MANAMA, Bahrain – Web sites featuring videos of the beheading of Americans or captives pleading for their lives have become part of an electronic war of incitement, humiliation and terrorist outreach, experts say, providing a window into the minds of militant Muslims who hate the West.
The latest dramatic Web posting came Saturday, a short video that showed no faces but included a voice yelling in English: “No, no, please!”
The video showed a shot fired, then the scene of the falling body of what appeared to be a Western man “” identified as Robert Jacobs, an American killed by suspected al-Qaida militants in Saudi Arabia last week. Two gunmen then fired at least 10 more shots, before one of them kneeled and motioned as if he was beheading the fallen man. …
“The aim is really to spread as much terror as possible and make it available to as many people as possible, especially in the West,” where Internet use is more common, said Dia’a Rashwan, a Cairo expert on Islamic militants.
In what Rashwan calls a a war of “ideology, images and perception,” the Web is a place for militants and their sympathizers to exchange the latest news, debate their definition of Islam, share how-to manuals, extoll their heroes and vilify their enemies.