Report: ISIS Execution Video Cost $200k

Analysts examining propaganda film frame-by-frame found producers took several hours and multiple takes to assemble it, which has inconsistencies.


The ISIS propaganda video portraying the brutal execution of 22 Syrian soldiers took as long as six hours in film in multiple takes and cost at least $200,000 to produce, several media outlets have reported this week.

ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or ISIL, released the video, titled "Though the Unbelievers Despise It," in November. The video portrays 22 ISIS executioners, including the British-accented "Jihadi John," beheading of the hostages.

The conclusions were made by analysts from the U.S.-based Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) and the U.K.-based Quilliam Foundation. The two groups "analyzed the footage frame-by-frame to understand the video's production techniques, the identity of the hostages and their killers and the visual significance of such calculated brutality," according to CNN.

They discovered that lighting and shadows changed during the course of the video, and that the line-up order of the executioners and prisoners switched within it.

The mostly anonymous killers – one of them was identified as French convert to Islam Maxime Hauchard – represent a wide number of nationalities, reportedly chosen to boost the image of ISIS as an international outfit, according to the experts.

TRAC surmises the video cost at least $200,000 because of the evidence of the multiple takes, the employment of several HD cameras and the professionalism of the imagery.

The organization noted that three of the killers were edited out of the video. TRAC officials suspect that one of them, a masked militant, may serve as a body double for Jihadi John.