I’ve continued to update my original post on Islamic State’s attack on Mosul Museum and the Nergal Gate Museum at Nineveh and am working on more, but there is one report that I want to address straight away on its own: “IS burns 4 members in Mosul for refusing to destroy museum”.
It has also been “reported” with additional but nigh-incomprehensible details as a machine-translated summary (‘ISIS’ burn 4 youth refused to destroy the Mosul Museum) and repeated by ‘totally unreliable‘ conspiracy theorist website DEBKAfile. I suspect that the original source was an article in el Balad (‘دعش’ يحرق 4 شباب بالموصل رفضوا تدمير المتحف.. ووزير الآثار العراقي يعتبره ‘جريمة العصر’).
Apparently, the Director of the Iraqi observatory for human rights (which is elsewhere called an Iraqi observatory for the detection of Daesh crimes), Jihad Hassanein, stated that the Islamic State ‘detain[ed]’ four youth members for two days, then ‘burned [them] alive for refusing to take part in sabotaging the museum’, ‘refusing to participate in destroying the Mosul Museum’ on the 27th of February.
Obviously, the Islamic State is capable of such a crime. But, as yet, there is no evidence for this claim. And, since the museums appear to have been attacked in separate events, which were a long time apart from each other and both a long time before the release of the video, the claim is hopefully incorrect. But I didn’t want to ignore it. Can anyone provide the minimal comfort that this definitely isn’t true?