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Al-Qaeda video shows public execution of woman accused of adultery

The militant groups continue to disagree, despite joining in praise of Paris shootings

Adam Withnall
Thursday 15 January 2015 17:16 GMT
The shocking video shows a woman being executed after al-Qaeda militants claim she committed adultery
The shocking video shows a woman being executed after al-Qaeda militants claim she committed adultery

A video has emerged online that appears to show the execution of a woman accused by al-Qaeda of committing adultery.

The footage was obtained by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which claimed it showed such ritualistic and barbaric executions were not limited to the Isis militant group.

Rami Abdulrahman, the monitoring group’s director, said the video had been filmed on a mobile phone by a member of the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front.

It shows the woman initially protesting a large group of heavily-armed men standing in a square identified by the Observatory as being in the city of Idlib, up to 80 per cent of which lies under Nusra Front control.

The video starts with a wide shot showing a square full of heavily-armed jihadists

The men can be seen ordering the woman, whose arms appear to be bound behind her back, to kneel. A man wearing a full-length black tunic then issues a speech reportedly declaring the woman has been convicted by an Islamic court of adultery, after which she is shot in the head by a militant in body armour.

The video has proved controversial among jihadis themselves, according to reports in the Mail.

The al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front is reported to control around 80 per cent of the city of Idlib, where the execution is believed to take place

Isis and al-Qaeda have repeatedly clashed in recent months on ideological points regarding their differing interpretations of Islam, and one supporter of the so-called Islamic State, known as Abu Hammad, wrote: “Jabhat al-Nusra kills a woman by shooting for adultery. Which Shariah is that???”

Though experts have said that relations between al-Qaeda and Isis had “never been worse” in the buildup to last week’s shootings in Paris, evidence continues to emerge of a blurring of the boundaries between the two.

Al-Qaeda militants force the woman to get to her knees, after which a man in body armour shoots her in the head

On Wednesday, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a media statement claiming responsibility for the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices that left 12 people dead – but also praised a supermarket siege in which Isis supporter Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men.

Less than 24 hours later, Isis’s official media wing issued a video in which three French-speaking jihadists praised the attacks as a whole, making no distinction between those supposedly carried out in the names of AQAP and Isis respectively.

Though the latest al-Qaeda video to emerge appeared genuine, it could not immediately be independently verified.

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