July 21, 2015 | Quote
Town Shames ISIS Chief ‘Cersei Lannister-Style’—and Then Executes Him
In a scene of medieval brutality, a jihadi group fighting to control a strategically important Libyan port captured ISIS’s local commander there, paraded him through the streets amid the taunts of onlookers, and then walked him to a gallows, where he was hanged.
The public spectacle—the details of which have not been previously reported in the Western press—was meant to send a message to local residents: Side with ISIS, and this is your fate. But it also vividly conveyed that, despite ISIS’s territorial gains in Syria and Iraq, the self-proclaimed caliphate does not exercise total control of Libya, a fractured country that it’s trying to use as a safe haven, training ground, and potential launching point for attacks in North Africa and potentially Europe.
The execution in the eastern city of Derna was described to The Daily Beast by two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity and are familiar with video footage of the shaming and hanging. U.S. government intelligence analysts have also seen the footage, the sources said.
The ISIS commander was marched through the street “Cersei Lannister-style,” one source said, an allusion to the queen mother in Game of Thrones, who, in the series’ recent season finale, is forced to walk naked through the streets to atone for her sins.
It was an apparently deliberate piece of propaganda, appropriating the terrifying public killing that have become ISIS’s hallmark and using them on the group itself.
The group “is all about messaging strength and projecting strength and basically showing they’re an unstoppable force,” Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism expert and editor of the Long War Journal, told The Daily Beast. “Here’s an example where they lost.”
“You’d hope that when they go to war with each other they weaken both sides. Unfortunately, that’s not the case,” said Joscelyn, the terrorism analysts. In Syria, jihadist groups have grappled for supremacy and only become more hardened. The fighting “makes them up their game, and makes each side better,” he said.
Read the full article here.