The jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere continue to base their appeal almost completely on religious grounds. And the rest of the world continues to ignore the implications of this, preferring to pretend that the religious dimension of the present conflict can be ignored or glossed over. “Purported al-Qaida Video Shows Beheading,” from AP, with thanks to Rebecca Bynum:
CAIRO, Egypt A video posted Tuesday on the Internet showed purported al-Qaida in Iraq militants beheading a man said to be an Iraqi security force member.
A statement shown on the video identified the Iraqi National Guard member as Jassim Mohammed Hussein Mahdi, who appeared to be in his early 20s, and the black banner of al-Qaida in Iraq, which is headed by wanted Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The video, posted on a militant Web site that carries most al-Qaida in Iraq statements, could not be immediately authenticated. It showed an unidentified interrogator talking to Mahdi said he had received orders from his superiors “to kill the mujahedeen anywhere and without hesitation.”
Mahdi was shown squatting on the ground in an empty room while wearing full military gear and his hands tied behind his back. He said he was a member of the Iraqi National Guard’s 4th Brigade, but did not say when or where he had been captured by militants.
Mahdi said he “regretted” working with the U.S.-allied Iraqi government and urged “all members of the police, National Guard and army to abandon this work, which is religiously prohibited.”
“God’s verdict against this renegade, who was tempted by dollars, has been carried out,” said a statement shown on the video. “Let everyone who sold his religion and joined this unit know that he will have the same fate.”
The video later showed Mahdi lying blindfolded on the ground before two masked men appeared. One held Mahdi’s legs while the other severed his head with a knife with shouts of “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great!” heard from the background.