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Islamic State releases execution video of ‘Mossad spy’

East Jerusalemite Muhammad Musallam appears to be shot to death by teen boy; 2nd jihadist vows to ‘liberate Jerusalem from you filth’

Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam, an Arab from East Jerusalem held captive by the Islamic State group for allegedly being a Mossad spy, shown in a video apparently showing his execution, March 10, 2015. (screen capture: YouTube)
Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam, an Arab from East Jerusalem held captive by the Islamic State group for allegedly being a Mossad spy, shown in a video apparently showing his execution, March 10, 2015. (screen capture: YouTube)

The Islamic State on Tuesday released a video which appeared to show a child execute an East Jerusalem Arab who joined its ranks, and who the radical Islamist group claimed was a Mossad agent.

The 13-minute clip released online also listed other people the jihadist group claimed were working for Israeli intelligence.

Israeli officials told Reuters that they were aware of the video but hadn’t yet authenticated it. The contents of the video couldn’t be independently verified.

In the video, Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam, 20, was seen kneeling in an orange jumpsuit before an armed man and a teenage boy. The boy appeared to shoot Musallam repeatedly with a pistol.

The other man, speaking in French, issued a tirade against the Jews, including praise for a recent terrorist attack in Paris in which four Jewish men were killed at a kosher supermarket, and threatened to attack Israel.

“O Jews, indeed Allah has gifted us with killing your followers in your own stronghold in France. As for here in the Islamic State, here are the young lions of the Khilafah,” the IS member said, referring to the groups of children the jihadists train to become future fighters. “They will kill the one sent by the foolish Mossad to spy on the secrets of the mujahidin and the Muslims.”

The man went on to vow that IS “will liberate Jerusalem from you filth, by Allah’s permission.”

“Today we say to you the Islamic conquests have begun and the Jews have become frightened because the promise is near,” he continued and then urged IS followers to attack alleged Mossad agents. “We’ve revealed to you some of the names and pictures of the spies in Jerusalem and so make those who recruited them see their blood flow.”

The video opened with an interview with Musallam that was earlier reported in IS’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, in which he describes how he was recruited into the Mossad service. In addition to footage of Musallam, the video also showed a photograph of a passport that apparently showed Musallam was an Israeli citizen.

The video appeared to match previous IS productions in its use of multiple camera angles, computer graphics and digital imagery. It closed with a list of alleged Mossad spies, including names, home addresses, and occupations.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined comment.

A spokesman for Israel’s Shin Bet security service told AFP Mohammed had left home on October 24 “on his own initiative”, implying that he had not been sent by Israel.

Official Israeli policy is not to comment on such allegations.

The Shin Bet spokesman said Mohammed travelled from Israel to Turkey and “from there crossed to Syria and joined IS to fight for the organization”.

Musalam’s father, Said, told The Associated Press shortly after the video’s release that he had not seen it yet. But he said his 19-year-old son left for Syria four months ago without telling his family.

he told AFP his son, an Israeli citizen, abandoned his national service in the fire department to join IS.

Soon after his departure, Musalam told his brother that he was going to fight with IS. Musalam later contacted the family online from the extremists’ de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, and said he wanted to return home, his father said.

“I saw him with a long beard and long hair and a Kalashnikov,” his father said. “He told me, ‘Look dad, I am fed up here, it is a country of war, and I want to come back.'”

More than a month ago, the family received a call from an unidentified person who said Musalam had fled IS, was caught at a Turkish checkpoint, and was put in IS jail.

Musallam’s family denied that he has any connection to Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad.

“They did not want to let him leave because if he comes back, he might be caught by the Israelis and tell them what he had seen. So they wanted to get rid of him,” the father said. “I know my son. I raised him well. I am sure he’s not working for the Mossad.”

Photo of a passport, alleged to be that of Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam, held captive by Islamic State who claimed him to be a Mossad spy. (screen capture: YouTube)
Photo of a passport, alleged to be that of Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam, held captive by Islamic State who claimed him to be a Mossad spy. (screen capture: YouTube)

In February, Dabiq included an interview with the East Jerusalem resident and said he was recruited to work for the Israeli intelligence agency by his Jewish neighbor, a police officer named “Eli.”

Musallam’s father said they have had sporadic contact with their son over the past several months, but several weeks ago he was approached by someone who said they saw their son in an Islamic State prison.

“He is not a spy, he went over on his own — they recruited him on the Internet. I don’t know what they said to him or how they got into his head, but he is not connected with the Mossad, the Shin Bet security services or anyone else,” Musallam’s father said.

In the Dabiq interview, Musallam said he accepted his neighbor’s offer after gaining his family’s support and hearing of the salary and financial opportunities.

“They [his father and brother] both encouraged me to do it and told me that it was a very good job. They told me that there was a lot of money in it, and that you could advance to higher positions. I knew at that point that they themselves were working as spies,” he was quoted as saying.

Musallam said his base pay was NIS 5,000 per month, but would increase depending on the importance of the assignment and level of risk involved.

Later, Musallam said a Mosssad agent named “Miro” approached him, with an offer to spy on the Islamic State in Syria. According to the magazine, his mission was to collect specific information about weapons, where they were stored and to identify any Israeli Arabs or Palestinians fighting in the ranks of the jihadist group.

Noticing that his behavior was unusual for a volunteer jihadist, his commanders began to suspect Musallam and began to monitor him, according to the magazine.

A number of Israelis are thought to have joined up with the Islamic State, which has attracted 20,000 foreign fighters, according to a US report this week.

In January, a Nazareth man was arrested upon returning to Israel after joining the Islamic State to fight in Iraq.

The group, which captured wide swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, is known for its brutal tactics and use of slick propaganda material to spread its Islamist message.

In September, the group released a video showing the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a dual American-Israeli citizen captured while reporting from Syria.

AFP contributed to this report

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