Iraq

Is This the Man Who Beheaded James Foley? And What Really Happened?

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youtube

Britain's intelligence agency believes it knows the identity of the man who beheaded American journalist James Foley. Also, some are questioning if the video of the killing was staged.

The investigation "is ongoing," an unnamed police intelligence source tells The Sunday Times, but the alleged killer may be Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old rapper who was raised in a well-to-do London home. Last year, he joined the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is now wreaking havoc throughout Iraq.

The New York Times provides some background on the man:

Bary's father, Adel Abdel Bary, was extradited to the United States from Britain in 2012 after a long legal battle to face terrorism charges in Al Qaeda's bombing of two American Embassies in East Africa in 1998.

The younger Bary had considerable success rapping under the name "L Jinny" or "Lyricist Jinn," with singles played on BBC Radio and much-watched videos on YouTube. …

Earlier this year, Bary posted on Twitter a photograph of himself holding a severed head with the comment, "Chillin' with my homie or what's left of him."

Charming.

From The Daily Mail:

Youtube

Friends say Bary became radicalised after coming into contact with extremists linked to hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

A former friend said: "He had the talent—he could have been as big as Dizzee Rascal. He was doing music with huge names in the underground scene.

"People have got into his head—it's transformed a talented young guy into a vengeful extremist."

Although Bary is a key suspect, there are several other men also being eyed by British intelligence.

An estimated 1,000 Europeans have joined the Islamic State, half of whom are from Britain. About 100 Americans have also joined.

Whoever actually beheaded Foley, here's a twist: "I think it has been staged," an unnamed visual forensics expert told the U.K. Times. "My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped."

The New York Daily News explains that "several pieces of evidence that suggested the video was a chilling bit of propaganda, but not an actual decapitation.":

NY Post

First, although the masked jihadist can be seen repeatedly drawing the knife across the 40-year-old war reporter's neck, no actual incisions were visible, the analyst said.

Similarly, there didn't appear to be any blood spilling from Foley's throat, and the sounds he made at the moment of his death didn't appear sound right.

The analyst also found a slight blip in the scripted remarks Foley made in the video, suggesting he may have had to repeat a line, which was spliced into the final version.

To be sure, the execution took place. It just may not have happened as the video seems to show before it fades to black.

Read more Reason coverage of the ongoings in Iraq here.

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  1. An estimated 1,000 Europeans have joined the Islamic State, half of whom are from Britain. About 100 Americans have also joined.

    Let’s not make believe they’re Europeans.

    1. Oh, I’d say a fair number of Bosniaks, Chechens, and Albanians have gone over there to fight under ISIS’s banner.

      1. Bosniaks?

        1. That really is the right word for it.

          I think John Kerry (or someone like that) got incorrectly made fun of for using the term.

          1. Ahhhh, a sub-set of Bosnians that are Islamic. In other words, Turks.

            1. Sure, pour more fuel on the fire. You won’t be happy until 9/12 happens, won’t you?

              Seriously though, genetic studies have shown that Bosniaks are Slavic

              1. Yeah they’re just a population of Slavs upon whom the heavy hand of Islamification was particularly powerful under Ottoman rule.

          2. Not “Bosnians”? That’s what I remember everyone saying in the ’90s.

            1. Not Bosconians? That’s the term I remember from the 80s.

              1. Bostoniaks?

              2. +1 Lens.

              3. Bosconians

                “Bosco!”

        2. The Bosniaks are a lot like the Wozniaks, but less nerdy or technically advanced.

          1. That explains the hairiness

      2. Oh, I’d say a fair number of Bosniaks, Chechens, and Albanians have gone over there to fight under ISIS’s banner.

        That’s a fair point. I’m talking more about the Syrian, North African and Iraqi (etc) expats rather than the genuinely European muslims living in the countries you named.

        Even this rapper, whom I assume is 2nd generation in the west proved that he’s not a European when he went off to jihad. Just like many of the Muslim inhabitants of Europe have proved that they are not Europeans when they advocate for destruction of European (ie liberal) values. And their abhorrent behavior towards those whom we can fairly call native Europeans relative to these colonists.

        1. Considering that half of them are British, I’d wager that 98 percent of that half are Pakistani by heritage.

          And the fact that what passes for Pakistani culture is nothing more than a nihilistic blood-thirsty death cult of martyrdom is well-known.

          1. That is absolutely true. “Pakis” they call them in Britain and they are some of the most backwards and brutish immigrants permitted to stand on European soil since the Mongols. Not too dissimilar to the problems the Dutch have with their Morrocan inhabitants.

