Breaking: ISIS releases video of 21 Christians being beheaded — in Libya

posted at 3:36 pm on February 15, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

The horror show into which the Middle East has transformed over the last four years continues — and expands. ISIS released a videotape today showing not one beheading of a hostage, but the simultaneous beheadings of 21 Christian hostages. The beheadings took place not in Syria or Iraq, but in Libya:

The terrorists known as ISIS released a video on Sunday that seems to show the militant group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya.

The Egyptians, dressed in orange jump suits, were beheaded after being forced down on the ground on a beach. An early caption in the video says the location is “Wilayat Tarabulus by the Mediterranean Sea,” which suggests that it was filmed near Tripoli.

Each of the victims, who are all male, is paired with a masked, knife-wielding terrorist and, after a brief statement by the ISIS leader, they are all beheaded.

Don’t expect to the see the video here, which was titled in part “A Message Signed in Blood.” The AP describes it so that the rest of us can pass on watching ISIS propaganda:

The video, released late Sunday night, shows several men in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. The men are made to kneel and one militant addresses the camera in English before the men are simultaneously beheaded.

ISIS seems like an atrocity-junkie terrorist group, always attempting to outdo itself in savagery for its missives to the West. They’ve continually attempted to ramp up the brutality in its videos towards their bound hostages, amplifying their cowardice and cruelty. What they hope to accomplish is fright and flight, but what they’re likelier to get is more opposition and bigger headaches.

Other than the butchery of peaceful Egyptian Copts, the most troublesome geopolitical aspect of this video is the location of the atrocities. Four years ago, this would have been impossible, as the fairly brutal Qaddafi regime had kept the terror networks underground. Thanks to the failed state that followed the war launched by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton against Moammar Qaddafi, ISIS has apparently won the loyalties of some of the militias that had been associated with al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. This shows once again why the West shouldn’t have gone to war in Libya without a massive ground force to fill the vacuum after the fall of the Qaddafi regime — and why it will take a large army to contain and destroy ISIS. In fact, this suggests that one large army may no longer be enough.

Update: I forgot to include the link to the first report, which I’ve corrected above. One commenter scolds me for not including the word Islam in the post, but we’ve been writing about ISIS for long enough for readers to know it stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I was trying to get a thread started as soon as possible after reading the news, so I didn’t spell it out — but then again, I hardly thought it was necessary.

Update: (Jazz) You might think these idiots would learn their lesson from what happened with Jordan, but Egypt is responding in pretty much the same way.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday that Egypt reserved the right to respond in a way it sees fit to the Islamic State’s beheading of 21 Egyptians in neighboring Libya.

Sisi warned Cairo would choose the “necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings”. He was speaking on national television hours after Islamic State released a video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.

I know I’ve been an advocate for American action, but if these cretins tick off enough countries over there we might not need to bother.

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Why are you so obsessed with the blame game? I simply said that the US occupation of Iraq set in motion events that led to the formation and rise of ISIS.
brayam on February 16, 2015 at 12:01 AM

… says someone so completely *not* obsessed with ‘the blame game’ that he doesn’t even realize he just beat Tlaloc’s six-minute record by blowing himself up hypocritically in two consecutive sentences.
You f*cking moron.
Midas on February 16, 2015 at 9:41 AM

Nature of the breed.

Nothing better than an ad hominem attack in response to a deficit reduction plan designed to appeal to the feeble minded.
bayam on October 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Can you imagine what it must be like to hold yourself in that high regard and then have to abandon debates populated by idiot conservatives?

rogerb on February 16, 2015 at 7:04 PM

I am for all total war against these barbarians. If necassary nuke them. Paraphrasing Sherman this is what they wanted, this is what they asked for, this is what they got. Scorched earth policy and nothing less. Make all others that feel the urge to make terror feel like a cockroack facing a big can of Raid.

jaywemm on February 16, 2015 at 7:05 PM

Wow, that’s a lot of hate all of a sudden for little old me. Seems my tolerance for an others opinions (that I hardly ever agreed with) seems to bring out the ire in some people. To set the record straight I am neither Ned Pepper, nor TommyBoy. I did go to college, but not an Ivy League School. I am a proud alumni of PNC (Purdue University North Central). As for my grammar, of course it could be better. But I’m a busy person and don’t always have the time to proofread like I should. Why did I go quiet? Well, hardly anyone ever replies to my posts and I had to shovel snow before it got dark. I’m done now and all attention. To VegasRick, you ought the see the suggestions I get when I use my real name. Actually I’m enjoying this. So please keep the silly comments coming, I haven’t got this many responses since the Marley and Me story.

