The Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate, Province of Sinai, announced the beheading of two people in North Sinai for alleged cooperation with security forces.
Graphic pictures of the victims, 28-year-old Wael al-Shaaer and 27-year-old Salama Suleiman, were published on Dabiq, the online magazine of the Islamic State. The images show the two lying on the floor with their hands tied, as Province of Sinai militants prepare to behead them.
News circulated about Shaaer’s disappearance on January 31, when family members published his picture on social media, claiming he was kidnapped on arrival in Rafah.
According to an old classmate, Shaaer lived in the buffer zone that was evacuated by the military in Rafah and moved to 10th of Ramadan City with his wife and son for work. The source said he was visiting his sick father in Rafah when he was kidnapped.
“Shaaer used to cooperate with security bodies, but he only used to run errands for them,” the classmate claimed, adding that there have been several kidnappings targeting residents of North Sinai for cooperating with security forces.
The province of Sinai has carried out a number of kidnappings and executions over the last few years. In May 2013, the group kidnapped seven soldiers, and in September 2014 they kidnapped US engineer William Henderson, killing him four months later.
In January 2015, the Province of Sinai released a video online showing the kidnapping and execution of police officer Ayman Dessouky in North Sinai. In August, they kidnapped and killed 30-year-old Croatian citizen Tomislav Salopek, who was taken from his car while on his way to work in Cairo. The group circulated an online video, “A message to the Egyptian government,” in which Salopek is shown on his knees in an orange jumpsuit, reading out a statement including his name and age, as well as the names of his wife and two children.
Formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, the militant group changed its name after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in November 2015. They have claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on security checkpoints since 2013, when former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power by the military.