Hostages Subjected To Execution Rehearsals
In many ISIS execution videos, the victims speak calmly and directly to the camera to describe why they’re there. It seems weird that a person would be so tranquil before his death. The hostages are able to retain their poise probably because they don’t know they’re about to be executed, an ISIS defector
The defector, who called himself “Saleh,” said a Turkish member of ISIS hired him to reassure captives they wouldn’t be killed. He would tell the victims that the executions being filmed were just rehearsals.
“No problem, only video, we don’t kill you, we want from your government [to] stop attacking Syria. We don’t have any problem with you; You are only our visitors,’”
“Saleh” recounted as the words he was ordered to tell the hostages. He always knew that the captives would be killed, he said.
Why the secrecy?
It might be because ISIS learned from previous killing videos from the Iraq war, the Washington Post hypothesizes. Hostages who know they’re being led to their deaths are more unpredictable and will sometimes offer a disturbing plea or troublesome last words. The viewer might be inclined to feel empathy for the victim, which makes for some bad propaganda.
This defectors’ words, although not verified, would explain why the Israeli spy seemed so stoic in his interview released by ISIS recently. Right before an ISIS child soldier shot him dead in broad daylight, the spy is given treatment like any usual documentary subject:
ISIS Boy Soldier Executes Alleged Israeli Spy
Saleh said the execution rehearsals took place so that when the moment of death finally came the hostages were not expecting to be killed and were relaxed to appeal for their release on camera.
He said: “He would say to me ‘say to them, no problem, only video, we don’t kill you, we want from your government [to] stop attacking Syria. We don’t have any problem with you; you are only our visitors’.
“So they don’t worry. Always I say to them ‘don’t worry, doesn’t matter, nothing dangerous for you’. But at the end I was sure [they would die].
“Maybe they [the captors] raise their voice, but without hitting. All the time he say to him ‘it’s a rehearsal, don’t [be] afraid’.
“I will explain. He want, when he will kill you really… [it] don’t enter his [hostage’s] head. Exactly, of course, you [hostages] should say this message: ‘I’m living in ISIS and will stay and continue’.”
Saleh worked as a translator before he was employed by IS. He fled across the border to Turkey to escape the group and claims to have looked after a hostage with an English accent.
He said: “This man from England, or Netherlands, I don’t know. He was speaking English so nice. Sometimes I don’t understand what he say.
“He was with mask. All questions around gun, around job in Syria. ‘Who send you to Syria? Who is your partner there? When you came into Syria? Where you stayed in Idlib? In Aleppo?’ All thing [the time he] give answer. ‘No, I’m press, I’m press’.
“So after that he said to me, the Turkish man, ‘don’t worry, don’t worry’. After that he was so afraid.”
Saleh claimed hostages were given Arabic names to convince them they were amongst friends in order to calm them down. He says Kenji Goto was given the name “Abu Saad”.
“ISIS gave the hostages an idea; ‘You should be Muslim and come with us’. When I went to the rehearsal he said to [Kenji] Goto ‘Abu Saad’. Maybe I was thinking to myself ‘maybe they try [find] this name so hard, ‘Kenji Goto’.
“Maybe they could not say [Kenji Goto] so [they say] Abu Saad. But when I noticed Goto, when they said Abu Saad to Goto, direct [he] relax.”
Captives are so calm because they’ve been through so many MOCK executions that they still do not know they are about to die, reveals former hostage
- French journalist Didier Francois was held by ISIS militants earlier this year
- He says prisoners were put through mock crucifixions ‘several times’
- This explains why they appear calm before they are killed, he claims
The hostages in Islamic State execution videos appear calm because they do not realise they are about to die, according to a former captive.
French war reporter Didier Francois, who was released by the terrorists earlier this year, said that prisoners were threatened with execution ‘several times’ and IS militants carried out macabre mock crucifixions.
Commenting on why the hostages, including Briton David Haines, remained calm even seconds before their deaths, the journalist said: ‘They did not realise that this time it was the real thing’.