    2. Come, come. Surely you understand that if you were born in a barn, that must mean you’re a horse. 😉

      1. that’s a good way to put it

      2. Sweet, sweet, ignorance.

  2. As far as recruitment tools go, I don’t see how production value trumps the fact that a person was beheaded.

  3. “Posing with a severed head is common enough among ISIS fighters, he said, that the Twitter post alone does not point to any connection to Mr. Foley’s later killing.”

    Oh, well, in that case.

  4. “The New York Daily News explains that “several pieces of evidence that suggested the video was a chilling bit of propaganda, but not an actual decapitation.”:”

    Someone was saying (Otis?) back when this first aired that this was their impression.

    “Fist of Etiquette|8.25.14 @ 3:21PM|#

    As far as recruitment tools go, I don’t see how production value trumps the fact that a person was beheaded.”

    Yeah. I know. Its kind of a sick twist on their whole Modus Operandi that ISIS has concluded through extensive experience that “Live” beheadings *don’t always portray them in the best of lights*

    (because people screaming and squirming while being murdered has the ‘unexpected’ effect of engendering actual sympathy from people! WEIRD, right?)

    So now they do it Hollywood style. Same result! more mass-market-digestible.

    As for the guy being ‘radicalized’…

    I detest this term. It implicitly blames outside forces for ‘corrupting’ what must have been otherwise-innocent people. Because he was a “good kid”, right?

    (except for the fact that his dad had been in UK jail for terrorism since 1999, extradited to the US in 2012. but no, i’m sure it was a *website* or something that Twisted his innocent mind?)

    1. +1 Gibbet

      1. Which is why the french instituted the Guillotine

        Its *bureaucratic*

        These muzzies, they actually want to maintain the illusion that they “do it old school, by hand!”… (*because that’s a how Muhammed woulda wanted)…but in point of fact, well, there’s the whole business of actual video production, getting the right Host/Executioner… got to get that great early morning lighting… so, they make concessions to modernity. Editing.

        1. Needs more “Hassan CHOP!”

          1. That’s terrible, but made me LOL. Are they even allowed to run that episode on air anymore or is it a hate crime?

    2. “Radicalized” is probably better used as an intransitive verb. It seems to be something that happens, but the implication that it is something done to people I agree is not putting responsibility where it belongs.

    3. I’m so with you on this. Always believed that. If someone can be so ‘radicalized’ they were already rotten to begin with.

      1. Or very weak minded.

      2. Eric Hoffer’s “True Believer”

        “In contrast, the “abjectly poor” on the verge of starvation make unlikely true believers as their daily struggle for existence takes preeminence over any other concern.[5]

        Racial and religious minorities, particularly those only partly assimilated into mainstream culture, are also found in mass movements. Those who live traditionalist lifestyles tend to be content, but the partially assimilated feel alienated from both their forbearers and the mainstream culture. …

        A variety of what Hoffer terms “misfits” are also found in mass movements. Examples include “chronically bored”; the physically disabled or perpetually ill; the talentless; and criminals or “sinners”. In all cases, Hoffer argues, these people feel as if their individual lives are meaningless and worthless.[7]

        Hoffer argues that the relatively low number of mass movements in America is attributable to a culture that blurred traditionally rigid boundaries between nationalist, racial and religious groups, and which allowed greater opportunities for individual accomplishment.”

      3. Well said. It certainly says a lot that many of these fanatics from the US have long criminal records or even became converted fanatics in prison. Much like Stalin being a street thug before he became the most murderous dictator in history.

  5. Ali G Indahouse!

    1. I commented, upon watching the video, that he sounded like Ali G. Now we know what happened for Season 3.

  6. Anyone actually seen the video? I can’t quite decide if I want to try to find it or not. I have a fair bit of morbid curiosity, but I’m not sure I want to see that.
    But I was under the impression that the video clearly showed the decapitation. So, does it?

    Maybe I shouldn’t even want to know, but never having been exposed to much of the more brutal side of humanity, I’m curious about just how brutal and bloody these awful people want to be seen as.

    1. I saw it a few hours after the news broke, but when the terrorist starts cutting the video “cuts” away and you don’t see any blood or any sawing. Gruesome, and you see the body and head at the end, but the most gruesome element was removed, I think before they published the video.

    2. The guy in the black pajama grabs Foley under the chin to lift his head up at an angle, then starts to saw at his neck, but then the scene blacks out. The next scene is his body lying chest down with head stacked on his back next to his bound wrists. Then the other American reporter is shown.

