The media outlet reports that at least two ISIS jihadists have been publicly executed for spying and embezzlement in the Syrian city of Al-Bukamal. It is still unclear whether the men were beheaded or crucified, since both forms of punishment are widely used by the Islamic State militants.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one of the executed fighters was charged with "banditry and robbing Muslims' money" and the second one was accused of "dealing with the regime and throwing electronic chips to keep track of Mujahedeen," as cited by the Independent.
Experts say they are not surprised by the harsh methods used by the ISIS, as decapitation and crucifying are common forms of punishment practiced by Sunni Wahhabi sectarians.
"Jihadist groups have a strict no corruption policy, meaning that while they can benefit financially from charging bank transactions and claiming a percentage of everyone’s monthly income, they don’t extort people like some secular groups have done in the past," notes Charlie Winter. Experts emphasize that decapitation has long been a routine practice in Saudi Arabia, a country where Islam's Sharia Law is used.
"According to Amnesty International at least 79 people were executed [beheaded] in Saudi Arabia in 2013 and between 1 January and 18 August this year 34 more people were executed, making a total of 113. This does not include any estimates for executions at the end of 2012," the Independent reported in September 2014.
However, while denouncing IS's methods as gruesome and barbaric, the western policy-makers have turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's beheading practice.