Murdering civilians just to make a better terror propaganda video

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The al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia has released a new ISIS-style execution video purporting to show the execution of a group of male Somali civilians who were forced into the sea to swim for their lives and fatally gunned down by a firing squad of militants using machine guns.

Al-Shabaab militants open fire at civilian hostages they forced to swim for their lives in a 2-part propaganda video. / Jihadology.net

Al-Shabaab militants open fire at civilian hostages they forced to swim for their lives in a 2-part propaganda video released in March 2015. / Jihadology.net

In the 2-minute video titled “Remembrance 2,” released [in March 2015] by al-Shabaab’s media wing al-Kataib Foundation, extremists are seen leading at least six fully clothed male civilians that look to be in their 20s to the ocean and forcing them to swim out to sea. Once the men began swimming for their lives, the militant gunmen unloaded a barrage of bullets, brutally killing the civilians. Along with the splashes from bullets hitting the water, the video also shows the bullets drilling victims in their heads. The video then shows the men’s dead bodies floating in the water. …

Although it’s unclear as to why the militants killed the men and how they were captured, Jasmine Opperman, the African director at the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, said she thinks al-Shabaab was trying to take a page out of the Islamic State’s playbook by publishing a propaganda execution video designed to increase its popularity among international jihadis.

“In its desperation to regain international attention and prestige, al-Shabaab uses the Islamic State’s propaganda tactics and brutality sending a message they not only have the capacity to execute at free will, but also announcing their undeterred presence,” Opperman told Fox News. “More than likely, al-Shabaab is sending signals to the Islamic State that there is little difference between the groups.”

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