    3. No it does not show the decapitation. It fades out as the masked man vigorously “saws” at Foley’s head. Foley’s temperament and the fact that he doesn’t bleed when cut is suspect.

      1. So you think it’s more likely that ISIS was keen on staging a fake decapitation than it is that they literally decapitated the guy? We’re not talking about the government of Denmark here. This is ISIS, why would they bother to go through the trouble of staging it?

        The reason you don’t see blood is because of the edit that made it possible to make the video’s entirety be prepackaged and ready to go for western media outlets.

        1. The speculation being floated in a number of comments here is that a real, unscripted beheading has the unintended effect of making you sympathize with the person who is screaming while their blood is spurting everywhere and not the person vigorously sawing with the steak knife.

          If you stage a nice, clean, Hollywood-style beheading where the head just sort of pops-off Lego-style, you can pump up that “vengeance is sweet” angle a lot better.

          You do the actual murdering off-screen, and then hold up the head when you’re done – “see, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

        2. That’s a sound argument, and probably more plausible than the video being faked. I recall seeing an actual beheading like this some years ago, where they showed the entire grizzly process. This video didn’t shock me like that one did. I assume that ISIS must be doing this for publicity instead of shock value, otherwise they would’ve filmed the beheading.

          1. In all likelihood they did film the actual beheading. It’s just more source material to edit from. As for thier publicity motive, as we can see the beheading did more to raise American interest in bombing Iraq than existed previously.

            How could they have not seen that coming? Maybe it was more about telling Americans, “see look what happens when your government won’t pay ransoms like the Europeans do.”

        3. If you look at the post beheading corpse photo, it certainly looks like they did behead him. Maybe it wasn’t the British jihadi though. Might be above his pay grade, they just wanted a Brit to use as the executioner for PR/recruiting purposes.

    4. I remember seeing the beheading of an American I think it was around the time of the invasion of Iraq. I forget the guy’s name but it left a long-term impression on me. I watched it at work with a colleague and I still remember the look on our faces. We felt terrible for having watched it.

      I would not look at this one for that reason.

      1. Yeah, there is something to be said for “knowing thy enemy” but I do not want to watch a murder, no how, no way. Just knowing it happened makes me angry enough. I feel for the people who actually have to watch that sort of shit for their jobs. Terrible.

      2. I remember seeing the beheading of an American I think it was around the time of the invasion of Iraq

        Was it Daniel Pearl?

        1. Maybe Nick Berg? That video was brutal.

          1. Nick Berg. That was the guy. His anguished wail as they cut into him haunts me.

        2. That’s the way I felt when I watch the Nick Berg video. Awful.

  7. Well, just a few months ago, these guys were on our side right? We called them rebels and they were against Assad in Syria, therefore on our side, the good guys who we were ‘trying’ to arm? Is that right, or did I miss something? Now, all of the sudden, we’re on Assad’s side and these guys are the bad guys?

    And now our politicians are once again having their stooge media to try ginning up support for another war, but this time against the bad guys who were the good guys for the good guys who were the bad guys? I for some reason trust our government less than I do ‘the bad guys’.

    1. Not really. The Syrian civil war started with more secular and Western-friendly groups in the lead, but eventually the Islamists took over. That happened long before a few months ago. In fact, by the time of Obama’s “red line,” the Islamists had already become a major force, if not the dominant force in Syria.

      1. by the time of Obama’s “red line,” the Islamists had already become a major force, if not the dominant force in Syria.

        Yet, we still had the derp sisters of war mongering, McCain and Graham, screaming that we needed to arm and assist these ‘good guys’. That’s sort of my point.

      2. Were the secular groups in the lead or once again did Washington and the media focus on the secular groups and ignore the islamists ones?

        1. What Islamists? You mean Mr Al Nusra isn’t like Ghandi?

  8. Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary grew up in a 1 million (British Pound) home and executed a hostage that was supposed to be traded for a female Pakistani neuroscientist who graduated from Brandeis.

    Clearly, the roots of Islamic rage are poverty, class struggle, low education, and oppression.

    1. “Heroic Mulatto|8.25.14 @ 3:41PM|#

      Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary grew up in a 1 million (British Pound) home”

      i glossed over the NYT piece…

      other than noting that his Dad was a jailed terrorist – where did his Spoiled Youth come from? i.e. who was the Sugar Momma financing the privileged development of Lil’Jinny, UK-Superrapper ?

      1. That’s a very good question. It’s a well-documented practice that certain “charities” *cough-cough* will provide for the families of those “martyred” for the cause. Perhaps that’s the case here.

