September 08, 2004

Beheading Video for Sale In Baghdad

This is just sick. Absolutely sick. I post pics of these things to wake readers up from the sleep America drifted into after 9/11. But these people? They make Ogrish look like a saint. Swiss Info:

The hottest selling item at Baghdad's video CD market is not a movie or a music video.

It's an ordinary Egyptian whose beheading was filmed by his Muslim militant captors and distributed as a gruesome message to
anyone who cooperates with U.S. troops in Iraq.

"The CD is in big demand. We sell about 300 to 400 clips a week," said Abu Muhammad, a shop owner who said he didn't have
the stomach to watch the decapitation by knife.

"We have all kinds of customers, both old and young."

The video shows a terrified Mohammed Abdel Aal kneeling in front of masked militants with AK-47 assault rifles as he confesses to planting electronic devices in houses that guided bombs dropped from U.S. warplanes.

One of the militants pulls out a knife, knocks down Abdel Aal, then severs his head and places it on his body over a pool of blood.

Such acts have been posted on radical Islamic Web sites carrying footage of several executions since militant groups and
guerrillas began a wave of kidnappings of foreigners in April.

It now appears that hostage-takers are also spreading chilling warnings to bustling Baghdad street markets and shops, where the
CD of Abdel Aal sells for the equivalent of 70 U.S. cents.

Several shopkeepers said the CD of the Egyptian was distributed by people from the guerrilla hotbed of Falluja to Baghdad
vendors who broadcast them on screens over crates along streets.

Called "The Spy", the CD appears on store shelves beside productions that have captivated Arab audiences for years, from
popular Egyptian comedians to belly dancers to pirated Western action movies.

CONSPIRACY THEORIES

One store owner said he could not bear to watch the execution CD, let alone sell it to scores of customers who appear every day.

"I remember I ran over a cat in 1985 and the sound of its suffering still haunts me so I can't watch this death," said Haydar Khalil,
54.

"The market is booming but I just can't do it."

But his friend, who watched the video, said the Egyptian deserved his fate.

"He said he offered Iraqi girls to the Americans. We cannot accept this, especially from a fellow Arab," said Allaa Hamdan, 32.

The video has already generated conspiracy theories in a country where people kept quiet for decades to avoid the iron first of
toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"A Muslim could not do something so barbaric. This was the work of Israeli intelligence trying to give Muslims a bad image in the
world," said video shop owner Abu Safwat.

"Besides Islam does not permit beheadings from the side of the neck like in the video. It must be done from the back of the neck."

Videos chronicling atrocities committed by Saddam and his sons are the next popular hit after the beheading CD although people
have begun to lose interest, shopkeepers said.


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:41 AM | Comments |