The February 15 ISIL-affiliated video showing and celebrating the mass beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya once again grotesquely displayed ISIL’s barbarism. The victims, men who had been working in Libya, had been kidnapped several weeks ago. Masked terrorists lined up the men on a beach and decapitated them with knives.
The lead executioner and terrorist spokesman on the video made clear that they targeted these victims because of their religion.
The world has reacted with horror and outrage. The United Nations Security Council issued a statement strongly condemning the “heinous and cowardly” murder. “This crime once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL which is responsible for thousands of crimes and abuses against people from all faiths, ethnicities and nationalities, and without regards to any basic values of humanity.” The Security Council reiterated its strong condemnation of the persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief.
The United States also condemned the “despicable and cowardly murder” of the twenty-one Egyptians.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted that “ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that this “heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL.
“We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat. We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General Benardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.”