Isis threatens to behead Barack Obama
An Isis fighter has threatened to behead Barack Obama “in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province” before murdering a Kurdish soldier in a gruesome propaganda video.
The footage, entitled “Bombardment of Peaceful Muslims in the City of Mosul” showed damage from shelling allegedly carried out by Peshmerga forces in the Iraqi city earlier this month before killing the captive in retaliation.
The masked Isis fighter threatened attacks on the US, France, Belgium and the Kurds, claiming that the group’s followers will kill the American and Kurdish presidents as well as detonating car bombs and explosives in European countries that are part of the international coalition fighting against it.
He claims Peshmerga forces “shells the peaceful Muslims of Mosul with American Crusader bombs, and has poisoned dozens of them with asphyxiating gases” as images are shown of damaged buildings, bodies and injured children.
Then the jihadist issues “a message to the entire world” in Kurdish, translated by the Memri Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
“This is the fate of anyone who opposes Islam. Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America. Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province,” he says.
“And this is my message to France and its sister, Belgium. We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and we will cut off your heads.”
The fighter then beheads the captive with a knife to cheers from the gathered crowd, threatening to send Kurdish president Masoud Barzani a soldier’s head for every missile the Peshmerga launch.
Isis, which has overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria, has made a number of similar statements since a US-led coalition mounted air strikes against its fighters last year and frequently uses beheading videos as a platform for its propaganda.
As well as the filmed murders of foreign hostages James Foley, David Haines, Alan Henning and most recently, Japanese aid worker Haruna Yukawa, public beheadings have become commonplace in its territories where death is the penalty for numerous unproved “crimes”.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri), the video threatening Obama was released by Isis on Monday, two days after heavy Peshmerga shelling and coalition air strikes were reported in its stronghold of Mosul.
It is the largest city controlled by Isis and one of its longest-standing strongholds in Iraq.
On Saturday, news agencies reported an increase in US air strikes around Mosul aiming to disrupt Isis supply routes ahead of an expected operation later this year to re-take it from militants.
Coalition airstrikes hit at least two dozen locations around Mosul, destroying dozens of vehicles, buildings, fighting positions and insurgent units, military officials said.
The US has claimed that the coalition has “halted the momentum” of Isis, which made most of its gains largely unchallenged last year.
No foreign armies have yet sent group troops to fight Islamists in the region as fears increase of more Isis-inspired terror attacks following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Ottawa shootings, Sydney siege and numerous failed plots in the UK, Belgium and across Europe.
American authorities have launched investigations into reports of civilian casualties reportedly incurred during strikes aimed at Isis in Iraq and Syria but none have yet been confirmed.
Since the strikes began in August, Washington has said it takes reports of civilian casualties seriously but did not acknowledge that it had started formal investigations until earlier this month.
In September, the White House admitted that much-publicised standards imposed by President Obama to prevent civilian deaths in drone strikes did not apply to operations in Syria and Iraq.
Belfast Telegraph Digital