Islamist terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) released a video Saturday of its affiliates killing an elderly Coptic Christian man they had kidnapped in November 2020.
In the video shared first on Telegram, according to Albawaba, ISIS affiliates are shown shooting 62-year-old Nabil Habashy Salama point-blank in the head. Two other individuals were also shown being executed.
The 13-minute video opens with Habashy saying that the ISIS-affiliated Sinai Province has held him captive for more than three months, Egypt Today reported. (RELATED: Museum Opens In Egypt To Honor 21 Christians Killed By ISIS In Gruesome 2015 Video)
He then says that he helped build the Church of the Virgin Mary in Bir El-Abd, located in Northern Sinai, according to Egyptian Streets. Habashy is also made to say that the Coptic Church collaborates with the Egyptian military and intelligence in combatting the terrorist outfit.
The video then transitions into footage showing Habashy, hands-tied, kneeling in front of three rifle-wielding terrorists whose faces were blurred out.
#ISIS executes an Egyptian Christian hostage it captured in #Egypt 3 month ago. Nabil Habashy was the founder of a church in Deer El Abed in #Sinai and was executed in retaliation for the cooperation between the #Coptic church and the #Egyptian army as the thugs called it. pic.twitter.com/E6KdRTCGw4— مايكل منير (ن) (@MichaelMeunier) April 18, 2021
The militant who eventually executes Habashy says in a message addressed to “all crusaders in the world,” that “[a]s you kill, you will be killed, and as you capture, you will be captured,” according to Egypt Today.
He warns Egypt’s Christians that “this is the price you are paying for supporting the Egyptian army,” according to Albawaba. The militant further threatens Egypt’s Coptic Christians, saying that working with Egyptian counterterrorism forces “will not get you anywhere.”
He then warns the Egyptian military over a “long bill” the group believes it has to pay, saying that they are ready to go to war against the Egyptian Armed Forces, especially in the Sinai region.
Calling Egyptians supporting the military’s anti-terrorism efforts against the group “apostates,” the militant says the army “cannot even protect itself.
“Oh fools, we have come to you with cut-throats,” the militant said, according to Egypt Today.
After finishing his statement, the Islamist takes his rifle and shoots Habashy, killing him with a single shot, the video shows. He is shown slumping forward after taking the bullet to the back of his head in a one-and-a-half-minute excerpt of the video.
Egyptian authorities confirmed Habashy’s death, Egyptian Streets reported.
In a Sunday evening Facebook statement, The Coptic Orthodox Church called Habashy a “faithful son and servant” who “adhered to his religion till death.” According to some reports, the group also tortured Habashy over a period of five months, International Business Times reported.
The Church also conveyed its full support for the Egyptian government in “countering the hateful acts of terrorism,” adding that ISIS’s acts “would only raise our determination and insistence to preserve our precious national unity,” Ahram reported.
“You made us proud,” Habashy’s daughter wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to Egyptian Streets.
ISIS kidnapped Habashy on the evening of Nov. 7, according to Mada Masr. He was the builder of the first church in Bir Al-Abd and owned multiple jewelry stores. He was the first Coptic man to be abducted by the group in the city.
The Copts are an ethnoreligious group in North Africa, mainly Egypt, whose origins date back to pre-Islamic North Africa. They adhere to Coptic Orthodox Christianity, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The group has been the target of several attacks by ISIS, especially in the Sinai Peninsula, where its affiliate, Islamic State – Sinai Province, is active, according to Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
In a Monday statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior announced that counterterrorism forces have killed the three terrorists behind Habashy’s death.
After receiving intel that they were in Northern Sinai, and were also planning other attacks on Copts and the Egyptian government, the country’s armed forces went to where the militants were located and engaged in a gun-battle that ended with all three terrorists dying after a bullet struck a suicide belt one of them was wearing.