A video purporting to show a young boy executing two men accused of working for Russian intelligence services has been released by the Islamic State jihadist group.
The video shows the child — believed to be aged 10 — shoot dead two men after they were interrogated on camera about their alleged attempts to infiltrate IS in Syria.
The seven-minute video — entitled ‘Uncovering an Enemy Within’ — was widely shared on jihadist networks. It has not been independently verified but is very similar in its production values and distribution as other Islamic State videos.
One of the men about to be executed says he is a Kazakh citizen and was recruited by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to get close to an unnamed IS fighter.
The second man, who does not give his nationality but says he worked for the FSB in Russia previously, says he was tasked with killing an unnamed IS fighter.
The video names the two men as Mamayev Jambulat Yesenjanovich, 38, from Jambul, Kazakhstan, and Ashimov Sergey Nikolayavich, 30.
Both men in the video tell the camera they were on a mission to collect information about IS fighters in Syria.
They are then seen kneeling in scrubland, when a bearded fighter with a machine gun prompts the child to shoot the men with a pistol. The long-haired boy is then seen to celebrate by holding his gun in the air after shooting the men in the back of the head
The bearded fighter said the victims were in the “custody of the lion cubs”.
“Allah has gifted the Islamic State’s security agency with the apprehension of these two spies,” he says, with subtitles in Arabic and English. He continues: “By Allah’s grace, they are now in the custody of the lion cubs of the Khilafah.
At that point, the child, armed with a handgun, steps forward, and shoots the two kneeling captives in the back of the head.
The end of the video shows the same boy from earlier videos in which he boasts he wants to kill “infidels”.
Russia’s FSB agency had no comment on the video.
Charlie Winter, a researcher for the anti-extremism thinktank Quilliam, said: “Whether it is real or staged, [Isis] used a young child in this video for the shock factor, and the shock factor alone.
“Its propagandists have done it before – showing images of children training as soldiers and being kicked in the stomach in martial arts drills — but this latest video marks a departure from past norms.”
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