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Manual labor? Can’t be Ned Pepper….

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 16, 2015 at 7:20 PM

Nothing better than an ad hominem attack in response to a deficit reduction plan designed to appeal to the feeble minded.

bayam on October 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Can you imagine what it must be like to hold yourself in that high regard and then have to abandon debates populated by idiot conservatives?

rogerb on February 16, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Are you going to go all Nathan Thurm on us, brayam? Business as usual. I do not understand why you waste your time here. Or have you been Bishing us all this time?

Judge_Dredd on February 16, 2015 at 7:24 PM

Who here voted for Obama?

rogerb on February 15, 2015 at 7:25 PM

ISIS exists because of the war in Iraq and the US occupation which outlawed the Baath party, disbanded its Sunni-dominated military, and excluded Sunnis from political life. It replaced the often cruel iron fist of Saddam’s secular Baath Party with open civil war between opposing Islamic factions that hold nothing but contempt and blood lust for each another. The fall of Qaddafi gave ISIS access to operate in Libya, but wasn’t relevant to its formation.

Some on the right seem incapable of grasping this reality. It’s actually a big problem because there’s no way to win the argument among skeptical Americans for military action against ISIS when you start with an invalid premise.

bayam on February 15, 2015 at 8:05 PM

ISIS exists because of a power vacuum, and that power vacuum was the desired policy of the Obama administration. Every time they talked about the “Arab Spring,” they were talking about toppling stable governments and hoping a democracy would just bloom. You can keep trying to blame Bush, but for all that Bush hoped for more democracy, he was never delusional enough to think they would just happen if you overthrow the government.

ISIS grew up from the overthrow of Libya, the attempt to then funnel those weapons to the rebels in Syria, and the fact that Syria didn’t topple as easily as they hoped, which made the turn their attention to the power vacuum in Iraq caused by pulling out all our troops. The pulling out of our troops also took away all leverage we had to pressure Maliki to include the Sunnis in the Iraqi government. And all of this was easily foreseeable, but Obama just plain didn’t care.

There are plenty of bad actors in the Middle East, but the current mess belongs to Obama more than any single individual. He could not have more effectively plunged an entire region into chaos if he had tried.

This brings us back to the age-old question, every time we examine the catastrophic results of another Obama policy: Are we sure the disaster wasn’t his goal? Or is he really just that incompetent?

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 16, 2015 at 7:37 PM

Bayam, you’re just an hypocrite and a fool.

Oh, it was all Bush just months after the Clinton Administration for 9-11. Oh yeah, no amount of foreign policy or national security failures on the part of the Clinton Administration’s part saved George Bush from fault only months into his presidency. But Oh My God, seven years and three different wars later, George Bush is still responsible for all manner of obama foreign policy blunders.

WHEN ARE YOU [email protected] EMBARRASSED???

When … are you embarrassed? When do you ignore the loyalty to the party and admit the man is a [email protected]?

hawkdriver on February 15, 2015 at 9:05 PM

Oooh! I know this one!! Ask me!

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 16, 2015 at 7:39 PM

Maybe Kirsten Powers will take off her Obama blinders at his administration’s response to this incident. “Some Egyptians were killed by ISIS today…”

Just random people, nothing to do with their religion, they just all happened to be Coptic Christians killed by Muslims prosletyzing sharia law and death to all non-believers.

But boy, when a crazy atheist kills some people for parking in his spot who happen to be Muslim (not random, mind you, they kept parking in his spot despite his prior complaints and threats), that is an anti-Muslim hate crime.

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

talkingpoints on February 16, 2015 at 9:29 PM

Why are so many people complying about the US policies in Libya and Iraq. After all are not these the foreign policy success and expertise that Hillary Clinton is running on. At lease that is what the Democrats would like this country to believe.

jpcpt03 on February 16, 2015 at 9:57 PM

Can you imagine what it must be like to hold yourself in that high regard and then have to abandon debates populated by idiot conservatives?
rogerb on February 16, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Anyone seen bayam?

rogerb on February 18, 2015 at 6:54 AM