BEIRUT (AP) — A video circulated online Sunday purported to show the Islamic State group killing five men accused of spying for Britain in Syria.
The high-quality footage bore the markings of the IS media wing, and shows five men "confessing" to filming and photographing sites in exchange for money within Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate. It could not be independently verified.
The men, speaking Arabic, are introduced as "the enemy" and "apostates." Several said they were given hidden cameras with lenses disguised as shirt buttons to provide images and videos to a contact in Turkey. One said he later saw that his videos appearing in international media including Britain's BBC.
He goes on to say he was sent two photos of British Islamic State members and asked to locate them, and also to photograph a former Syrian government building now housing the Islamic State group's "Islamic Courts."
"Don't let them fool you like they fooled us," one of the condemned men said, referring to those seeking to collect information on IS and undermine it.
Another man appeals to people in similar situations to confess and turn themselves in, repeatedly saying "the door to repentance is open."
The video then cuts to the men kneeling, lined up in orange jumpsuits in the desert, where they are shot in the head by masked men.
Before the shooting, a masked man with a British accent mocks British Prime Minister David Cameron, calling him a "slave of the White House," and "mule of the Jews." He describes the men as "spies," and says IS will one day invade Britain and impose their extremist version of Islamic law.
"Only an imbecile would dare to wage war against a land where the law of Allah reigns supreme," he says, referring to Cameron. "The Islamic State, our country, is here to stay. And we will continue to wage jihad, break borders, and one day invade your land, where we will rule by the Shariah."
The Islamic State group has come under pressure in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi government troops last month retook part of the city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of the sprawling Anbar province, Iraq's Sunni heartland, which IS had held since May. And in November, IS lost the town of Sinjar in Iraq, and areas across the border in Syria at the same time.