslims and then expect to live safely in your land?" Abaaoud says.
The threat to the United Kingdom is also edited to include cross hair targets over famous sights in London as well as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, during the vote to authorize airstrikes in Syria against ISIS. The threat comes at the end of the video with text over Cameron's image threatening any non-believer who stands in ISIS' way.
A spokesperson for the U.K. government told The Guardian, "We are currently examining this latest Daesh propaganda video — another desperate move from an appalling terrorist group that is clearly in decline." The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment, but BBC News reported that French President François Hollande also addressed the video, saying it would not shake the country's resolve in the fight against terrorism.
Even though the video has not been verified by either government, it meets the criteria of an authentic ISIS release, Laith Alkhouri of Flashpoint Global Partners, a firm that monitors militants' social media, told Reuters. The delayed timing of the video's release also seemed unusual, given the large effort that went into taping the Syria-based footage. Whatever the reason, ISIS is back in the news cycle.