November 10, 2016: ISIS executions in Iraq

Islamic State executed scores of civilians in Iraq in November 2016 in unspeakably cruel ways.

Islamic State executed scores of civilians in Iraq in November 2016 in unspeakably cruel ways.

MOSUL, IRAQ – We must never forget the depths to which the terrorists of Islamic State descended during their ‘reign’ in Iraq and Syria.

Is it just me or has everyone forgotten just how bad Islamic State (ISIS) was? Sure, all kinds of terrorist groups do all kinds of terrible things, but ISIS was particularly heinous at what it did.

The group was able to dole out acts of horrible cruelty in part because it actually controlled sizeable chunk of territory in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019, what it called its ‘Caliphate‘ (or as a friend of mine prefers to label it, the ‘Califake’). If you have the trappings of a state you can do a lot more after all.

But we seem to have moved on. Perhaps in part because of US President Trump‘s erroneous claims that he had ‘defeated’ the terrorist group or perhaps because ISIS’s hold on the Caliphate is no more: whatever the reason, many seem to see the organisation as having had its heyday.

This of course is hogwash.

Not a day goes by without another attack by the ‘remnants’ of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, it has spawned ‘affiliates’ in over twenty countries around the world, some of which are wreaking havoc in their home countries. And when you add in the ISIS ‘inspired’ you have anything but a defunct movement.

Still, it is critical to recall what ISIS core actually did during its rule in Iraq and Syria. Not out a sense of cruel obsession with violence but to serve as a reminder of just how low it could stoop. Not only do the victims deserve to be remembered but we all have to realise that this bunch of terrorists will return to similar acts of heinous barbarity if we stop watching, and thwarting, them.

This day in November 2016 serves as a potent example of what I am trying to say here. At least 39 people were killed on this day, 30 by electrocution. Yes, you read that right: electrocution. Five others were crucified. Yes, crucified.

I saw five corpses of young men which had been crucified at a road junction in east Mosul. The Daesh [ISIS] people hung the bodies out and said that these were agents passing news to the infidel forces and apostates.

Eye witness to the events

Can anyone name another group that partook in these kinds of acts of violence? True, the odd group here and there will do something on this scale of ruthlessness but never at the level of ISIS. This is why we cannot shelve these acts and why we must remain vigilant. This is why ISIS cannot be allowed to rise again to power.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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