A child militant is shown executing two men identified as “Russian agents” in a shocking new video by the Islamic State (IS) group that emerged on social media on January 13.
The child militant appears to be an ethnic Kazakh and is very possibly the same child who appeared in a recent Islamic State video featuring Kazakh child fighters undergoing training.
The 7 1/2-minute video, by IS’s propaganda wing the Al-Hayat media group, is titled Uncovering The Enemy Within and is in Russian with English and Arabic subtitles.
The narrator explains that the Islamic State group’s “enemies thought that they could send spies and agents to plot against the Islamic State.”
The video opens with the “confessions” of the two men, whom IS claims were Russian spies “recruited by the Russian intelligence services.”
The first man is named as Mamayev Jambulat and says that he is from the Jambulskaya district of Kazakhstan. Jambulat says he is an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). However, he appears frightened and it is likely that his confession was made under duress and all his answers are prompted by questions from a Russian-speaking “interviewer” who is off-camera.
Jambulat goes on to say that he was tasked with going to Syria and finding out information for the FSB, including information from Russian-speaking militants. He says that the FSB had promised to pay him for passing on information.
The captive goes on to say that he had been living in Istanbul “in an apartment next to a large mosque” and that there had been two others there — an ethnic Karachay from the North Caucasus and a Turkish man.
The child appears to be a Kazakh boy who appeared in a recent IS video released in November and titled Race Toward Good.
The second captive appears to be an ethnic Russian and is named as Sergey Nikolaevich Ashimov. Like Jambulat, Ashimov appears frightened and his answers appear rehearsed. He uses IS terminology such as “brothers” to describe IS militants. He gives his age as 30 and says that before he came to Syria he worked for the FSB “against Muslims.” Ashimov says he had been tasked with providing information about “brothers fighting in Sham [Syria]” and to find out the location of the leader of IS.
The apparent forced nature of the confessions of the two men — and their use of IS terminology — are clues that Jambulat and Ashimov are likely not telling the truth about being FSB agents. However, there is another clue in the video that suggests that Ashimov is most likely a Russian convert to Islam who came to Syria to fight. Ashimov says that he was a “Muslim before but then I handed over my brothers and so I became a murtad (apostate),” he told his captors.
The two men are then filmed being shot by a young ethnic Kazakh child.
The child appears to be a Kazakh boy who appeared in a recent IS video released in November and titled Race Toward Good. That video showed a group of Kazakh children undergoing military and ideological instruction in Syria. The boy said that he will be “the one who slaughters you, O Kuffar (infidels).”
After shooting the two men, the child holds his gun aloft and smiles. The video’s narrator explains that the two executed men are “humilated under the feet of these young mujahedin.”
Immediately following the video’s circulation on social media, the Russian Embassy in Damascus issued a statement saying that it had no information about the “publication of a video showing the execution of alleged FSB agents by members of the IS group.”
The FSB declined to comment.