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Religious fundamentalist terrorists are among the most despicable internet tough guys. Beheading videos are attempts from these terrorists to make foreign governments (especially the United States) and foreigners (especially Americans) do what the terrorist want. Instead the people grew to hate the terrorists, and terrorists found that support for their own movements vanishes when they release these videos.
Unlike narcovideos, where the victims were involved in criminal activities and belonged to rival drug cartel groups, the victims of these videos were journalists and contractors doing legitimate work. This makes these videos, and the terrorists who make them, incredibly vile and despicable.
Beheading videos typically show terrorists reading long statements of demands. The victims may beg for their lives on camera. Each victim's final video shows the terrorist removing the victim's head and displaying it to the camera. At that point one terrorist usually yells "takbir" and the others yell "Allahu Akhbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) in unison.
After September 11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, touching off the War on Terror. The first one was the video Daniel Pearl, who was killed in neighboring Pakistan in 2002. The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, and Iraq became another place of terrorist activity. In Iraq the first video was of Nick Berg; terrorists since have kidnapped many more foreign hostages in that country and executed them.
Typically these videos were posted on religious extremist websites; from there they were distributed to various filesharing and shock sites.
You don't see these videos anymore; terrorists have realized that this doesn't help their cause.
- If the terrorists appear on camera, the terrorists always wear masks to hide their identities
- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, an organization responsible for many such videos, was killed in Iraq by a missile
- In "The Eyes of Samir," a film about a fictional beheading video attempt, the captor says: "Well, you see, Sarah, your death... (munch) is going to be our commercial, and your, uh, screaming that will be our uhm, how do you say, the catchy jingle"
- When she asks "why me" the captor says "We need people to be made afraid. They need to be afraid so, that they will do what we want them to do."