Below the photo of a crucified body, the message on a jihadist Twitter account reads, “One of 7 people executed by ISIS in Raqqa today on charges of planting IEDs,” or improvised explosive devices. The person behind the account, which is not being linked here to prevent driving traffic to a jihadist site, claims to be a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the ash-Sham (ISIS), an Islamist group that was repudiated by al Qaeda in early 2014, in part for being so extremist that they became a “liability to the al-Qaeda brand,” according to Aaron Zelin, a jihadi-watcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The dead man in the photo hangs limply from a makeshift crucifix; blood stains the wooden plank to which his outstretched arms are bound. The black stripe of a blindfold covers his eyes. A young boy stands feet from the strung-up body, at the front of a crowd gathered around the cross.
Another photo of a different man’s crucifixion shows a similar scene. In that image too, a young boy stands only feet from a lifeless corpse bound to a cross and publicly displayed.