ISIS Kills 21 Egyptians In Libya
The video which has gone viral shows an apparent mass execution with jihadists in black, standing behind each of the victims, who were all are dressed in orange jumpsuits being forced to the ground and decapitated.
The five-minute video released by the terror group’s propaganda wing al-Hayat Media, includes a masked English-speaking jihadi who says, “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood.”
A caption on the five-minute video read: “The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.” Before the killings, one of the militants stood with a knife in his hand and said: “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for.”
Then on cue, all the victims were pushed to the ground and beheaded.
ISIS had imposed its brutal rule on the large areas of Iraq and Syria that it controls, but the be-headings of the Egyptians appeared to have been carried out by an affiliate of the militant group in Libya.
ISIS militants claimed to have carried out several attacks in Libya, which is in effect without a government.
The beheadings could stiffen Sisi’s resolve in dealing with security threats from militants thriving in neighboring Libya’s chaos who want to topple his U.S.-backed government.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi confirmed in a statement that Egyptian “martyrs” had fallen victim to terrorism and expressed his condolences to the Egyptian people.
El-Sisi called for an urgent meeting of the Council of National Defense and declared seven days of official mourning.
Twenty-one Egyptian Christians were kidnapped in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in two separate incidents in December and January. Officials said all of them had been killed.
El-Sisi said Egypt reserves the right to retaliate for the killings.
“Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday after the grisly video emerged.
“The secretary offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the despicable act of terror,” the State Department said. “Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Shoukry agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response.”
The White House also condemned the attack, saying ISIS’ “barbarity knows no bounds.”
Members of the U.N. Security Council strongly condemned what they called “the heinous and cowardly apparent murder” of the 21 Egyptians.
“This crime once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of crimes and abuses against people from all faiths, ethnicities and nationalities, and without regard to any basic value of humanity.”
Thousands of Egyptians desperate for work had traveled to Libya since an uprising at home in 2011, despite advice from their government not to go to a country sliding into lawlessness.
The Coptic Church said it was confident the Egyptian government would seek justice. Al Azhar, the center of Islamic learning in Egypt, said no religion would accept such “barbaric” acts.