Islamic State militants threw blindfolded men head first off a building in Mosul after they were accused of being homosexuals and violating the Sharia law.
In a series of photos released recently by the Islamist extremist group and obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the militants publicly executed the unidentified men while spectators, including children, gathered below the 100-foot building. The photos, believed to be recent, have been released on the jihadist online forum Shumoukh Al-Islam in a report titled "Implementation of the Punishment of Those Who Have Committed Acts of Homosexuality."
The victims were held by their ankles before they were sent plunging to their deaths.
ISIS used "flirt squads" composed of militants pretending to be homosexuals to entice gay men out into the open.
"ISIS wants the Muslim world to know that it is executing gays because it displays their credentials as enforcers of Sharia law," said Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst for The Clarion Project. "There is widespread anti-homosexual sentiment in the Muslim world because of the belief that Sharia requires the execution of gays. Homosexuals are often not only seen as harming themselves but as dire threats to society as a whole."
The terrorist group's hatred against gays is well-known as men in Iraq and Syria have been publicly executed in recent months for their gender preference. While some suspected homosexuals were thrown off buildings, others were burned alive or stoned to death. Those who survived the ordeal were shot to death.
"You won't see a significant backlash to ISIS' crimes because there is no gay rights movement in the Muslim world and the gay rights advocates in the West are usually silent when it comes to persecution overseas," Mauro said. "From ISIS' perspective, they only stand to gain from executing gays and telling the world about it."