ISIL beheading incidents
Beginning in 2014, a number of people from various countries were beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a radical Sunni Islamist group operating in Iraq and parts of Syria.
In January 2015, a copy of an ISIL penal code surfaced describing the penalties it enforces in areas under its control, including beheadings. Beheading videos have been frequently posted by ISIL members to social media. Several of the videoed beheadings were conducted by Mohammed Emwazi, whom the media referred to as "Jihadi John" ("John" because of his English accent) before his identification.
The beheadings received wide coverage around the world and attracted international condemnation. Political scientist Max Abrahms posited that ISIL may be using well-publicized beheadings as a means of differentiating itself from Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and identifying itself with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda member who beheaded Daniel Pearl. The publicised beheadings represent a small proportion of a larger number of total people killed following capture by ISIL.