The old axiom that suggests those who live by the sword will die by the sword has once again proved itself true. The Islamic State’s chief executioner, a man who has reportedly beheaded more than 100 people, is dead. He was killed with knife in an ambush in Iraq.
Abu Sayyaf, “father of swordsmith”, was killed near Mosul on Sunday night. Sayyaf is believed to be the executioner most prominently featured in the videos ISIS uses to demonstrate their brutality. Sayyaf was the leader of the group in Nineveh.
While the video footage of Sayyaf’s brutality is easy to see, there’s more off-screen. Unconfirmed reports claim that Sayyaf collected the heads of those he killed.
As of the writing of this, it isn’t clear who killed the killer. A group of insurgents reportedly swarmed their camp in the al-Dasawa region of Nineveh.
Iraqi journalist Muhammad Yawar described Abu Sayyaf as “one of the scariest executioners in Nineveh. He was known for his huge body and heavy arms. He was one of the renowned faces in the ISIS propaganda videos. Abu Sayyaf was a reflection of the brutality of this terrorist group.”
As the news of Sayyaf’s death broke, conflicting versions of how he died began to service. Some claim he was shot. Alsumaria News is running the ironic version that has the swordsman dying in a knife attack: “An unknown armed group killed on Sunday the Islamic State’s most famous decapitator, the so-nicknamed Abu Sayyaf. The armed group ambushed him at al-Dawasa region, in the western side of the city, and stabbed him several times.”
“He died immediately,” they report.
The official propaganda machine of the Islamic State has yet to put out a statement on the killing. Nineveh is one of their last strongholds in Iraq, and the effort to push them out of the region continues.