The Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, released a new video that purportedly shows a child executing two men accused of being Russian spies trying to infiltrate the terrorist organization in Syria.
The video, titled "Uncovering an Enemy Within," featured two men who appeared to acknowledge that they worked for Russian security services, according to Jim Michaels of USA Today. SITE Monitoring Service, which released the video, could not verify its authenticity.
"These guys, by their own admission, were FSB assets rather than officers, and the tradecraft described is plausible," Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security services with New York University, said. "The FSB can and does operate abroad in support of its domestic security mission and given the concern about connections between IS and the North Caucasus insurgents, then it is highly likely that the FSB is seeking to penetrate the former."
According to Adam Taylor of the Washington Post, the Russian government said that its intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), had "no information at all" about the killing. The government also has not confirmed that any FSB agents were killed.
In the video, the men were identified as Mamayev Jambulat Yesenjanovich of Kazakhstan and Ashimov Sergey of Russia. The men's objectives, as described in the video according to the Washington Post, were to "gather information about fighters from Russia," obtain computer data, kill an unarmed man and locate the residence of the ISIS leader.
The video ended with a child using a pistol to shoot the two men at an undisclosed location. USA Today provided a description of the young shooter.
"The slender youth with shoulder-length hair appears to be younger than a teenager," Michaels wrote. "Near the end of the video, he purportedly executes the kneeling men with a pistol."
USA Today noted that ISIS has previously released videos that boasted of the terrorist organization's reach to recruit young people and highlighted its various military tactics. However, their latest video of a child executing two men is rare, prompting outrage across social media.
Mubin Sheikh, author of the book Undercover Jihadi, talked to USA Today about the reaction the video has received online.
"The video will whip up enthusiasm among the group's ardent supporters but has triggered 'revulsion' in the rest of the world," Sheikh said.
Fox News reported that ISIS has been known to use child soldiers, which it called the "lion cubs of the Caliphate." The slickly-produced video also relied on ISIS footage previously released in November that showed a training camp for the "next generation" of jihadis.
"The same boy appears in that video, speaking of his ambitions to grow up to 'kill infidels' and identifying himself as 'Abdullah' from Kazakhstan," Fox News wrote.
According to Fox News, the U.S. State Department has not commented on the video yet.