Al Qaeda-linked jihadis fighting in Syria are asking for forgiveness after mistakenly decapitating a fellow rebel they had accused of being a Shiite supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Last week, Islamist militants with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) publicly beheaded the man in front of a crowd in Aleppo, after which a video of the incident was posted online. The Daily Telegraph reported that rebels with Ahrar al-Sham, another Sunni Islamist rebel group, who saw the video immediately recognized the victim, Mohammed Fares, as one of their own.
The BBC reported, “The video of the beheading shows two ISIS fighters in Aleppo province - one holding a knife - brandish a severed, bearded head, denouncing their victim as an Iraqi volunteer for President Bashar al-Assad's forces.”
“They decry his immorality, saying he is a heathen - one of those who have threatened rape of men as much as women,” the BBC added.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Fares had been wounded during a battle with the Syrian Army and was taken for medical care.
CNN quoted ISIS spokesman Omar al-Qahtani saying that Fares believed he had been captured by fighters loyal to President Assad and therefore called out the names of Imams Ali and Hussein, the founding fathers of Shia Islam, perhaps in an effort to encourage his captors to spare his life.
The ISIS rebels have now said they want Fares’ killers to be forgiven and have asked for "restraint and piety" in the wake of the mistaken beheading.
The Telegraph reported that ISIS spokesman al-Qahtani in a statement “made reference to a story in which Mohammed said Allah would forgive a man who killed a believer in error.”
"We call on God to accept Mohammed Fares into his Kingdom and to forgive his brothers that sought to rid us of the enemies of God and our enemies," Omar Al-Qahatani said according to CNN.
(H/T: Times of Israel)