November 14, 2013
Militant Islamist rebels in Syria linked to al-Qaeda have asked for
“understanding and forgiveness” for cutting off and putting on display
the wrong man’s head.
In a public appearance filmed and posted online, members of Islamic
State of Iraq and al-Sham, one brandishing a knife, held up a bearded
head before a crowd in Aleppo. They triumphantly described the execution
of what they said was a member of an Iraqi Shia militia fighting for
President Bashar al-Assad.
But the head was recognised from the video as originally belonging to
a member of Ahrar al-Sham, a Sunni Islamist rebel group that often
fights alongside ISIS though it does not share its al-Qaeda ideology.