        1. Doubtful

          This guy’s original primary connection was to EIJ (‘Egyptian Islamic Jihad‘)

          …the militant offshot of the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Sadat, tried to kill Mubarak, were persecuted and fragmented in the 1980s, and later went on to leadership positions in different terrorist groups including Al Q.

          They were not generally affiliated w/ or financed by other radical jihadis that had a more ‘religious’ bent. They were not the jihadis who ‘went to afghanistan and became radicals’ – They were Anti-Arab-Dictator, mostly, and had been agitating for revolution in the region since the 1970s…. and while ‘deeply islamist’ were much more regionally politically oriented

          (I would not be surprised if the schizm with Al Q and ISIS actually had its roots in organizational differences going back to the 1980s – Zawahiri has always been seen as “Ex-EIJ” because he differed with them on the practical nature of Arab uprisings)

          If you’re never read, “The Looming Tower”, its got good background on the formative years of Al Q/EIJ/and the formative ISIS (mainly via the bio on Zarqawi and his ‘Al Q in Iraq’)

          1. They were not generally affiliated w/ or financed by other radical jihadis that had a more ‘religious’ bent.

            I was wink, wink-ing about both the PLO, and the now defunct Holy Land Foundation, which was directly tied to the MB, actually.

            I’ll pick up “The Looming Tower” when I get a chance to do some pleasure reading. Sounds interesting.

    2. These clowns remind me of bored, rich housewives who stray or entertain lavish parties – or orgies.

      Too much time on their hands to think of bad stuff.

      1. What’s bad about lavish parties and orgies?

        Perhaps we need an update to Marx’s characterization of religion. “Religion is the opiate of the masses, and the crystal meth (or perhaps bath salts) of the rich and privileged.”

        1. Nothing is bad. I was merely making a casual connection that boredom plays a role into what people do.

          1. If you’re the working schmuck hubby, it’s bad.

  9. “He had the talent – he could have been as big as Dizzee Rascal.

    as if we didn’t have enough to hate ISILF for, they cost us the next Dizzee Rascal. you bastards.

    1. damn you

  10. “he could have been as big as Dizzee Rascal”

    Was this supposed to be funny? Man, I’m getting old.

  11. There was a commenter, I forget his name, who was suspicious of the video for the same reasons.

    1. Otis, i think

  12. So they really killed him, apparently in the same way as seen in the video. But right before they killed him, they first staged a scene of them pretending to kill him in the same way that they intended to kill him right afterward? Gotcha.

    1. Unless he was using a really dull knife, how else do you account for the lack of blood?

      1. Right, there would have to be blood. I know from my experience with chickens that when you cut off the head of a live animal, you get huge quantities of blood spraying everywhere. It must be the same with humans. I’m not sure how their utterly brutal method of slowly cutting with a hand knife would affect this.

        Even though I have the morbid curiosity, there’s no way I could watch the video in any case.

    2. He probably did something that screwed up the production, like attempting to head butt the executioner, or struggling in a way that made it hard to do the deed. At least I hope he made it hard for them.

      Sort of like the guy who was to be executed by savages and have a canoe made out of his skin asking for a salad fork for his last request.

      1. He probably did something that screwed up the production, like attempting to head butt the executioner, or struggling in a way that made it hard to do the deed. At least I hope he made it hard for them.

        His monologue preceding his decapitation is Manchurian candidate level boot-licking and stockholm syndrome dialed to 11. He didn’t struggle, resist, or even maintain his honor and dignity through silence in his final moments. He served as mouthpiece for the men who would kill him.

        The only thing he screwed up was my having any sympathy for him. Never make your executioner look any more like the strong horse when he’s swinging the ax.

        1. Maybe he turned at the end. Can’t have a video of him calling mohammed a cocksucker. Bu t who knows?

        2. You’re an asshole. You realize that if he didn’t go along with being their “mouthpiece,” they would have tortured him?

  13. I watched a short today attacking the Moon-landing hoax people for thinking state-of-the-art film-making could handle the quantity and quality of the video captured on the Moon (for all of the Moon landings). That reminds me of this for some reason and makes me wonder, in this day and age of CGI, why one of these terror groups doesn’t fake a Moon landing.

    1. Cannot bear blasphemy of discovering that it’s spherical instead of crescent-shaped?

    2. I think it’s fair to say that convincingly staging a Moon landing would be more difficult than going to the Moon.

      1. Impossibly so in 1969, enough so today, given the scrutiny it would get. At the very least, a rocket has to get launched and circle the Moon.

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