Islamic extremists in Syria performed what may have been a Twitter first Friday: live-tweeting the amputation of a man’s hand.
Washington Post reports the amputation took place in the remote rural town of Maskanah in the northern province of Aleppo. The following is an excerpt from that report, detailing a series of tweets posted by the account of a supporter of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria:
The first showed a photograph of a blindfolded man having his arm positioned on a table by fighters as a masked man wielding a sword waits nearby. Another man, wearing a white robe of the kind favored in Arab Gulf countries, is reading a statement. A caption states that the blindfolded man is a thief who had asked to have his hand cut off “in order to cleanse his sins.”
A second photograph was taken just as the sword is about to strike the hand while a burly fighter restrains the victim.
A third picture posted an hour later is too graphic to show here. The man appears to be passed out, with his bloodied arm and his severed hand resting on the table. Fresh slashes in the wood suggest it took four swipes of the sword to cut the hand off.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was previously known as al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. However, the central leadership of al-Qaeda recently renounced ties with the extremist group because their savagery and draconian interpretations of Islamic law alienated many Syrians and drove a wedge between rebel groups.