A 20-year-old Syrian Islamic State jihadist shot his own mother in the head before a public audience on Thursday, after she had been accused of apostasy.
The execution, brutal even by Islamic State standards, took place in the Syrian city of Al-Raqqah, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State caliphate, before “hundreds of people,” according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said that jihadi Ali Saqr al-Qasem shot his 45-year-old mother Lena in the head with an assault rifle in front of a large crowd.
The Islamic State often uses the charge of apostasy loosely to justify executing those who do not support or who criticize the organization.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>1-<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raqqa?src=hash”>#Raqqa</a> Leena Al-Qasem (35 years) executor was her son Ali Saqr (born 1995) a member of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ISIS?src=hash”>#ISIS</a>. Photo for him <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Syria?src=hash”>#Syria</a> <a href=”https://t.co/AiqZJHrStA”>pic.twitter.com/AiqZJHrStA</a></p>— Tim Ramadan (@tim_ramadan) <a href=”https://twitter.com/tim_ramadan/status/685152528108007425″>January 7, 2016</a></blockquote>
News of the execution came on the heels of revelations that Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani has been injured in an airstrike and is now in custody in neighboring Iraq.
A statement Thursday from Iraq’s Joint Operations Command confirmed the news, adding that the airstrike took place in the Iraqi town of Barwanah, in Anbar province.
Adnani was reportedly taken to the city of Hit for treatment after “losing a large amount of blood,” after which he was transported to Mosul under tight security.
Authorities had been chasing Adnani, possible heir to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph of the Islamic State, for more than a month.
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Her son was the one who turned his mother in to Islamic State leaders and he carried out the execution near the post office where she worked.