As the world recovers from the images of American journalist James Foley being brutally beheaded on camera by a member of The Islamic State (IS) in Syria recently, another four barbaric beheadings have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
In a video released on Twitter, Egypt’s most dangerous and notorious militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said the four men had been spying for Israel’s Mossad agency and that is the reason they were beheaded.
The four headless corpses were found in the Sinai by security forces, marking the first time beheadings have taken place publicly in this fashion in Egypt.
The four victims were abducted by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis gunmen two days before their death while they were driving in the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, located just a few miles from the Gaza Strip.
The images posted on Twitter, apart from being stomach-turning and abhorrent to any reasonable person, have raised alarm that the terror group may have been inspired by the recent IS method of beheading people it accuses of collaborating with its enemies.
Cairoscene.com reported that, even though the four men decapitated were civilians, it appears they may have been targeted for their perceived allegiance to the police and army.
In these gruesome beheading videos, which have become an increasing trend in Islam, especially across the middle east, the executors always humiliate and belittle the person they are about to kill, often extracting under duress what are clearly false confessions of guilt.
The Daily News in Egypt reported that in the video, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis presented what it said were confessions by the men. Two of them said they had spent time in Israeli jails for smuggling. The other two said Mossad had paid them for information.
The group alleged that the men provided intelligence used in an airstrike on July 23 in northern Sinai that killed three of its fighters. At the time, the Egyptian army said no Israeli aircraft or drones had crossed into Egyptian airspace.
Egyptian police officers and soldiers have come under increasing attacks recently since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.