Report: CIA Agent Beheaded on Video

Reuters – Video Purportedly Shows Killing of Iraq ‘CIA Agent’

A Web site used by Islamic militants carried a video on Wednesday purporting to show militants beheading a “CIA agent” in Iraq. The four-minute long footage showed a Western-looking man sitting on a chair surrounded by armed masked men. One of the men struck the captive’s neck repeatedly with a sword, severing his head amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). A militant later held up the severed head for the camera. An Arabic sign placed around the man’s neck identified him as a “CIA agent.” The video, which could not be immediately authenticated, showed what seemed to be the captive’s picture identification card with the caption “visitor.”

The Web site did not say which group issued the video, nor did the masked men identify themselves or make any political statements as previous kidnappers in Iraq had. The men could be heard speaking in the background but the audio quality was too poor to understand. The tired-looking captive was wearing a plain shirt and trousers.

Militants in Iraq have waged a campaign of kidnapping aimed at driving out individuals, companies and troops supporting U.S. forces and the new Iraqi interim administration.
Scores of hostages have been kidnapped by armed groups. Some have been freed but at least nine have been killed — including an American, a South Korean and a Bulgarian.

Even Drudge, from whence the link came, is downplaying this one–with the big font treatment going to an offshore hurricane. That, combined with the fact that there was no pre-beheading video publicizing the hostage and demanding ransom, no orange jumpsuit, and so forth, should cause skepticism.

Others blogging:

UPDATE: Alleged CIA Agent Beheaded (August 25)

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jeff says:

    NE Intel Network has some good points about discrepancies in this one.

  2. Yeah, but if you look at the video it obviously isn’t fake. This is not another publicity stunt. The only real question is the identity of the terrorists and the victim.

  3. Bithead says:

    How much of this skepticism, I wonder, is casued by that proven fake of a few days ago?

  4. Crystal K says:

    All of this is only showing us that theirs is a religion based on butchery and perpetrated by animals – I saw the entire video at ogrish and found it horrible in that they demanded the man open his eyes – perhaps he was praying in his last moments? Perhaps his eyes hurt from obvious previous beatings (see black eye) but all in all these people are sick without a shred of decency, compassion, heart, or humanity that don’t give a hoot about life theirs or anyone else’s and they totally seem to take enjoyment in their ‘power’.

    These people need to be stopped!! They are truly evil. I feel sad for the people they have cut down in their primes and hope that these ani-men can be stopped because I think they’re like terminators – i.e. you can’t reason with them, you can’t plead for mercy from them and they will not stop until either they or their targets are utterly destroyed – sad but true

    Who cares if the dude was CIA or not? Any innocent slaughtered is still murder.

  5. Allyson says:

    This is the first beheading I have been able to bring myself to watch and I ask myself why? This has to be the most grusome act of mankind I have ever seen in my life!!! This is sick and the men doing this are sick as well. This is just insane….I still can’t believe what I just watched!! Please all of you out there say a prayer for his family and him as well, no one deserves to be killed, and in such a manor as this video. This goes to all that have lost their lives defending our country….THANK YOU!!!

  6. John Doe says:

    I think this person (supposedly CIA agent) was still alive.

    I think they saw that he was an American CIA agent (from ID papers) and beat him up really badly. Must have had a severe beating.

    These people are not Iraqis. They are foreign islamic Al Qaeda groups (mostly recruited from Saudi ARabia, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Persian Gulf countries etc) flocking to Iraq to cause trouble.

    They even shoot Iraqis (their own kind ie. muslims/arabs) that work for the US army like Iraqi women who do the laundry for US military and Iraqi translaters.

    Iraqis would never bomb their own with car bombings. It never happened when Saddam Hussein was in power.

    Car bombings & beheadings are an Al Qaeda hallmark.

    I mean look at that American contractor (Mr Hamil) that was kidnapped in Iraq by Iraqi militants. They treated him humanely and well for a month before he escaped. If the Zarqawi group had captured him I think he would have been beheaded.

    I noticed almost all of these beheadings are done by the Jordanian Al Qaeda linked Zarqawi group. Because if you look at their flag in the background it’s a black flag with yellow sun in the middle. This is their group.

    I mean look at Jessica Lynch, she was injured combatant, the Iraqis took her to a hospital and even put her in an Iraqi ambulance and drove her to an American checkpoint to return her but they were fired upon by trigger happy US soldiers.

    I think the CIA agent was so demoralized and was already prepared for death that he didn’t want to put up any physical resistance. He knew it was hopeless and they were going to kill him anyway.

    He’s obviously alive because one of the terrorists told him to open his eyes and he did so weakly and also he lifted his hands up and down a few times.

    I don’t think he was dead when they beheaded him. I think he gave up all hope and said let them get it over with.

    His jaw looks broken and his eyes is all bruised. He must have gotten a severe beating.

    Remember there are many different groups operating in Iraq.

    There are even news reports of some Iraqi groups that have threatened to kill Zarqawi and his terrorist group because they claim Zarqawi has killed scores of innocent Iraqis and have beheaded foreingers. They don’t all work hand in hand.