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Wednesday, August 15, 2007 

A sickening wave of revenge.

(This post contains links to videos which contain disturbing and graphic violence. While the post itself is work safe, the links are not.)

Some reporters have apparently been confused as to why the Kurdish Yezidi sect was chosen as the target for some of the most brutal, if not the worst suicide attacks to have hit Iraq since the invasion. The slightest amount of research would quickly turn up just why at least two groups of Salafi takfirists had promised revenge against the members of the sect. Indeed, it's a story that can be told through videos posted on the internet, all of them providing a chilling view of today's Iraq, four years on from the invasion.

While the Yezidis living in the Kurdish north are felt to be "devil worshippers" by some of the Muslims living in Iraq, their separation and distance from the nearest city of Mosul has mainly meant that they've been left well alone, at least until now. Some reports have mentioned that they were supportive of the Iraq war, and while that may be true, there's nothing to suggest this was why they were targeted, nor that they were non-Islamic. Yesterday's attack was undoubtedly the end result of a horrific honour killing which took place in the town of Bashika in April.

Du'a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yezidi, had made the mistake of daring to fall in love with a Sunni Muslim. The reports on her death and why she was murdered are understandably confused and contradictory; some say she was to be married to him, others that she had converted to Islam, others simply that she had in fact been absent from her home for one night. Also confused is whether she was tricked into returning to the town, or whether she was given refuge by a Yezidi tribal leader only for the mob to capture her and drive her out into the town. What is certain is that she was murdered in broad daylight by a large group of men, stoned to death, while security forces stood by and did nothing to help her. Some sources allege that they in fact delivered her to the mob. The killing was recorded by a number of the men on mobile phones, and subsequently posted on the internet.

Unsurprisingly, the video quickly spread, and came to the attention of both Ansar al-Sunnah and the Islamic State of Iraq, both of which promised revenge in communiques to the usual jihadist forums. ISI went one step further, proclaiming her as a martyr, in a post I saw on a site which is now offline.

The inevitable first part of the revenge took place on the 23rd of April, when fighters from the ISI hijacked a bus carrying workers in Mosul, checked the ID cards of those on it, ordered the Christians and Muslims off and then drove the 23 Yezidis on board to the eastern part of the city. Once there, they were ordered to lay on their fronts against a wall. The men were then all sprayed with bullets, presumably with AK-47s from a distance, before 3 of the gunmen move in and fire further barrages into the bodies from a few feet away. The video of the massacre was subsequently distributed by the Mosul section of the ISI's media branch, not the al-Furqan section which usually produces the rest of the group's propaganda from elsewhere in Iraq.

Yesterday's attack is almost certainly also the work of the Islamic State. While Ansar al-Sunnah is one of the other insurgent groups to have carried out suicide bombings in Iraq, the attack carries all the hallmarks of an al-Qaida in Iraq operation, the multiple bombings, the use of trucks and the soft, defenceless target. It won't be a surprise if a video of the "operation" subsequently turns up online, continuing the cycle of depravity likely to shock even the most hardened, cynical and desensitised of the watchers of the jihadist media available on the web.


Screengrabs from the video.

The methods of the insurgents in Iraq appear to have influenced fascists in Russia. A group calling itself the "National Socialist Party of Russia" had a video distributed, initally on LiveJournal among Russian far-right nationalists, which shows the beheading of one man and the shooting dead of another. The video claims that they're "colonists" from Dagestan and Tajikistan. A statement sent to a Chechen news agency, purportedly from the group, called for the expulsion from Russian territory of all Asians and people from the Caucasus, the independence of Chechnya and the resignation of President Vladimir Putin. A man has since come forward and admitted to helping to distribute the recording.

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Really horrifying post septisicle! Why do they not have reports like this on national news...? It would open their eyes a little more, people are so blind as to what is actually going on...it's fucking madness!

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