- El Shafee Elsheik gave a TV interview from captivity in Syria.
- He is accused of being part of the “Beatles” group of British jihadists who recorded gruesome beheading videos for ISIS.
- He calmly explained to a journalist why he liked Raqqa and supports slavery.
- Elsheik said: “just because America decided to abolish something… does not mean that every person has to run behind America and say this is now an abominable act.”
One of the most notorious ISIS jihadists calmly explained why he supports ISIS practice of enslaving people in conquers, in a jailhouse interview from Syria.
El Shafee Elsheik, originally from London, has been accused of part part of a group of prison guards and executioners known as “The Beatles,” who were behind some of the on-screen beheadings which became ISIS’s calling card.
The footage was released on Sunday, and featured Elsheik giving a limited insight into his life in Raqqa when it was under ISIS control. The exchange (in English) was posted on social media:
At some points Elsheik distanced himself from ISIS’s actions, and said he could not be held personally responsible for them.
However, other aspects he endorsed, including slavery.
He said the practice was a natural part of human society, used to be part of Islam, and should not be discontinued simply because Western countries abolished it.
Elsheik, when prompted by his interviewer to denounce slavery as a practice, said:
“Do I denounce what? Slavery? I don’t denounce slavery, no.
You have to understand that just because America decided to abolish something, I don’t know what year it was, does not mean that every person has to run behind America and say this is now an abominable act that nobody can do.
“The reality is slavery is something that’s been around as long as humans have been around.
“Islamic texts have spoken about slavery and the rights of a slave, and there’s a whole jurisprudence about slavery and the rights of slaves and the rights of slave owners.”
He stands accused of helping orchestrate the gruesome beheading videos which became ISIS’s hallmark, under the leadership of Mohammed Emwazi, the Londoner who came to be known as Jihadi John.
Elsheik studiously avoided responding to most accusations related to executions or other specific allegations of wrongdoing while he was part of ISIS.
Just before ending the interview he denied personally beheading anybody, and said he doesn’t like watching beheading videos.
However, his responses leave open the possibility he could have been involved in another way. He said he would address the accusations fully in a formal trial.
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