Accessibility links

Militant, Teen In Latest IS Killing Video Are French Citizens, Official Says

The mother of Arab-Israeli Mohammed Musallam holds a portrait of her son at their home in east Jerusalem.

The mother of Arab-Israeli Mohammed Musallam holds a portrait of her son at their home in east Jerusalem.

A man and a child militant, who appear in a recent Islamic State video in which a Palestinian man is shot dead, have been identified as French citizens.

The video, which was shared on social media on March 10, shows a French-speaking militant and a child take 19-year-old Muhammad Musallam into a field. The child, who is dressed in a military uniform, then shoots Musallam in the head before chanting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is great.)

The authenticity of the footage has yet to be verified.

A French official told the Associated Press (AP) news agency on March 11 that the authorities are currently looking into claims that the adult militant has links to the family of Mohamed Merah, a French Islamic extremist who attacked and killed French soldiers and Jewish civilians in southern France in 2012.

The official, who AP said has close ties to the intelligence services, added that another militant who died in a suicide bombing this week is also a French teenager.

French militants have appeared in a number of recent Islamic State videos calling for French Muslims to carry out attacks in France.

A video released in February showed a French militant saying that he was "delighted" by January's terrorist shooting attacks on the offices of a Paris satirical magazine and a grocery store.

The militant also praised the actions of Mohamed Merah and called on French Muslims who cannot join IS in Syria to attack civilians in France.

French militants previously appeared in an Islamic State video released in November, one of whom suggested that French Muslims could "poison the water and food of at least one" French civilian.

Also in November, French authorities identified two French militants among the gunmen who appeared in a beheading video released by the Islamic State group.

A state prosecutor said that Mickael Dos Santos and Maxime Hauchard had been identified in the video, in which militants are shown herding a group of prisoners to be killed.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena