A video posted online, titled “Muslims’ Joy at Burning of Jordanian Pilot,” shows ISIS supporters cheering as they watch on a big screen the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh.
The disturbing video shows the crowd cheering as the pilot was engulfed in flames.
It shows a jubilant and excited child saying, “I would have burned him with my own hands.”
Footage of the 26-year-old pilot being burned alive while locked up in a cage was shown to crowds of ISIS supporters in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, in Syria. The crowd cheers and shouts religious slogans, “Allah Akbar,” as they watch the pilot being engulfed in flames. The video shows the viewers, including young children, talking excitedly about the video.
An interviewer then walks around asking members of the crowd about their views on the execution.
One of the interviewees, a young child less than 10-years-old, talks excitedly about what he saw on screen, saying, “I would have burnt him with my own hands.”
Many viewers have expressed shock about the video, wondering how an execution that has been described as among the worst atrocities ever filmed could serve as entertainment. However, the four-minute video appears to be an official ISIS propaganda documentary released to play down the cruelty of the act by suggesting that “Muslims” were happy about the execution.
But the execution continues to attract widespread condemnation in the Muslim world, with many saying that the 22-minute video of the execution released on February 3 revealed an act of unequaled moral depravity. According to reports, a tweet posted to an al Qaeda-linked Twitter account in Yemen condemned the act as “conclusive proof of ISIS deviance.”
Ahmed al-Tayib, the Grand Sheikh of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the world’s top Sunni Islamic university, also condemned the act and called for the crucifixion of ISIS militants.
The pilot’s mother, Issaf al-Kassasbeh, reportedly fainted when she received the news of her son’s cruel death. She was rushed to the hospital, but doctors said she was recovering.
His father, Saif al-Kasasbeh, demanded the annihilation of ISIS.
It is believed that the pilot was killed a month before the footage was released.
The Jordanian authorities responded in anger by executing two Iraqi prisoners linked with ISIS. The first, Sajida al-Rishawi, had been on death row for her role in a 2005 hotel bombing in the Jordanian capital Amman, in which several people were killed.
The other prisoner executed by hanging on Wednesday was identified as Ziad al-Karbouli.
Jordan had been negotiating to swap al-Rishawi for their captured pilot.
Observers note that ISIS appeared to have anticipated a backlash against the execution of the Jordanian pilot. Reports say that just before the gruesome video, titled “Healing the Believers Chests,” was released, the group published a statement titled “Moaz was burned alive, Below Is the Islamic Justification for Such an Act” on ISIS supporters’ forum.
The statement was designed to present what ISIS propagandists considered justifications of the murder, supposedly based on Islamic principles. It was an attempt to secure support for the brutal action among ISIS sympathizers. It suggested how supporters should respond to criticism of the act, arguing that “scholars think nowadays that it is fine to burn the victim.”
One of the accusations ISIS has made against the F-16 fighter pilot was that he burned homes and killed babies during airstrikes.
A group of ISIS fighters captured the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh in December after his F-16 jet crashed while conducting airstrikes at a place near Raqqa.