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Newest Islamic State Video 'Sign of Desperation,' Analysts Say


"I think it's a sign that they know and feel they are under attack, they're under siege and they're struggling."

Image source: CNN

Analysts said the Islamic State is showing signs of desperation in its latest video, which — among other barbaric acts — displayed a severed head the group claimed was that of captured U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, CNN reported. The White House confirmed Kassig's death Sunday after reviewing the video.

According to Haras Rafiq of the Quiliam Foundation, an anti-extremist think tank, the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL, ISIS) is likely to conduct executions on video of a more brutal fashion in the future.

"As we see the U.S. and the coalition making gains against ISIL," Rafiq told CNN, "we will find that they try and show that they are still strong, try and show that they are just as barbaric as they have been, and unfortunately one of the things we'll see is that the videos will become more and more barbaric."

Image source: CNN Image source: CNN

"I think it's a sign of desperation," he added to the network. "I think it's a sign that they know and feel they are under attack, they're under siege and they're struggling."

The newest video differs from previous videos: There's no Western hostage dressed in orange speaking to the camera before his death, there's no named next victim, and Kassig's beheading wasn't part of it, CNN noted.

But the video does feature the mass beheadings of what the Islamic State militants claimed were pilots for the Syrian government, which is fighting the Islamic State as well, the network added.

"It can't be said enough," CNN's Nic Robertson said. "This is the most barbaric they've done so far." He added that latest video is clearly "a prize piece of propaganda for them."

According to Rafiq, as well as retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joe Ruffini — a counterterrorism expert — the video is probably meant in part to scare Syrians and Iraqis into obeying Islamic State orders, CNN reported.

"What ISIS is telling them is, 'When we come in and tell you to do what we tell you, you know what the consequences are if you say no,'" Ruffini told the network.

Read the complete CNN article here.

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